Dealing with the effects of poverty costs the UK £78 billion a year, £1,200 for every person, new research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has revealed.
A new report, Counting the cost of UK poverty by Heriot Watt and Loughborough Universities, is the first research to illustrate how much poverty across all age groups costs the public purse. It finds that £69 billion, £1 in every £5 of all spending on public services, is needed because of the impact and cost poverty has on people’s lives.
Now, the population of the UK is said to be over 65 million this year – and that’s the figures which JRF have used to work out the £1,200 per person, but remember that 16% of UK households are currently workless, so that means that the cost is spread across 54.6 million people. Of course there are more figures to take into account in reality, as far too many working households are also living in poverty, so they may be unable to pay taxes. Out of that total, according to ONS figures for 2014 (https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/articles/overviewoftheukpopulation/february2016) approximately 36.5% of the population are under or over working age (15-64).
Taking away the social implications of poverty, which is actually what we should be most concerned about and to what Save the Family has committed to help provide solutions, the actual cost to the working public is something in the region of (£78 billion / 34.7 million people) £2,247 per person per year!
Surely, charities like Save the Family can be better supported by our government, central and local, to make a bigger social impact, as well as clear savings for the public purse?