Coalition benefit cuts mean 'unacceptable' poverty is increasing, says Oxfam

Tue, 22/04/2014 - 13:29 -- nick

The coalition's benefit cuts have pushed 1.75 million more people into even deeper poverty, according to a new report.

The study, by Oxfam and NPI, shows that the drop in the value of benefits, increased by less than inflation, and direct cuts to housing benefit and council tax benefit have meant some of the UK's poorest citizens have got worse off under the current government.

This group has seen a cut in their overall incomes and struggle to afford life's basics including food and energy.

A cut in living standards at the very bottom has a devastating effect on those suffering through them according to Oxfam chief executive Mark Goldring, who said:

"We are already seeing people turning to food banks and struggling with rent, council tax, childcare and travel costs to job centres.

"At a time when the five richest families in the UK have the same wealth as the bottom 20% of the population it is unacceptable that the poorest are paying such a heavy price."

Nearly half a million people have seen both council tax support and housing benefit cuts, leaving them on average £18 worse off, a huge amount for those living on tiny incomes.

Unemployed people, parents, carers and disabled people have all been hit.

The result of this devastation has been seen in the increase in food bank use, up a stunning 163% in the last year according to the Trussell Trust, the UK's biggest provider.

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