Re: Labours Definition of Poverty
Originally Posted by Bread
I heard on the radio today that, according to the Labour Party, there are over 3 million people living in the UK in poverty.
It was revealed that Labour are using the definition by the UN where poverty is defined as "a family earning less than 21K per year".
21K doesn't seem to be living in poverty to me, in fact far from it... There are millions of students (for example) who have a maximum student loan of about £18K per annum so have students been included in this figure as well ?
Furthermore, as far as I know, the £21K does not include in-work benefits either and neither does it include other subsidies, discounts and "gifts".
If labour impose the 4 day week as they say they will in their manifesto, this will put more people in the below £21K poverty threshold won't it ?
Are they talking about absolute poverty or relative poverty?
I have heard the 3 million figure quoted before in relation to relative poverty, so Iím guessing youíre talking about relative poverty, which has stayed about the same over the last 20 years. Although absolute poverty has halved in that time, the earnings inequality gap hasnít changed much, so itís the ďrelative povertyĒ of those in work that Labour are pledging to address, I think.
Itís not clear to me how Labourís definition is different to the current Government definition of relative poverty - what is the Labour definition of ďfamilyĒ - presumably they use different figures depending on how many adults and children are in the family.
For example, under the current Govt definition, a couple with two children with an income of less than £21,000 is classed as being in relative poverty.
Isnít the current definition pretty much the same as Labourís definition?
To establish whether someone is living in relative poverty, the government looks at the median income - that is the midpoint where half of the working population earn more than that amount and half earn less. Then they take 60% of this middle amount and anyone who earns less than this is considered to be living in relative poverty.
According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) charity, that's a weekly income less than:
£248 for couple with no children
£144 for single person with no children
£401 for couple with two children aged between 5 and 14
£297 for single parent with two children aged between 5 - 14