Rowntree Report blows ‘lazy poor’ myth out of the water

A Guardian article that draws attention to the fact that the ”Majority of children living in poverty have at least one working parent” is based on the Rowntree Report ”Ending Child Poverty in a Changing Economy”. The report shows that over the past decade, the number of children with parents with ‘in-work poverty’ has grown as the majority of children in poverty have working parents. The current projections, however, show a partial reversal of this by 2010, with 54% of children in poverty being in non-working families. An overall projected fall in child poverty due to rises in benefits and tax credits means that the number of children in poverty with working parents is projected to fall by 20–30 per cent between 2006/7 and 2010/11. However, the number in poverty without working parents is projected to fall by only 5 to 10 per cent.

Changing face of poverty

Save the Children recently announced it would be giving emergency cash grants to families in poverty due a massive increase in food prices and worrying increase in malnutrition amongst babies and pregnant women. These families are not the ones that Save the Children normally deal with, they are not in refugee camps or war-zones but in cities and towns across the UK.

With the recession taking hold unemployment has soared and so has the price of food; according to the Guardian the cost of food rose by 11.3% in the year to February, and within that the cost of vegetables has risen by 18.6%. This is leading to new levels of poverty amongst children and families in Britain say Save the Children.

Save the Children argue that many people are facing terrible problems with debt, not because they are frivolous as suggested by some of the media but because they have had to rely on credit for basic essentials. Now the safety net of easy credit has been removed people find they are stuck with high repayments and no new income and end up cutting their food budgets to compensate.

With organisations like Save the Children and Oxfam turning their attention to the UK’s poor is it time we changed our perception of what poverty looks like?

Does the media do enough to let us know about poverty on our own doorstep?

Is it easier to pretend poverty only exists in foreign countries?

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To find out more information about our Poverty and The Media project please visit our Project Page

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