Charities warn high number of young women working in low-paid and insecure jobs having ‘terrible impact’ on their wellbeing

Young women ‘significantly more likely’ to report symptoms of anxiety and depression than young men

Young women are “significantly more likely” to report they are suffering from anxiety or depression than their male counterparts, statistics have revealed, raising concerns that a high number of young women working in low-paid and insecure jobs is leading to a severe decline in mental health.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed worrying levels of mental illness in all young people, with one in five men and women aged 16-24 showing symptoms of anxiety and depression, an increase from 18 per cent in the period 2009 to 2010 to 21 per cent in 2013 to 2014.

Women stood out as being particularly affected, with the proportion of young women reporting anxiety and depression having climbed by four per cent within four years from 22 per cent in 2009 to 2010 to 26 per cent in 2013 to 2014. According to the latest statistics, one in four (25 per cent) young women reported such issues, compared with 15 per cent of young men.

read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/young-women-anxious-depression-mental-health-ons-young-womens-trust-a7683861.html

Eight things you should know about the benefit cap

‘Fairness’ was the word Lord Freud used to justify the lowering of the benefit cap. But there is no fairness to be found in a policy that ignores assessed need, mostly affects people who can’t work to increase their income, and hits households with children in 94 per cent of cases.

Here’s what you need to know about the benefit cap:

  1. The cap breaks the link between what you need and what you get. People are assessed for social security support according to need, but if that help goes above the – arbitrary – level of the benefit cap, it is restricted. In other words, the needier you are, the more likely you’ll be hit by the cap.
  2. When the cap was originally set, the amount (£26,000) was based on the premise that non-working households shouldn’t receive more than the average earnings of working households. But this isn’t comparing like for like: it’s comparing incomes with earnings. A working family on £26,000 could also receive a range of benefits and tax credits.
  3. The new – lower – amount (£20,000, or £23,000 in London) does not have a rationale. And it has come in at a time when the cost of living is going up.
  4. One of the stated aims of the cap is to incentivise people to move into work. But only 13 per cent of people affected by the benefit cap are on Jobseeker’s Allowance – i.e. expected to be actively trying to get a job. The vast majority of people affected by the cap are not expected to work because of disability or ill-health, or because they have very young children.
  5. Ministers claim people capped are 41 per cent more likely to move into work. That sounds big, but actually the effect is relatively small. The government’s own evaluation showed about 16 per cent of people moved into work shortly after being capped and that 11 per cent of people would have moved into work anyway. That difference in rates (4.4 percentage points to be precise) is where the 41 per cent figure comes from. About 75 per cent of people move off JSA after 6 months, 90 per cent by 12 months.
  6. More than 116,000 families will be affected by this new cap – and more than 319,000 children. It’s not just larger families either. Most families affected by the lower cap have two or three children.
  7. The Supreme Court has said that the benefit cap breaches the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and that ‘it cannot possibly be in the best interests of the children affected by the cap to deprive them of the means to provide them with adequate food, clothing, warmth and housing, the basic necessities of life’.
  8. The only other way to become uncapped is to move house somewhere cheaper. Yet a family with two young children will not be able to find a cheap enough home in 60 per cent of the country to escape the cap – including the entire southeast and southwest regions.

Families with very young children and people with disabilities – who are most likely to be affected by the cap – ought to be given the strongest possible protection against the deprivation this policy leads to. That would be fair.

read more here: http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/eight-things-you-should-know-about-benefit-cap

Average pay rates fell seven times faster for disabled employees during coalition years

New figures show average pay rates for disabled people fell seven times faster than those for non-disabled people during the five years of the coalition government.

The figures were produced for Being Disabled In Britain, a major review of disability inequality by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

read more here: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/average-pay-rates-fell-seven-times-faster-for-disabled-employees-during-coalition-years/

Dickensian-style ‘pauper’s funerals’ have soared since Tories came to power as families can’t afford burial fees

The damning statistics, released under the Freedom of Information Act, were uncovered by Lib Dem MP John Pugh

Soaring numbers of grieving families are being forced to give their loved-ones Dickensian-style ‘pauper’s funerals’ because they cannot afford basic burial costs.

Damning new stats show the number of taxpayer-funded pauper’s funerals has rocketed almost 50% since the Tories came to power.

A pauper’s funeral – now re-branded a ‘Public Health Funeral’ – was seen as the ultimate indignity in Victorian times, funded by the local authority when cash-strapped friends and family could not afford a proper service. The deceased is usually given a simple early-morning service before being cremated or buried in a communal grave.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show a 47% increase in pauper’s funerals between 2011 and 2015, from 1,769 to 2,609.

And the true number will be far higher, as only 200 of the 393 councils nationwide provided data.

Read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/dickensian-style-paupers-funerals-soared-10180956

‘Two-Child’ Benefits Limit Could Push 200,000 Children To Poverty, Charities Say

Major changes to the benefits system coming into force today will condemn hundreds of thousands more children to poverty, charities have warned.

 

The Children’s Society called on the Government to think again over imposing a new “two-child limit” on Universal Credit and child tax credit as the move will impact on three million children.

 

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) made a similar plea as it cited independent research forecasting that 200,000 children may be pushed into poverty by the changes.

The Children’s Society calculates that a nurse with three children, earning £23,000 a year, who becomes a single parent stands to lose £2,780 a year if he or she makes a claim for tax credits or universal credit under the move.

Read more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/two-child-benefits-limit-could-push-200000-children-to-poverty-charities-say_uk_58e5ecefe4b0fe4ce0884024

19 million Brits are on the edge of poverty even though nearly everyone has a job — and it’s going to get worse

LONDON — New research shows that millions more people in Britain are struggling to make ends meet since the financial crisis and predicts that the situation could drastically worsen over the next few years as inflation spikes.

Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation released on Wednesday found that:

  • 30% of the population, 19 million people, are now below the “minimum income standard” [MIS].
  • The number below MIS has risen by 4 million since 2008/9, or a 5 percentage point rise;
  • 11 million people have incomes below 75% of MIS and are at high risk of poverty;
  • 8 million people are just about managing to get by.

MIS is an income benchmark calculated by the Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) at Loughborough University. It is based on extensive surveys of people in the UK, asking them what they believe is a reasonable income.

MIS in 2016 for a single person of working age was £286.53 per week before bills, equivalent to £14,899 a year. For couples, it was £353.21 a week, or £18,366 a year. For a couple with two children, it was £776.28 a week, or £40,366 a year.

These are relatively modest budgets. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found last year that the average income for a childless couple in the UK was £581 in 2014-15, or £30,212. That is over £10,000 more than they need under the MIS system.

The fact that so many people in the UK fall short of this relatively low threshold is alarming.

It also comes at a time when the UK is experiencing record low unemployment levels. New data released on Wednesday shows that Britain’s unemployment level remains at 4.8%, a 10-year low. Just 1.6 million people are officially unemployed.

Families with children have the highest risk of incomes that fall short of the standard, according to the report. More than half of families with children and just one parent in work are below the MIS — 56%.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a social policy and development charity, says the rising risk of poverty is due to sluggish income growth rather than any increase in unemployment.

The charity says: “The price of a minimum “basket of goods” has risen 27-30% since 2008, and average earnings by only half that amount.”

Britain’s employment market has seen the rise of the so-called “gig economy” since the 2008 financial crisis, with more and more people doing low-paid, self-employed jobs such as driving Ubers or delivering food for Deliveroo. Trade union TUC estimated this week that the irregular hours and lower earnings of these types of workers means the government is missing out on £4 billion of tax revenue a year. This means these workers are missing out on pay too.

The Trussel Trust, a charity runs the UK’s only national network of food banks, said last April that food bank usage was at a record high of 1.1 million. Almost half a million emergency food supplies were given to children.

The Rowntree Foundation’s report is supported by Office for National Statistics data, which last year found that 33% of people were in poverty at least once between 2010-13 compared to an EU average of 25%.

read more: http://uk.businessinsider.com/theresa-mays-jams-joseph-rowntree-foundation-finds-4-million-people-just-above-poverty-line-2017-2

 

A third of UK lives on inadequate income, says think tank

Nearly a third of the population of Britain is living on an “inadequate” income, according to research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

In 2014-15, it said that 19 million people were living on less than the Minimum Income Standard (MIS).

It said the problem was that household costs have been rising, while incomes have stagnated.

The government has already promised to tackle the issue, after Theresa May identified those “just about managing”.

It said it was taking “targeted action” to raise incomes.

The MIS is set by experts at Loughborough University, and is based on what members of the public think is a reasonable income to live on.

Although the precise level depends on individual circumstances, a single person renting a flat outside London is said to need to earn at least £17,300 a year to reach the MIS.

For a working couple with two children, living in social housing, each of the individuals needs to earn £18,900 a year.

In other words a couple could be earning £37,000 jointly, and still count as being below the MIS threshold.

Poverty

Among the 19 million said to be below the MIS are six million children, representing 45% of all children in Britain.

There are also 1.8 million pensioners, representing 14.6% of the age group.

read more here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38970227