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JRF Poverty 2017 Report


Over the last 20 years the UK has seen very significant falls in poverty among children and pensioners. Twenty years ago a third of children lived in poverty; this fell to 27% in 2011/12. In 1994/95, 28% of pensioners lived in poverty, falling to 13% in 2011/12. This progress is now at risk of reversing: poverty rates for both groups have started to rise again, to 16% for pensioners and 30% for children.


• Three factors led to falling poverty:

increased support through benefits and tax credits;

rising employment; and

containing the impact of rising rents through housing benefit and increased home ownership.

All are now under question:

– The continued rise in employment is no longer reducing poverty.

– State support for low-income families through benefits and tax credits is falling in real terms.

– Rising rents, less help for low-income renters and falling home ownership leave more people struggling to meet the cost of housing.