Families already facing financial difficulties are unlikely to see any financial benefits from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), unless the Tory Government change direction on social policies like tax and welfare benefits, according to a new report from one of the UK’s leading authorities on poverty and hardship.
Landmark research suggests that poverty and living costs are almost certain to continue rising after the UK leaves the EU, in spite of seperate analysis that suggests continued austerity and financial inequality were among the key factors behind people’s decision to vote Leave in the EU referendum.
Analysis by experts from Cambridge Econometrics, supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), explored the potential impact of Brexit on the cost of living, wages, and employment.
Possible scenarios included a so-called ‘no-deal’ Brexit, staying in the single market, tariff free trading, and the potential impact on immigration and investment – all of which showed no discernible benefits for the UK economy or its citizens.
The report concluded that in all scenarios the cost of living and real-terms wages will continue to falter after Brexit, with ‘no-deal’ likely to have the biggest negative impact.
Campbell Robb, chief executive of the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “Many people on low incomes backed Leave after being locked out and left behind for too long.
“Since the vote to leave the EU, families have been hit by price rises in the shops, seen their wages eaten up by crippling housing costs and had their tax credits pared back.
“It’s hard to take control and build a better life when you’re juggling the bills and high costs are pulling you under. Two years on from the vote, this is unacceptable. And it will not change unless the Government gets a grip and delivers for people on low incomes.
“We need a bold package of domestic reforms, not just favourable trade terms. The Government must fix this and right the wrong of in-work poverty.
“At the last General Election, low income voters made it clear they wanted more than Brexit delivered, demanding action on living standards too.
“Failing to meet their expectations of a better life after Brexit would be costly for the political parties. And it would mean millions of families being let down – and seeing no Brexit dividend.”