The Labour Party has declared “war on poverty” and pledged to reverse the damage caused by a decade of Tory austerity, while accusing the Conservatives of introducing cruel policies that have entrenched hardship in society.
In a new report published on Wednesday, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party says the Tory government has precided over a 50% increase in the number of children living in poverty and deprivation.
The report, ‘Poverty Britain: Ten Ways the Tories have Entrenched Poverty across Britain’ (see below), also highlights the dramatic rise in food bank use, with 65 million meals given to those in need over the last five years alone.
And poverty in families where someone is disabled has risen by over a million since 2010, while in-work poverty has soared by 1.5 million over the same time period.
Labour also claims that there are over 20 million adults with no savings, an increase of nearly three million since 2010/11, blaming wage stagnation for costing the average worker around £6,300 in lost wages.
John McDonnell, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said: “Poverty in Britain is now the most visible and widespread it has been in decades.
“This new report shows the Tories have failed to tackle ten modern scourges of poverty, each becoming more entrenched on their watch.
“The next Labour government will wage war on poverty in all its forms, eliminating in-work poverty, ending austerity and raising living standards across the country.
“The choice at this election couldn’t be clearer: more stress and struggle for millions to make ends meet under the Tories or real change with Labour.”
Labour has pledged to:
- Introduce immediately a Real Living Wage of £10 an hour for everyone over 16
- Eliminate in-work poverty over the course of our first parliament
- Scrap Universal Credit, the benefit cap, the Two Child limit and end the freeze on working-age benefits.
- Rebuild a social security system dedicated to dignity, universalism and ending poverty.
- Clamp down on problem debt by capping credit card and overdraft repayments so that borrowers never repay more in interest than they originally borrowed.
- Expand free childcare, open 1,000 new Sure Start centres and provide universal Free School Meals for all primary school children
- Tackle the Tories’ productivity crisis with a programme of large scale investment in skills, infrastructure and innovation
- Set a target for ending the need for food banks altogether within our first three years, and halve food bank usage within our first year.
- End rough sleeping within a Parliament, starting with a plan to ring-fence an extra 8,000 homes for people with a history of rough sleeping and £100million to tackle immediate winter pressures.
- Protect pensioner incomes by legislating to keep the Triple Lock on state pensions as well as guaranteeing free TV licences, free bus passes and Winter Fuel Payments.
- Bring justice for women born in the 1950s affected by the Tories’ changes to the State Pension age
The full report can be found below.