Poverty report shows increased inequality

By Jim Rutherdale,

A single person has to earn at least £16,850 a year to achieve a ‘minimum’ standard of living in Britain says the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF). I’ve never earned close to that!

Everyday costs have rocketed up by 25% since the economic downturn started. Have your wages risen by the same amount? Mine have been frozen while the wealth of the richest in society has also risen by 25% or more.

Rents are up 26%, food by 24%, public transport by 30%, childcare by 37% and energy bills by 39%.

The JRF report says a single person needs a wage of £8.62 an hour to survive, while a couple with two children would need £9.91 an hour each ie. both parents working full time. The Assembly politicians (many on fat cat salaries of £50,000 to £90,000) don’t care about ordinary people’s struggles to make ends meet. The poorest are hurt most by these rises as you can’t avoid paying for rent, food or energy.

The Socialist Party calls for an immediate increase in the minimum wage to at least £10 an hour. Pursue the millionaire tax dodgers to pay for it! Of course, the capitalists won’t concede a living wage – that means the millionaires losing money. £10 an hour will only be won by a mass campaign built by workers through the trade unions, unemployed groups and community groups.

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