A study by the Poverty and Social Exclusion project in the UK finds that the number of British households falling below minimum living standards has more than doubled in the past 30 years, despite the size of the economy increasing twofold.
According to the study, 33% of households endure below-par living standards – defined as going without three or more “basic necessities of life”, such as being able to adequately feed and clothe themselves and their children, and to heat and insure their homes. In the early 1980s, the comparable figure was 14%.
Other key figures reveal that
- almost 18 million people cannot afford adequate housing conditions
- 12 million people are too poor to engage in common social activities
- one in three people cannot afford to heat their homes adequately in the winter and
- four million children and adults aren’t properly fed by today’s standards
- Far more households are in arrears on their household bills in 2012 (21 per cent) than in 1999 (14 per cent). The most common bills in arrears now are utility bills, council tax and mortgage/rent.