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Oxfam response to government figures that reveal nearly a million more people were in poverty in the UK in 2011/12

Posted by Jonaid Jilani Press Officer

13th Jun 2013

The government's Households Below Average Incomes (HBAI) statistics, released today reveal that nearly a million more people were living in poverty in the UK in 2011/12. Half a million more working-age adults, 300,000 more children and 100,000 more pensioners were classed as living in households with absolute low incomes.

Oxfam's Katherine Trebeck said, "It is unacceptable that in the seventh richest country on the planet, we've seen the number of people living in poverty increase by nearly a million. With cuts to public services and social security in the pipeline, the number of people living on absolute low incomes will only increase over the years and people will find it even harder to overcome their situation.

"Now is not the time to squeeze the purses and wallets of the poorest. Measures such as raising the National Minimum Wage in line with inflation and further reducing the rate at which benefits are withdrawn for people entering work could ensure the UK's poorest can meet the rising cost of living and put food on their table, instead of walking the bread line to food banks. "

For more information please contact Jonaid Jilani on 01865 472 193 or 07810 181 514 or

Notes to editors

Figures for 2011/12. Whilst the proportion of individuals in relative low income has slightly fallen since 2010/2011, the number of individuals in absolute low income has risen by 900,000 (500,000 working age adults, 300,000 more children and 100,000 more pensioners) using After Housing Cost (AHC) figures. Looking at the absolute measure enables us to assess the change in incomes in real terms. (as per the DWP website) 

Oxfam and Church Action Poverty recently release a report on the 30th May to highlight the fact that around 500,000 people have turned to food aid.

Blog post written by Jonaid Jilani

Press Officer

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