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Oxfam response to Joseph Rowntree Foundation research showing living standards are being eroded for millions

Posted by Jonaid Jilani Press Officer

28th Jun 2013

Joseph Rowntree's annual Minimum Income Standards report published today shows quite how far living standards for people on low incomes have fallen. The inflation rate for essential goods and services has risen by 25% in 5 years whilst incomes have stagnated, creating a perfect storm for the poorest in our society. 

Oxfam's Chris Johnes said "This carefully assembled data demonstrates the extent to which people on low incomes have suffered during the economic downturn. The combination of spiralling prices for essentials like food, fuel, housing, and childcare with stagnant incomes are pushing many people into even deeper poverty. Many are now turning to food banks and making desperate decisions such as going without so their children can eat. 

The Coalition Government's decision to arbitrarily limit increases in benefits to 1% - much lower than the rising cost of essentials - in January has made things worse for people in low paid work or who are seeking work. There is clear evidence that families with children are being hit worst of all. 

The Government needs to make raising living standards of the millions of people on lower incomes a higher priority - tackling high costs as well as low incomes. Simply relying on economic growth to "trickle down" is a tired and failed strategy which will do little or nothing for the millions whose incomes are below minimum acceptable levels." 


For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Jonaid Jilani on 01865 472 193 or 07810 181 514 or 

Notes to Editors 

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

JRF is an anti-poverty think tank, funding a UK-wide research and development programme. JRHT is a registered housing association and provider of care services, with over 2,500 homes in York and north-east England. The two have a commitment to reduce poverty substantially. JRF and JRHT work together to help achieve social justice for people and places in poverty by searching out the underlying causes of poverty and disadvantage, and identify solutions - through research and learning from experience.

Blog post written by Jonaid Jilani

Press Officer

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