How bad is poverty in the UK

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ineedtorevise127
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Some people say that a country like UK can never have poverty but that is far from true fuel poverty, food banks, high fuelled debt, high rent etc... Prove otherwise.


Are the government doing enough to eradicate poverty? If not what can they do?
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uktotalgamer
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We have very little if any absolute poverty here. We have relative poverty. Most people define poverty as not having an iPhone or a 50" TV.
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Alfissti
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If you are poor in UK then you only have yourself to blame.
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Martyn*
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(Original post by Alfissti)
If you are poor in UK then you only have yourself to blame.
You're not Michael Gove by any chance, are you?
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Martyn*
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Firstly, yes there is poverty here in the UK and it has got worse since the last recession. Secondly, the poverty here is relative and cannot be compared to the povertous situation facing people who live in third world countries like Africa, India and some parts of China. Thirdly, it is easy to say "get out of poverty", even in a developed and prosperous country like ours. People in the NW of England are not nearly as affluent as those who live down south. Wealth is a postcode lottery, and it is about luck and determination, including a little bit of hope. If you don't have these components you are going to struggle and no amount of kicking up the backside is going to help. You have to move where the wealth is. This is unfortunate but it is how the world works.
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Sir Master of Bate
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(Original post by Alfissti)
If you are poor in UK then you only have yourself to blame.
Nonsense.

Some will/are be born into poverty and will never have the education, support or guidance to get out of it.
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SHallowvale
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I used to think my family was poor. My reasoning was that I was the only person in my class (or, better yet, ''social group'') that had never been to Disney Land, nor did I have Sky.

I say that relative poverty exists, although absolute poverty is not as great. That being said, i'm unaware of the statistics, so my opinion isn't that valid. :P
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345rty
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Do we have 'relative poverty' - yes.

Is this 'relative poverty' something I feel we should be combating - no.

Living standards have never been so good, an adjustment is inevitable.
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bananaminion
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Technically there're a whole load of people in poverty in the UK, but the definition given is ridiculous. I'd define being in poverty as not having the means to get sufficient food, water, and shelter to survive, and means to obtain the bare necessities (clothing, toothpaste, soap, cutlery etc.). Maybe something about education should be there as well. But I think there must only be a very tiny number of people here without that.

The benefits system does more than enough to ensure that no one is in that position.
Then again, there are people who are very poor. Just not too ​poor.
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Fullofsurprises
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Many families are currently struggling to decide between heating their home and eating properly - that isn't relative poverty or 'not having an iPhone' poverty, it's REAL poverty.
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Quady
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(Original post by ineedtorevise127)
Some people say that a country like UK can never have poverty but that is far from true fuel poverty, food banks, high fuelled debt, high rent etc... Prove otherwise.
Is there a question in there somewhere?
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Rakas21
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(Original post by ineedtorevise127)
Some people say that a country like UK can never have poverty but that is far from true fuel poverty, food banks, high fuelled debt, high rent etc... Prove otherwise.

Are the government doing enough to eradicate poverty? If not what can they do?
All those things are typically regarded as products of relative poverty. What this means is that you can be classed as being in fuel or food poverty simply because a large proportion of your wage is spent on these things, you may not be struggling to pay the bill and it may simply mean you have the lower sky package instead but your still regarded as being in poverty. Food banks have exploded recently mostly because the government now allows job centers to refer people, it does not mean that people will starve without getting to one.

I myself am from a benefits household where the income is £8k of benefits. We are regarded as being in poverty despite the fact that at one point we have 4 computers, 4 tv's (albeit one plasma) and me and my parents had phone contracts.

The measures are useful but the left seem to cling to them as evidence that capitalism is hurting people despite the fact that it is only because of the wealth that capitalism afforded us that we can afford to pay for this redistribution and safety net.
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DanB1991
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Concerning the actual definition of poverty, it's almost impossible to be in real global poverty in the UK due to benefits unless your living on the streets.

I would argue only the homeless are victims of global poverty.

We have wide scale relative poverty which is basically when people cannot afford to do leisure & educational activities or a lack of an ability to buy clothing, housing or food that is a similar quality to the rest of the population have access to.

Main downside to this view it actually means the poorer 49% of the population technically are all suffer's of relative poverty.... even if they earn £30k a year and view themselves as 'well off'.

It's ironic that most people who are see as being in relative poverty are also the most likely to be smokers or obese. Also I remember seeing a picture of a woman saying she lived in poverty being interviewed by labour who said she could hardly afford to eat... she had a TV larger than mine or my parents with an Ipad sat in plain view.... some people, even those in relative poverty often struggle to get their priorities right.
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A-Dog
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(Original post by Alfissti)
If you are poor in UK then you only have yourself to blame.
If someone is under 25 and poor, then this is an unfair thing to say to them
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felamaslen
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I think people in the UK have had it so good, for so long, that they no longer know what it means to be truly poor. Most so-called poverty activists prefer to say "**** the Tories" than actually do anything about worldwide poverty (such as introduce freedom and capitalism to the wretched of this Earth, like they have already been introduced to themselves). Some of them even think capitalism causes poverty (in truth, it prevents it).
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username1221160
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(Original post by Alfissti)
If you are poor in UK then you only have yourself to blame.
Why? Data on intergenerational social mobility suggests otherwise, particularly when compared to other developed countries.
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joey11223
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It's relative, but fuel poverty is quite a pressing issue from personal experience (we're okay, but others I know do struggle). That said, it's still far from what those in third world countries would consider poverty and although not ideal, there are ways to lower energy bills which people don't research for themselves. The suggestion of keeping a livingroom room and a bedroom warm before you sleep is a good example. A gas/electric boiler will use a lot of energy to heat up the radiators, boilers vary but they generally use say 10-35kwH. However a fan heater like I use uses 1.2kwH and after a few minutes on high it's warmed the room noticeably and I turn it off until I feel the room could do with a boost. Even more efficient are electric blankets, cost you about £15 and use around 90w, less if you use a lower mode. That's about 1.3p per hour on an average bill. Turn it on for 30 minutes before you get into bed and it makes it really warm, some people keep them on low mode all night, using say 30w, but you could just turn it off as once you're asleep you don't really notice (but I'm a deep sleeper).

Point is there are ways and means, we are certainly not in the position where people really are starving. I know people who complain they barely have any money but when I look at the food they buy and the fact they're still treating themselves to going to a cafe for lunch every now and then, or buying quite a lot of "luxuries/treats" with their groceries, they could cut back much more if they really had to.
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und3niable_
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
Many families are currently struggling to decide between heating their home and eating properly - that isn't relative poverty or 'not having an iPhone' poverty, it's REAL poverty.
This. I know of plenty who have to sacrifice a lot just to make ends meet.
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und3niable_
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(Original post by Quantex)
Why? Data on intergenerational social mobility suggests otherwise, particularly when compared to other developed countries.
I really feel sorry for the fact you believe the statistics Government churns out to make it look as though they are actually helping those in poverty. Go to the inner city of any city in England or the types of small villages in Norfolk where I see people struggling every day. Yes, there is not dire poverty but when people cannot even afford amenities then it is actually a problem.
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DanB1991
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
Many families are currently struggling to decide between heating their home and eating properly - that isn't relative poverty or 'not having an iPhone' poverty, it's REAL poverty.
That is relative poverty.

Having a home and the fact they are not starving suggests it's still relative poverty. I'm yet to hear of a person claim they are 100% unable to feed themselves. Most people who say they have to choose between heating or food often forget the fact an inability to pay a heating bill does not mean they're in global poverty.
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