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Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Truth Behind the UK 'Work Ethic'

Work is no cure for poverty

• The number of people in work is at "record levels" according to the UK government. Meanwhile, official UK figures show 22% of people living in poverty, compared to 13% in 1979.

• 47% of employees have wages that, on their own, are insufficient to avoid poverty. 42% of employees rely on means other than their own wages to avoid poverty.

• In the 1970s and 1980s, around 4% of low-paid employees lived in poverty. Currently, 14% of low-paid employees live in poverty. (5% of all employees now live in poverty).

• Since the early 1970s GDP (national income) has doubled, but in real terms (ie allowing for inflation) the bottom 10% of jobs pay less now than in 1970. The minimum wage would have to be around £6.50 per hour to bring low-pay up to the 1970 level.

(Sources: Government DWP press release, Nov 2004;; Joseph Rowntree Foundation study, Nov 2004; Guardian, 14 Jun 2002)

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posted by summersun70 at 7:32 PM


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