John McDonnell – 2019 Press Release on Poverty

Below is a press release issued by the Labour Party on 19/11/2019.

Labour is tomorrow pledging to wage war on the “ten modern scourges of poverty” and reverse the damage that a decade of austerity under the Tories has caused.

The party is publishing a new Report – “Poverty Britain” – which highlights ten ways the Tories have failed to tackle poverty and entrenched hardship in society.

The report includes new analysis that shows:

Wage stagnation under the Tories has cost the average worker around £6,300 in lost wages.

Food banks have given out 65 million meals in the last five years, the equivalent of a meal for every person in the whole of the UK.

There are now over 20 million adults with no savings, an increase of nearly three million since 2010/11.

A near 50 per cent increase in the number of children in severe low income and deprivation between 2011/12 and 2017/18.

Poverty in families where someone is disabled has risen by over a million since 2010.

In-work poverty has increased by 1.5 million since 2010/11.

John McDonnell, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said:

“Poverty in Britain is now the most visible and widespread it has been in decades.

“This new report shows the Tories have failed to tackle ten modern scourges of poverty, each becoming more entrenched on their watch.

“The next Labour government will wage war on poverty in all its forms, eliminating in-work poverty, ending austerity and raising living standards across the country.

“The choice at this election couldn’t be clearer: more stress and struggle for millions to make ends meet under the Tories or real change with Labour.”

Labour will:

Introduce immediately a Real Living Wage of £10 an hour for everyone over 16

Eliminate in-work poverty over the course of our first parliament

Scrap Universal Credit, the benefit cap, the Two Child limit and end the freeze on working-age benefits.

Rebuild a social security system dedicated to dignity, universalism and ending poverty.

Clamp down on problem debt by capping credit card and overdraft repayments so that borrowers never repay more in interest than they originally borrowed.

Expand free childcare, open 1,000 new Sure Start centres and provide universal Free School Meals for all primary school children

Tackle the Tories’ productivity crisis with a programme of large scale investment in skills, infrastructure and innovation

Set a target for ending the need for food banks altogether within our first three years, and halve food bank usage within our first year.

End rough sleeping within a Parliament, starting with a plan to ring-fence an extra 8,000 homes for people with a history of rough sleeping and £100 million to tackle immediate winter pressures.

Protect pensioner incomes by legislating to keep the Triple Lock on state pensions as well as guaranteeing free TV licences, free bus passes and Winter Fuel Payments.

Bring justice for women born in the 1950s affected by the Tories’ changes to the State Pension age