The UK should be a country where, no matter where people live, everyone has the chance of a decent and secure life. Instead, millions of people – many from working families – are struggling to meet their needs.
Poverty means not being able to heat your home, pay your rent, or buy the essentials for your children. It means waking up every day facing insecurity, uncertainty, and impossible decisions about money. It means facing marginalisation – and even discrimination – because of your financial circumstances. The constant stress it causes can overwhelm people, affecting them emotionally and depriving them of the chance to play a full part in society.
Over the past four years, JRF has worked with experts in research and practice, and commissioned and analysed evidence reviews to find out what works. We have worked with the public as well as employers and businesses, practitioners, civil servants and politicians from all parties, across all four nations of the UK. As an employer and a provider of housing and care services, we have also drawn on our own history and experience. Critically, we have involved people with first-hand experience of poverty in the development of the strategy.
The result of this project is an independent, long-term strategy to solve poverty in the UK which aligns greater corporate responsibility with an active, enabling state, promoting individual capacity and capability. Alongside this strategy we have published an in-depth report which details the evidence gathered during our four-year investigation.
This strategy contains a set of proposals we hope will inspire debate and action across the four nations of the UK. While each nation and place has a different set of challenges and powers, we hope that the proposals provide the basis for new solutions and real change. If we don’t all rise to this challenge, we face enormous costs and risks in the future.