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Information Bulletin

Summary of Reports and Statistics from the Week ending 27 March 2015

JRF Activity
Publication - Monitoring poverty and social exclusion in Scotland 2015.
Young adults under 30 now make up the biggest share of those experiencing poverty in
Scotland, and are the only age group to have seen an increase in poverty levels since 2003.
#Scotpoverty
Blog from Josh Stott Local leadership on the Living Wage is an important step in tackling
in-work poverty.
Blog from Helen Barnard - We need to concentrate on ending poverty not just reducing
food bank use.
Publication - Destitution in the UK: an interim report
Publication - Welfare to work devolution in England
Blog from Josh Stott - Welfare to work policy needs a radical shake up if were going to
meaningfully reduce poverty

Work and Worth


The Joint Select Committee on Human Rights, in a new report, expresses concern that
disadvantaged children in certain areas have suffered disproportionately in the recent
economic downturn, and concludes that the Governments statutory duty to eliminate child
poverty by 2020 should be treated as a human rights issue. It recommends that the
Government examines how the Office of the Childrens Commissioner for England might be
given the powers and resources to examine individual cases.
A pilot should be established to test a more targeted approach to benefit sanctions based on
segmentation of claimants, is one of the recommendations of a report on benefit sanctions
from the Work and Pensions Committee. It calls for a fully independent review to investigate
whether sanctions are being applied fairly and proportionately the same recommendation
was made by the Committee in January 2014, but was not accepted by the government. It
also calls for a series of evaluations to examine the success of financial sanctions in benefit
schemes, since published evidence is not clear cut.
Unsecured consumer debt rose by 9% to an all-time high in 2014, at nearly 9,000 per UK
household, passing its pre-financial crisis peak, according to PwCs latest report 'Plastic:
How Britons fell back in love with borrowing'. Total household debt to income ratio (including
unsecured and secured debt) is projected to reach around 172% by 2020, again higher than
the peak before the financial crisis.
The number of workers in London being paid less than the London Living Wage has grown
by 65% to 917,000 workers since 2010, says a new report 'The High Cost of Low Wages'
from Labours London Assembly Economic spokesperson. Over the same period, the drop in
average income in the capital since 2010 is 2,802.
Report from Liverpool City Council Getting By: A year in the life of 30 working families in

Liverpool, draws on interviews to track the progress of families with at least one parent in
low paid employment.
Real Wages and Living Standards pre-election briefing from the LSEs Centre for Economic
Performance.

Individuals and Relationships


'Is Welfare Reform Working?' is a report from the LSE, based on interviews with 200 social
housing tenants in the South West of England over a two-year period to examine the impact
of welfare reforms. Only one in six tenants have either found work or increased their hours
since the reforms began, usually working for family members, becoming self-employed or
finding part-time work. Three quarters of the 101 tenants who were economically inactive in
2014 had a disability, but 74% of economically inactive tenants contribute by caring for
disabled relatives, volunteering in their community or caring for young children.
The coalitions policy to increase NHS funding in real terms, but less than the amount
required to meet demand, combined with significant cuts in social care funding means that
services have come under growing pressure, and increasing numbers of NHS providers are
in deficit, says the Kings Funds assessment of the coalitions performance on the NHS.
A final stocktake of readiness of local authorities by the Local Government Association,
before the Care Act comes into force on 1 April, finds one quarter fear of them fear they lack
the money to implement it. The Act includes a new assessment and care planning
framework, national eligibility criteria, a lowered threshold for an assessment for carers and
a new entitlement to support for eligible carers.
By 2037, 5% of the UK population will be aged over 85, double the current proportion, buy
will rise to 10% in certain areas including West Dorset, North Norfolk, East Devon and East
Dorset, according to a new interactive ONS map. At the same time, the proportion of
children under the age of 16 in these areas will fall.

The Place Where People Live


A Design for Life a new report from the New Local Government Network with Capsticks,
Peabody and Moat, explores the opportunities to make savings and provide wraparound
services through service collaboration between councils and housing associations and
examines the barriers which prevent long term collaboration. 'A Design for Life: how
councils and housing associations can collaborate for impact'.
A review, carried out by the National Tenant Organisations and the University of
Birmingham, found that investing in tenant involvement can produce financial, service, social
and community benefits and can also improve tenant satisfaction. The report looks at five
case studies of social housing providers.
A new IPPR report explores the concept of City villages to help solve the housing crisis
through providing significantly more and better socially mixed, multi-tenure housing, in areas
of redevelopment and regeneration. This would be facilitated by local authorities leveraging
their ownership of existing council estates, in partnership with private and voluntary sector
developers. New city villages would be planned as entire communities with retail and
transport facilities. City villages: More homes, better communities
Private sector employment in older industrial areas of Britain has grown at a tenth of the rate
in London and the south east, according to a new report from the Industrial Communities
Alliance. By the end of 2013, employment in London & the South East was 540,000 higher

than in 2009 but 70,000 lower in industrial areas. In the industrial areas, 40% of the increase
in employment comes from potentially low paid and insecure self-employment.
'Out of the Cold: An Agenda for Warm Homes', a new report from Respublica jointly with Age
UK and others, recommends that tenants should have the right to enforce energy efficiency
standards in the private rented sector. It also calls for the government to adopt more
ambitious targets for upgrading properties connected to the gas grid in the private rented
sector to a minimum standard of Energy Performance Certificate and to make EPC data
available to local authorities and housing providers at no charge to help target energy
efficiency improvement programmes.
A new report from the Public Accounts Committee recommends lengthening the budget
settlements for revenue funding for the maintenance of flood defences, so that the
Environment Agency and others can plan for the longer term. It estimates that five million
properties, or one in six, are at risk of flooding of some kind.
If another 100,000 homes were built a year, it would generate an estimated extra 430,000
jobs, 11.9 billion of economic output, 20,000 affordable homes, 2.7bn for additional
community benefits such as health and open spaces and over 1bn in extra tax revenue,
according to forecasts in a new report form the House builders Federation. Building
Communities, Growing the Economy.
Home buying affordability in UK cities is now, on average, at the same level as in 2009 but
15% lower than the peak in 2008, according to Lloyds Bank Affordable Cities Review. The
average UK city house price has risen by 7% since 2014, with affordability worsening in the
last year from 5.8 to 6.1 times gross average annual earnings.

Cross Cutting
A new report from the House of Lords Constitution Committee on the further devolution
proposals for Scotland expresses deep concern that the UK Government do not appear to
have considered the wider implications for the United Kingdom of the proposals and has
called for more detailed scrutiny of the changes.
This Information Bulletin is produced on a weekly basis as an update for staff at the Joseph Rowntree
Foundation (JRF) and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (JRHT) for the purposes of their work it is
not intended to be comprehensive but represents a selection of news and reports appearing in the
last week. The items contained in this Bulletin are for information only and do not necessarily reflect
the views of the JRF and JRHT.