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Greater Manchester's Poverty Challenge

Stark figures reveal the mess we're in

Published on January 16th 2013.


Greater Manchester's Poverty Challenge
THE Greater Manchester Poverty Commission has reported on its findings.

The Commission was made up various agencies around the region including the Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation, Church Action on Poverty and The Diocese of Manchester. 

It's research partner was Centre for Local Economic Strategies.

Confidential will be interviewing the chief executive of the latter body, Neil McInroy, in the coming days to get a more profound insight in to what are extremely disturbing findings.

Key Findings:

- Over one in five residents live in the 10% most deprived areas nationally.

- Almost 270,000 residents are workless with incomes dependent on state benefits.

- An estimated 137,000 residents are in work but earn less than a Living Wage.

- It is estimated that 91,000 children live in severe poverty.

- 20% of households (over 220,100) are considered to be experiencing fuel poverty.

- 307,500 families are in receipt of tax credits with 502,300 children benefiting from tax credit support.

    The Commission was led by The Bishop of Manchester, The Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch (pictured above), who revealed the terrible toll of food, fuel and financial poverty across almost 600,000 out of Greater Manchester's 2.6m people.

    The findings mean that it's not only the unemployed and infirm who find themselves trapped in poverty but people with jobs, sometimes more than one job, as well.

    With the politicians, both local and national, the bishop says, he wants the report, its compilers, and the broader population to be an "irritant, a stone in the shoe, reminding the politicians of their responsibilities".

    "Any society which forgets to care for the poor is a poor society," said the Bishop.

    Poverty commissionPoverty commission

    In order to improve the situation for tens of thousands across the region the report recommended the following.

    The recommendations

    1. Promote initiatives designed to reduce energy bills across Greater Manchester.

    2. Increase access to affordable finance and financial support services to improve financial literacy.

    3. Create a coordinated and sustainable approach to tackling food poverty.

    4. Increase access to affordable fresh fruit and vegetables.

    5. Explore ways of providing transport for residents in poverty.

    6. Reduce digital exclusion by providing subsidised broadband and increasing provision of free ICT literacy learning.

    7. Review the supply and demand of free legal advice services in Greater Manchester.

    8. Improve the availability of quality childcare provision across the sub-region.

    9. All public services in Greater Manchester should be 'poverty proofed'.

    10. Improve the planning and coordination of voluntary sector service to tackle poverty.

    11. Develop a Greater Manchester Living Wage campaign.

    12. Build upon and maximise the Greater Manchester City Deal to increase the benefits disadvantaged communities experience from economic growth.

    13. Ensure all strategies within the sub-region designed to promote growth also have realistic plans for addressing poverty.

    14. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority should take forward the work of the Greater Manchester Poverty Commission by establishing a Poverty Action Group.

    15. Develop a neighbourhood level Greater Manchester Poverty Index.

    16. Join forces with the Fairness Commissions in Liverpool, York Newcastle and London to campaign and lobby on common issues.

    Poverty commissionPoverty commission

    Poverty commissionPoverty commission

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    13 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

    Steve5839January 16th 2013.

    I have deep sympathy for those who cannot find work, but feel that various issues are never addressed:

    1: in certain families no one has worked for 2 - 3 generations, so benefits are a low income problem?

    2: Cash business' taxis, restaurants and corner shops are exempt from tax? My local taxi driver has never paid tax or so he says.

    3: Dont give people access to a raw potato - they cannot cook it, you will need give them cooking tuition as well - what does that say?

    DavidJanuary 16th 2013.

    Why do the low paid need a living wage?.I would suggest its because the wage levels of the low paid in this city have been suppressed by Labour.Who deliberately for electoral reasons allowed a huge influx of foreign workers into this country.You only have to compare the wage levels to Australia where there has been much stricter immigration controls and wage levels in similar jobs are much higher.
    Of course the Bishop and the other left leaning people on this commission won't recognise this.They claim to care about the interests of the low paid,but they don't really.

    Duke FameJanuary 16th 2013.

    11. Develop a Greater Manchester Living Wage campaign.
    - for the economically illiterate, this may seem a good idea, instead it creates unemployment, drives up cost and inflation.

    4. Increase access to affordable fresh fruit and vegetables. - jeez, in season it's next to nothing for an apple, orange, cabbage, carrots, sprouts etc

    Frankly, the church with it's imaginary friends and the real world do not mix

    Tim EvansJanuary 17th 2013.

    Hmmm, Labour allow a huge number of people in for electoral reasons do they? Where is your evidence for that David? And for the fact that "left leaning" people don't care about the poor- it is only due to Trade Unions and left wing parties that the poor ever got a "living wage", health care, education etc. The left actually got off their arses to help the poor, the right wing never did- they just provided workhouses and church charity, and divided the poor into "deserving" and "undeserving". Your comment is probably the most half witted load of old rubbish I have read for a long time-the sort of utter crap that used to be published in Viz Comic for a joke.

    2 Responses: Reply To This...
    Duke FameJanuary 17th 2013.

    I think the point here is that the left are demanding an increased min living wage (13 yrs and didn't think it was a good idea) but it has negetive effects, it actually forces low paid into unemployment and poverty.

    The silly name calling in your post does not help.

    DavidJanuary 17th 2013.

    It's quite obvious that Labour under Blair deliberately increased immigration both from outside the E U and within.Of course this was based on the assumption that this would increase the Labour vote.As these people would naturally have gratitude for the opportunity Labour offered them.This allowed Labour to compensate for the decline in the size of the working class vote.

    Duke FameJanuary 17th 2013.

    For me David. I'd have open borders but not offer benefits to those coming in and reduce benefits for those who would perhaps claim to be entitled to help

    John WrightJanuary 17th 2013.

    Anyone can come in, deposit £1million and walk right in.
    Otherwise come in and sign up to receiving no benefits and hospital treatment for 10 years.
    Support the people who have paid the civil servants who freely spend our taxes and allow benefits for their own gains.

    Simon TurnerJanuary 18th 2013.

    John, would the same be true of the 700,000 British people who've moved to Spain? The 200,00 Brits in France? You reckon if they fall in within 10 years of moving they should be denied hospital treatment?

    1 Response: Reply To This...
    DavidJanuary 18th 2013.

    Those expats are almost entirely retired.They are are mostly not taking low wage jobs in Spain.
    They have paid for their pensions,they are not a burden on Spanish state,they should be allowed to live there.Its not the same As E U workers coming here and taking lots of low paid jobs.Before long Manchester will be like London,where you will be lucky to be served by an English
    person.

    AnonymousJanuary 18th 2013.

    If we leave the EU, I hope they deport all the ex-pats currently living in Costa Del wherever.

    1 Response: Reply To This...
    DavidJanuary 18th 2013.

    Be careful what you wish for,if that happened there would be a massive increase in the amount of elderly people coming back here,who tend to be users of health and other care services.That would increase costs greatly.
    Of course you prefer to rubbish these people,just because in their retirement
    they choose to move somewhere warm.Typical deluded bitter socialist.

    Duke FameJanuary 18th 2013.

    The recommendations are not thought through are they:

    1. Energy bills? - eh? Go compare etc etc just swithc taffifs

    2. Affordable finance? - Do these people not know what started the financial crisis? Sub Prime is not such a good idea.

    3. Food poverty? Food is as cheap as it's ever been.

    4. fruit and vegetables? See 3. - very cheap.

    5. Explore ways of providing transport for residents in poverty - some sort of combination of bus, bike or legs would be in order.

    6. Reduce digital exclusion: Why, we need people to get out and look for work, not spend all day surfing for porn.

    7. free legal advice - Why?

    8. Improve the availability of quality childcare provision across the sub-region. - let's start with birth control.

    9. All public services in Greater Manchester should be 'poverty proofed'. - what does that really mean.

    10. Improve the planning and coordination of voluntary sector service to tackle poverty. - try self responsibility

    11. Develop a Greater Manchester Living Wage campaign. - NO, raising min wage will create unemployment and reduce the ability of people to work out of poverty. Remove min wage & EU hours restriction.

    12. Build the Greater Manchester City Deal - What economic growth? Better to help businesses grow & pull people out of poverty.

    13. just wibble

    14. see 13

    15. Develop a neighbourhood level Greater Manchester Poverty Index. - eh? what good will that do?

    16. Join forces with the Fairness Commissions in Liverpool, York Newcastle and London to campaign and lobby on common issues. - why not look at successful areas 7 replicate what they do?

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