In Brief

Nearly a quarter of Wales's population 'living in poverty'

Around 700,000 people live in households where income is less than 60 per cent of average, says report

gettyimages-489821358.jpg

Nearly a quarter of people in Wales are "struggling to make ends meet" and living below the poverty line, a new study says.

The report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Bevan Foundation, a Welsh think-tank, suggests poverty is costing the country around £3.6bn a year through additional public spending on health, education, social care and police and criminal justice services.

That amount equates to a fifth of the Welsh government's annual budget and £1,150 for every person living in Wales.

In the three years to 2014-15, an average of 700,000 people, equal to 23 per cent of the population, were in poverty, defined as having a household income less than 60 per cent of the nationwide median.

Compared with a decade ago, there are fewer children and pensioners living below this level, says The Guardian, but more people of working age now meet the definition.

One factor is the rise in underemployment in the region, with 17 per cent of part-time workers wanting to work more hours but unable to do so.

The report "raises concern the crisis may grow when the UK leaves the EU because of the funding Wales receives from Brussels".

The two foundations provide a series of suggestions for alleviating the problem, including creating an enterprise zone covering the whole of the south Wales valleys.

The Labour-controlled Welsh government says it is working hard to address poverty.

Nationalists Plaid Cymru claim the findings show the UK government's austerity measures are not working. They say the report should be a wake-up call for the political establishment in Cardiff and London.

Recommended

Royal Mint unveils largest ever coin - a 10kg solid gold beast
Royal Mint has unveiled the largest coin in its 1,100-year history
Business Briefing

Royal Mint unveils largest ever coin - a 10kg solid gold beast

1,500 homes to be created from empty offices in City of London
A general view over the London skyline and the Square Mile
Business Briefing

1,500 homes to be created from empty offices in City of London

Autumn holiday bookings surge amid summer uncertainty
The Greek island of Rhodes is a popular tourist destination in autumn
Business Briefing

Autumn holiday bookings surge amid summer uncertainty

Why inflation might surge after the Covid pandemic
Pound coins and bank note
Expert’s view

Why inflation might surge after the Covid pandemic

Popular articles

London mayoral race 2021: who will win?
Night Tube Sadiq Khan
In Depth

London mayoral race 2021: who will win?

UK elections: why the results matter and who is tipped to win
Boris Johnson in Hartlepool
Getting to grips with . . .

UK elections: why the results matter and who is tipped to win

Laurence Fox to Count Binface: the most colourful London mayor candidates
Count Binface
Behind the scenes

Laurence Fox to Count Binface: the most colourful London mayor candidates