Responding to the findings of UK Poverty 2024, Interim Chair of the North East Child Poverty Commission, Michele Deans, said:
“This report provides a devastating and detailed insight into the sheer scale and depth of poverty being experienced by people across the UK, and the appalling impact this can have on every aspect of a person’s life.
“It is wholly unacceptable that one in four of all people in the North East are living below the poverty line, and yet this has become an entrenched part of life in our region.
“We cannot and must not accept this level of hardship and inequality – not least when we know we have the powers and resources to do something about it, in what remains one of the largest economies in the world.
“It is way beyond time for all political parties to commit to ensuring every person in our country has the right to live with dignity and can – at the very least – afford life’s essentials. This is the bare minimum we should be seeking to achieve, and yet for hundreds of thousands people in the North East, even that is becoming increasingly beyond reach.”
UK Poverty 2024
UK Poverty 2024 is this year’s edition of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF)’s annual report on the scale and nature of poverty across the country.
It finds that the North East has the second highest overall poverty rate, behind the West Midlands, of anywhere in the UK – with 1 in 4 (c.700,000 – or 25%) of all people in our region living below the poverty line in the years 2019-22.
JRF’s report also highlights that every local authority in the North East had a child poverty rate higher than the UK average, something explored in more detail in our previously-published analysis of the latest child poverty figures which indicate that almost 190,000 (35%) babies, children and young people were growing up below the poverty line in our region in the same period.