London, February 24 (RHC)-- A new study reveals that 20 million people are living in poverty in the United Kingdom. The situation has been exposed in a new book called “Breadline Britain,” which shows poverty has doubled since 1983, and is set to get worse over the next five years.
The authors, economist Stewart Lansley and academic Joanna Mack, carried out the largest ever survey of poverty in the UK. Their findings paint a shocking picture of modern Britain. Thousands of face-to-face interviews reveal the desperate state in which many families live.
One in three Britons is below an internationally accepted minimum living standard devised by the authors. Three and a half million adults go hungry so they can feed their children. One in five children is in a house that is cold and damp and one in ten lacks warm clothes, the Daily Mirror reported.
Now Rodney Shakespeare, professor of Binary Economics, believes the free market system in the West is to blame. “The answer is very, very simple. What is called the free market is not free, it is corrupt and inefficient and that has become completely and absolute apparent over the last ten years. We are on the verge of another downward collapse in the system because the system has built up unrepayable debt. The debt levels in country after country are much greater than they were in 2008.”
“Breadline Britain” shows that gas and electricity prices have doubled over the last decade. Meanwhile, average wages have fallen over the same period. The knock-on effects mean 21% of people are living in debt and a third of people are unable to save any money at all.
The authors warn the situation is set to become worse as benefit cuts introduced in 2013 push more people into poverty. Recently updated government statistics from the 2012-2013 tax year also show that nearly 80% of self-employed people in the UK are living in poverty.
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