Half a million more people including children are living in poverty, as the number of low-income households reaches a record high. Data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) estimated that the number of people living in a relative low-income household after housing costs had risen to 4.5 million in 2018/19 from four million the year before.
It is the highest number of people living in poverty in the UK since figures were collated in 2002. This includes an increasing number of children estimated to be living below the poverty line – which increased by 100,000 from 4.1 million to 4.2 million in the same time period.
Charities have warned that the coronavirus crisis could worsen the situation for many families, and push many more over the poverty line. With more than 500,000 people said to have applied for Universal Credit in just nine days, the charity Save the Children said more families will be left with little or no money during the five-week wait while their claims are processed.