Greater Manchester Poverty Action are calling for urgent steps to tackle poverty as new analysis reveals already high levels of poverty in Greater Manchester are likely to have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
New analysis of poverty in Greater Manchester launched today reveals that:
620,000 people are living in poverty
,200,000 children live in households with an income below the poverty line
157,000 households are experiencing fuel poverty while around a quarter of a million people are claiming help towards housing costs
Meanwhile 20% of all jobs in Greater Manchester are paid less than the Real Living Wage.
The data, gathered as part of Greater Manchester Poverty Action’s ‘GM Poverty Monitor 2020’, finds signs that already high levels of poverty in the city region are likely to have got worse during the COVID-19 pandemic:
The number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits in Greater Manchester rose by 93% between March and August 2020.
There has been a sharp increase in the number of people claiming Universal Credit in each of the city region’s ten boroughs.
Campaigners are calling for tackling poverty to be put at the heart of the city region’s recovery plan from the pandemic, but say efforts to address poverty locally need to be supported by national policy.
Graham Whitham, Director of Greater Manchester Poverty Action said, “The Poverty Monitor highlights the worrying scale of poverty across our city region. Even before the pandemic, Greater Manchester was home to some of the highest rates of poverty in the country. COVID-19 has hit the poorest communities hardest, and so will the economic fallout. It is vital that tackling poverty is put at the heart of the recovery”.
Graham continued, “Over recent years, local efforts to tackle poverty have been hampered by central government policy, which has increased poverty across the country in recent years. We need action from central government to provide a platform on which we can tackle poverty locally”