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Poverty: Ethnic Groups

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN HL6869, tabled on 14 July 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Social Metrics Commission Measuring Poverty 2020, published on 1 July, which suggests that BAME households are more likely to live in poverty.

Answered on

23 July 2020

The Government’s current focus is on supporting people financially during these unprecedented times. Our long-term ambition remains to build an economy that supports employment, ensuring opportunities for all to enter and progress in work where possible, whilst providing a strong welfare safety net for those that need it.

This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of work in tackling poverty now and in the future. Working age adults in households where all adults are in work are six times less likely to be in absolute poverty (after housing costs) than adults in a household where nobody works.

We are also committed to levelling up skills and opportunities across the country. Using latest data from the Race Disparity Audit, and the Department for Work and Pensions’ own analysis, we continue to help those underrepresented in the labour market and are also investing £90 million towards activities that address disparities in youth unemployment.

On 8 July, the Chancellor announced a series of employment support measures, with a particular focus on young people, who we know are two and a half times as likely to work in a sector that has been closed. This includes a new Kickstart Scheme in Great Britain, a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality six-month work placements aimed at those aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment from Autumn this year.

As the economic outlook becomes clearer, we will adapt our offer to ensure we are targeting our support at the right people. We have a flexible and agile package we will continue to tailor our response as we continue to learn more about the impact on different sectors of the economy and different parts of the country.