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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A new poverty measure shows groups in the United Kingdom that were previously excluded from statistics and introduces the idea of "inescapable costs," a report by the Social Metrics Commission think tank showed.
"This new metric accounts for the negative impact on people’s weekly income of inescapable costs such as childcare and the impact that disability has on people’s needs; and includes the positive impacts of being able to access liquid assets such as savings, to alleviate immediate poverty. The Commission’s metric also takes the first steps to include groups of people previously omitted from poverty statistics, like those living on the streets and those in overcrowded housing," Baroness Philippa Stroud, the commission's chair, said in the report's preface.
The new measure takes into consideration all material resources rather than incomes alone and takes note of "inescapable costs," such as, for example, those associated with disability, that make some families more likely to suffer poverty. The new measure includes the assessment of the families' living conditions, so someone sleeping rough would be considered living in poverty. It also helps to better identify people in poverty in households with a disabled person.
According to the new findings, 14.2 million people in the United Kingdom live in poverty, including "8.4 million working-age adults; 4.5 million children; and 1.4 million pension age adults." Nearly half of the total of the people in poverty, 6.9 million people, live in a family with a disabled person.
The new data indicates that 12.1 percent of the UK population or about 7.7 million people live in persistent poverty.
The research showed that 2.7 million live less than 10 percent below than poverty line, which means that the smallest changes could help them move above that line. At the same time, 2.5 million people are at less than 10 percent above the poverty line, which means that the smallest changes could put them below that line.
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