2019 in Britain:
500 Burger King’s
over 2,000 Food Banks
2019 in Britain:
500 Burger King’s
over 2,000 Food Banks
A VOTE FOR ANYONE OTHER THAN CLAIRE WRIGHT IN EAST DEVON MEANS YOU HANDED YOUR VOTE TO CONSERVATIVES WHICHEVER PARTY YOU VOTED FOR – ONLY CLARE WRIGHT CAN DEFEAT THEM – VOTE TACTICALLY UF YOU DO NOT WANT JUPP TO RETAIN SWIRE’S SEAT
It’s what people voted for when they voted Conservative for continued austerity.
“A quarter of Devon’s children are living in poverty once housing costs taken into account.
More than 35,000 children in Devon are living in poverty once housing costs are taken into account, councillors have heard.
A Children’s Services Self-Assessment went before Devon County Council’s Children’s Scrutiny Committee last Monday which provided an up-to-date evaluation of the needs of children and families in Devon.
The report outlined how 14 per cent of the local authority’s children are living in poverty (before housing costs), but that rises to 25 per cent (after housing costs) are taking into account.
More than 10 per cent of children are entitled to free school meals, the report added, and also says that 41,000 households in the county are affected by fuel poverty.
Cllr Rob Hannaford, chairman of the Children’s Scrutiny Committee, said that the figures were shocking and in many areas, including Devon, growing up in poverty is not the exception but the rule.
Commenting on the report after the meeting, he said: “These local figures for child poverty in Devon are truly shocking, and it’s completely unacceptable and wrong in 2019, in one of the richest countries in the world, that we are still dealing with this most basic of issues affecting so many children.
“Large numbers of people seem to just wrongly assume that because we live a beautiful part of the country, that we don’t experience the same serious social problems that other areas do. These new figures again show in stark reality that this is just not the case, and much of our poverty and hardship is hidden by the affluence that some others have.”
Cllr Hannaford added: “Thousands more families across Devon, are living on the cusp of the poverty line. One unexpected setback – like redundancy or illness – could push them into the poverty trap.
“Overall there are more than four million children in the UK growing up in poverty. The situation is getting worse, with the number set to rise to five million by 2020. And those poverty rates have risen for every type of working family – lone-parent or couple families, families with full and part-time employment and families with different numbers of adults in work. This is the first time in two decades this has happened, and incredibly it is happening at a time of rising employment, and these figures in Devon are in line with these trends.
“But the evidence is clear – poverty can make existing vulnerabilities worse. Growing up in poverty puts at risk the building blocks of a good childhood – secure relationships, a decent home, having friends and fun, and an inspiring education.
“A child is said to be living in poverty when they are living in a family with an income below 60 per cent of the UK’s average after adjusting for family size. So it’s just not acceptable that some people still seem to trot out the same old tired response that no one is really in poverty these days, and it’s like Victorian times or the 1930s, such as when children didn’t have shoes on their feet.
“My grandparents were brought up in near slum conditions, and at times they also did not have proper shoes, and went hungry, are we really seriously saying that we want to inflict all this misery and hardship on children today?”
He continued: “Clearly the biggest driver for children’s poverty nationally and locally is the profound lack of social, affordable, decent housing. The figures are stark. 120,000 children in England are living in temporary accommodation. There are also 90,000 children living in families who are ‘sofa-surfing’. And of course this accommodation is usually terrible.
What is poverty in the UK?
“B&Bs where sometimes the bathroom is shared and there is nowhere to cook. Places where vulnerable adults can be living on the same corridor. Office block conversions – individual flats the size of a parking space, where families live and sleep in the same single room. And even converted shipping containers – cramped and airless – hot in the summer, freezing in the winter. This is a reality that shames the whole nation.
“Rising living costs, low wages and cuts to benefits are creating a perfect storm in which more children are falling into the poverty trap. Shockingly, two thirds of children living in poverty have at least one parent in work. Many families are struggling to cope with the rising cost of living. The prices of essentials like food and fuel are going up and this hits Britain’s poorest families hardest. We know that parents are skipping meals so they can afford to feed their children, and in winter many families are forced to make the impossible choice of feeding their children or heating their homes.
“So we know what actually causes child poverty and we know how to end it. We know that the income of less well-off families has been hit by severe real-terms cuts in benefits and by higher housing costs. And we know that work does not always guarantee a route out of poverty, with two thirds of child poverty occurring in working families.
“Yet in many areas, including Devon, growing up in poverty is not the exception, it’s the rule, with more children expected to get swept up in poverty in the coming years, with serious consequences for their life chances. Policy makers can no longer deny the depth and breadth of the problem, and the Government must respond with a credible long term child poverty reduction strategy.”
The report revealed that in primary schools, 10.9 per cent of pupils are entitled to free schools meals, and 10 per cent in secondary schools, but Cllr Hannaford feared that the numbers were in reality much higher.
He added: “The percentage is shocking, but there is a feeling in rural areas that it may be more as there is a stigma about people and they don’t claim it so they don’t have the finger pointed at in the local community.”
Cllr Margaret Squires, who represents the Creedy, Taw & Mid Exe ward, added her concerns to those of Cllr Hannaford.
She said: “A headteacher who had moved down here from London said to me the deprivation they see is different. Down here, people don’t want others to know they have free school meals, so they are working every hour they can. But it means that the children are missing out as the parents are so tired, they haven’t got the time to sit and listen to them read.
“I my area, we are virtually fully employed, but some of them work two jobs so they can live in the area, and to survive, they are working all these hours, but it not recorded as deprivation as they don’t have time to sit and read with their children.”
The figures in the report showed at as of September 1, 2019, 771 children were being looked after by the council – a rate of 54.8 per 10,000 children – an increase from 750 – 52.2 per 10,000 children – at March 31.
At September 1, 2019, 3,219 children had been identified through assessment as being formally in need of a specialist children’s service, an increase from 3,318 in March 2019, but the number of children subject of a child protection plan had decreased from 518 to 505 between March and September.
The report also said that there were 25 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the area, and that eight children and young people who turned 18 years old and who were in the care of the local authority were living in unsuitable accommodation during 2018-19.
Cllr Linda Hellyer questioned what the council was doing about it, why they were unsuitable, and what have we done to get them somewhere better.
In response, Darryl Freeman, Head of Children’s Social Care, explained that the definition of unsuitable included prison, where two of the eight were in custody. He added that the council will continue to work with them, assuming they allow them to remain in touch, and to ensure that they have choices once they leave custody.
The report also added that the top three risks for the future were increase in demand, across all services, recruitment and retention, particularly of experienced social workers, and sufficiency of provision for special needs children and placements for Children in Care.
The council also earlier this year adopted a new Children and Young People’s Plan, which is the single plan to co-ordinate developments for the next three years
Each priority in the plan has a detailed strategy/ action plan below it with a multi-agency group led by a senior manager from the partnership.
The self-assessment report was noted by the committee.
“A series of government ads extolling the virtues of universal credit and purporting to bust negative myths about the flagship Conservative welfare policy has been banned because it is “misleading”.
In an embarrassing indictment of the policy before next month’s general election, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found that a claim that people moved into work faster on universal credit (UC) than under the old system could not be substantiated.
Two other claims – that jobcentres will pay an advance to people who need it and that rent can be paid directly to landlords under UC – were also found to be unsubstantiated.
The adverts, part of a £225,000 Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) campaign to detoxify UC, appeared in print in the Metro newspaper and on its website, as well as on the MailOnline, in May and June.
They attracted 44 complaints, including from the Motor Neurone Disease Association, the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) and the anti-poverty charity Zacchaeus 2000 Trust (Z2K), who have called for the DWP to apologise in light of the ASA ruling.
The Z2K chief executive, Raji Hunjan, also demanded an investigation into working practices at the department.
“If it has misled the public on UC, its flagship policy, what else is it misleading us on?” Hunjan said. “The next government must engage with the compelling evidence that points to the harm UC is causing, leaving many people reliant on food banks and others destitute. Enough is enough.” …”
And remember – you can’t just turn up at a foid bank: you have to be referred by a doctor, social worker and the like. And many recipients are from working families.
“The number of people using food banks in Devon has hit a record high, and Universal Credit has been blamed for contributing to the problem.
Figures provided by the Trussell Trust, a charity that works to end the need for food banks in the UK, more than 24,000 emergency food parcels were issued to people in need across our county in 2018/19.
One in three of these food parcels, or 8,242, was for a child.
Campaigners say “enough is enough” and warned Universal Credit is adding to the huge numbers of people who don’t have enough money to “cover the basics” such as food. …”
“The top 1% of high earners in the UK have enjoyed a 7.6% real terms pay increase over the last two years, while the average worker’s pay rose by just 2p an hour.
A TUC analysis of government hourly pay data between 2016 and 2018 shows thatpay among the very top earners increased at a faster rate than any other group.
People in the top bracket saw their pay increase by an average of 7.6% from £58.73 in 2016 to £63.18 in 2018, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) annual survey of hours and earnings. Over the same period, the real terms pay of average workers rose by just 0.1% or 2p to from £12.71 to £12.73.
The TUC said that average pay in real terms, when adjusted for inflation, was still worth less in real terms than before the financial crisis continuing the biggest squeeze on wages since the end of the Napoleonic Wars.
Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, warned that the gap between the richest and everyone else will continue to widen under the prime minister, Boris Johnson’s planned tax cut for high earners, which will cost the Treasury £9.6bn a year, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).
“While millions struggle with Britain’s cost of living crisis, pay for those at top is back in the fast lane,” O’Grady said. “We need an economy that works for everyone, not just the richest 1%. Boris Johnson’s promised tax giveaway to high earners would only make things worse. The prime minister is focused on helping his wealthy mates and donors, not working people.” …
“The number of families at risk of becoming homeless has risen by more than 10 per cent as councils struggle to support people living in overcrowded accommodation or facing eviction.
In the first three months of this year 70,430 households were judged to be on the brink of being made homeless, up from 63,620 in the previous quarter, the latest figures showed.
Local authorities have placed 84,740 families and couples in temporary housing, including 126,020 children, the highest figure in a decade.
A report last month by Anne Longfield, the children’s commissioner for England, showed that thousands of children were living in converted shipping containers and office blocks after being classed as homeless.
Yesterday’s figures were published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government a year after rules came into effect requiring councils to do more to prevent people from becoming homeless. It doubled to 56 days the period over which they must assess a person’s risk.
The most common reason for people becoming homeless, affecting 18,150 households, was family or friends no longer being willing to provide temporary shelter. The second most frequent cause was the termination of a shorthold tenancy by the landlord, which applied in 14,700 cases.
Kate Henderson, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations, said more homes should be built for rent by people on low incomes rather than for better-off private buyers.
“It is unacceptable that the number of families living in temporary accommodation has been allowed to reach an eight-year high with no real action to tackle the root of the problem,” she said.
David Renard, the Local Government Association’s housing spokesman and Conservative leader of Swindon borough council, welcomed extra funds announced in the budget to support homeless people but said that long-term funding was needed.
“A lack of affordable housing has left many councils struggling to cope with a rising number of people coming to them for help and are having to place more families and households into temporary and emergency accommodation as a result,” he said.
Luke Hall, a housing minister, said the Homelessness Reduction Act, which came in last year, was “helping people earlier so they are not having to experience homelessness in the first place”. He said the latest figures showed that progress was being made. “There is still more to do, though, which is why we have committed a record investment to ending homelessness and rough sleeping for good.”
The government published a separate report which showed that the number of vulnerable people sleeping rough had fallen by one third.”
Source: Times (pay wall)
Overview will discuss Councillor Mike Allen’s report:
” … The report proposes that the East Devon District Council should have two basic aims – no one in East Devon is destitute without immediate help, and nobody is in poverty for more than two years duration.
To achieve this, the council should try and boost incomes and reduce relative housing costs, work with partners to deliver an effective benefit system, deliver actions with Business and Public Sector to improve education standards, raise skills and improve work placements, strengthen families and communities to help those at risk of poverty and promote long-term economic growth to reduce dependency on agriculture, tourism and catering industries, the report says. …”
Owl just more than a bit annoyed that his party’s austerity cuts caused most of these problems in the first place! And that now, pre-general election, there seems to be a magic money tree after all … maybe.
“Legal school meal nutrition standards may need to be amended, or discarded, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to internal local council planning documents seen by the BBC.
The standards are designed to make sure school children are fed healthy food.
Many councils say school meal costs will rise and funding for free school meals increase if there is no-deal.
The government said the food industry was “well versed at dealing with scenarios that can affect food supply.”
“We have a highly-resilient food supply chain and consumers in the UK have access to a range of sources of food. This will continue to be the case when we leave the EU.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted earlier on Monday that no-deal Brexit preparations are on track.
Some councils are anticipating they will not meet nutrition standards because of a rise in food prices and restriction of choice anticipated after a no-deal Brexit, particularly on fresh imports from Europe.
For example, North Ayrshire Council says it “might need to amend school nutrition standards”, in its internal Brexit planning document.
Local councils are legally obliged to provide high standard food to vulnerable users of public services and to manage the food supply challenges of leaving the EU without a deal.
Other councils, such as North Tyneside, report that “special dietary requirements may be difficult to meet” and that “if fresh produce is difficult to come by” schools should “increase use of tins and frozen goods”.
Many councils say that prices for school meals will rise, and central government funding for free school meals will have to increase.
Some also mention the possible use of food banks. Slough has contacted food banks in its area to check contingency plans for food shortages, and some Scottish councils have already increased funding for extra provision from food banks.
Bedford Council’s planning document from its internal Brexit planning team says care homes are “advised to hold four to six weeks supply of non-perishable foodstuffs”.
Hastings Council’s internal Brexit risk document even goes as far as saying: “There might be the need for rationing. The severity would depend on what was available and particularly the duration of any shortages.”
Insiders suggest this is a reference to the prevention of stockpiling, more than a return to wartime ration books.
The documents seen by the BBC date from the end of last year – up until last month – but predate the appointment of Boris Johnson as prime minister.
Most take at face value the government’s national assessment for March that there will be no impact of a no-deal Brexit on overall food supply, but there could be an impact on price and choice.
An October no-deal Brexit would come, however, at a time when the UK is particularly dependent on European imports for its fresh food, and when there is little to no excess warehousing space, unlike in March.
One catering industry veteran, Andy Jones, the chair of the Public Sector 100 Group of caterers, backed the councils: “Given a no-deal Brexit, they’re being very sensible. They’re being very cautious, and rightly so, we’re going into something that we don’t know about, we’re going to the unknown.
“If a no-deal Brexit happens, I feel that the supply chain long term will absolutely be under pressure. And that will affect the most vulnerable in society. …”
Record number of patients admitted to hospital with malnutrition:
UK poverty of elderly worst in western Europe:
Children so poor they eat toilet paper:
The average house price in East Devon is £295,208 (Zoopla).
“Nearly 400 people struggling with their housing costs had to be helped out by East Devon District Council last year, to the tune of £223,400.
A spokeswoman for East Devon District Council said:
“We have helped around 287 customers who claimed housing benefit and 93 customers who were in receipt of Universal Credit housing costs.
“All awards were made to customers in difficulties, whether it was due to the benefit cap, removal of the spare room subsidy, LHA restrictions, in debt, struggling on a low income due to the welfare reforms, or a combination of those mentioned and other circumstances too.
“The awards have been to single people, couples, single parents, families, working-age or pensioners, with or without disability.
“Each customer’s circumstances are looked at on an individual basis.”
The amount spent on Discretionary Housing Payments in East Devon has increased by 23 per cent since they were introduced in 2013-14.
Last year the amount paid out exceeded the Government allocation of funding by £19,000, meaning East Devon had to use money from its benefits budget.
The chief executive of Shelter, Polly Neate, has criticised the system.
“Discretionary Housing Payments are vital in many cases and can be the difference between people losing their home or not, but they shouldn’t be a replacement for a fit-for-purpose welfare system,” she said.
“These payments shouldn’t be needed in the first place – they’re simply a quick fix to structural problems,” she said.
“To solve the underlying crisis for good, the Government must commit to building 3.1 million social homes in the next 20 years, as well as making sure housing benefit is enough to actually cover rents.”
A DWP spokeswoman said the Government spent £23 billion a year helping people in the UK with their housing costs.”
“One in eight children live in poverty in Devon – and one in three in parts of Barnstaple.
The startling figures are revealed as part of a new Devon County Council strategy to create “Healthy and Happy Communities” in the county.
The strategy aims to address health and wellbeing challenges that the county faces and to address the considerable inequalities in health and poverty.
It states that there have been recent increases in child poverty and more people are accessing emergency food supplies, and that one in eight children (12.5%) are in poverty.
However in the Forches area of Barnstaple, one in three children are in poverty, compared to just 1.1% of children in the Teignmouth Road area of Dawlish.
Fuel poverty rates also fluctuate dramatically, with 27.9% of people living in Mount Pleasant in Exeter facing it, compared to just 3.6% in Douglas Avenue in Exmouth.
Life expectancy in Ilfracombe Central is just 75 years, compared to 90 in Liverton. While in Sidwell Street in Exeter, 8.2 per cent of 16-64 year-olds have a long term health issue, compared to just 0.8 per cent in Widecombe-in-the-Moor.
About 800,000 people live in Devon.
A consultation on the draft Devon Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy for 2020 to 2025, runs until 5 September.
The final version of the strategy is due to go to the Health and Wellbeing Board in October for approval.”
“More than 4 million people in the UK are trapped in deep poverty, meaning their income is at least 50% below the official breadline, locking them into a weekly struggle to afford the most basic living essentials, an independent study has shown.
The Social Metrics Commission also said 7 million people, including 2.3 million children, were affected by what it termed persistent poverty, meaning that they were not only in poverty but had been for at least two of the previous three years.
Highlighting evidence of rising levels of hardship in recent years among children, larger families, lone parent households and pensioners, the commission urged the new prime minister, Boris Johnson, to take urgent action to tackle growing poverty.
The commission’s chair, Philippa Stroud, a Conservative peer, said there was a pressing need for a concerted approach to the problem. “It is time to look again at our approach to children, and to invest in our children as the future of our nation,” she said.
Campaigners said the commission showed austerity had undermined two decades of anti-poverty policy. “By cutting £40bn a year from our work and pensions budget through cuts and freezes to tax credits and benefits, the government has put progress into reverse,” said Alison Garnham, the chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group.
The commission’s membership is drawn from experts across the political spectrum, and includes representatives from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Office of the Children’s Commissioner. It was set up in 2016 to develop a new way of measuring poverty.
It found that of 14.3 million in the UK in poverty, 4.5 million were in deep poverty – a third of all those on the breadline, and 7% of the population. In cash terms this means a couple with two children would have an income of less than £211 a week after housing costs, and a single parent with one child would be on less than £101.50 a week. …”
“More than £3.5m intended to alleviate child poverty and homelessness is at risk of being wasted because the government has failed to spend it, says a House of Lords committee.
Peers have written to the Home Office saying it is “extraordinary” that the EU funding has not been used.
They warn that some of the cash has already been forfeited and are worried about the rest being handed back.
The government said there had been “barriers” over spending the money.
But peers have written to complain that after almost six years, the government has failed to deliver spending aimed at addressing “the worst forms of poverty”.
About £580,000 of unspent cash has so far been taken back – and a further similar amount is at risk of being deducted at the end of the year. …”
“Some schools are deliberately pricing school uniforms beyond the means of poorer families so “only posh kids go there”, MPs have been told.
Emma Hardy, the Labour MP for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle, has written to the education secretary, Damian Hinds, asking him to tell schools to stop forcing parents to buy branded school uniforms.
She said that academies in particular were “emulating grammar schools and private schools” in prescribing prohibitively expensive uniforms – including branded blazers and even socks.
She had also been told that some academies deliberately chose expensive suppliers in order to put off parents of lesser means, and that some schools received a cut from suppliers given the exclusive contract for their uniforms.
“People have told me confidentially that schools get money from suppliers,” said Hardy. …
A survey from the Children’s Society last year found families were shelling out more on school uniforms with an average of £340 per year for each child at secondary school – an increase of 7% or £24 since 2015. Parents of primary school children spent on average £255, an increase of 2% since 2015.
The research found nearly one in six families said school uniform costs were to blame for them having to cut back on food and other basic essentials compared to one in seven in 2015.
In England, local authorities and academy trusts may choose to provide school clothing grants or to help with the cost of school clothing in cases of financial hardship.
In Wales, a Pupil Development Grant can provide £125 to buy school uniform, equipment, sports kit and kit for activities outside of school. In Scotland, parents may be able to get financial help with their child’s school clothing and shoes through a school clothing grant, available from local councils.”
“A new report has found that Devon County Council to be one of the lowest spenders on adult social care.
Most adult social care spending in England is paid for by local councils.
The report, commissioned by the Salvation Army, examined nationwide social care spending of rural and urban councils and concluded that Devon was among the worst.
The charity calculated the “spending potential” for over-65s with a disability of every local council and unitary authority.
In Devon, the theoretical per person spending was approximately £6,900, a fraction of the £32,000 that Lambeth Council in London can spend.”
“Britain’s aristocrats have enjoyed a dramatic surge in their wealth in the last 30 years – and have seen their riches double in the last decade.
A hereditary title is now worth an average of more than £16m – nearly twice the value it stood at prior to the 2007 financial crisis, i can reveal.
Their fortunes contrast starkly with the decade experienced by the vast majority of Britons where overall productivity has stagnated and inflation-adjusted wages remain stuck at 2005 levels. Since the Thatcher era, the value of a hereditary title has also increased four-fold. …”
Britain’s 600 aristocratic families have doubled their wealth in the last decade and are as ‘wealthy as at the height of Empire’
“More than 600,000 members of so-called ‘Generation Rent’ are facing an “inevitable catastrophe” of homelessness when they retire, according to the first government inquiry into what will happen to millennials in the UK who have been unable to get on the housing ladder as they age.
People’s incomes typically halve after retirement. Those in the private rented sector who pay 40% of their earnings in rent could be forced to spend up to 80% of their income on rent in retirement.
If rents rise at the same rate as earnings, the inquiry found that 52% of pensioners in the private rental sector will be paying more than 40% of their income on rent by 2038. This will mean that at least 630,000 millennials are unable to afford their rent.
They will find themselves homeless or with no choice but to move into temporary accommodation, at the state’s expense, according to the report by the all-party parliamentary group on housing and care for older people.
“The number of households in the private rented sector headed by someone aged over 64 will more than treble over the next 25 to 30 years,” said Richard Best, the chair of the group. “But unless at least 21,000 suitable homes are built a year, there will be nowhere affordable for them to live. The consequence is bound to be homelessness for some.”
The report also forecasts that, in terms of quality of accommodation, the number of older households living in unfit and unsuitable private rented accommodation could leap from about 56,000 to 188,000 in 20 years’ time and to 236,500 in 30 years’ time. And it warns that the UK is headed towards an ‘inevitable catastrophe for the pensioners of tomorrow”.
Substandard housing is already known to be a direct cause of death for many older people: at least 53,000 winter deaths of old people over the last five years have been attributed to conditions related to living in a cold home.
While retired people in social housing are more likely to live in affordable, decent homes, the report – Rental Housing for an Ageing Population – says there is not nearly enough of this housing even now.
“We see the likelihood of a significant shortfall in the available places within the current stock since, at present, few retirement schemes are being created,” said Lord Best. …”
“Food bank usage is expected to rise again when schools break up this summer, a charity has said.
The Trussell Trust has said it fears UK food banks will experience their busiest ever summer in 2019.
A huge 87,496 food parcels went to children in the UK in summer 2018 – a 20% increase on the previous summer, and the charity expects this trend to continue.
The trust said that more than a third of all emergency food parcels distributed by food banks in the its network go to children, and that extra holiday-time financial pressure placed on families who are entitled to free school meals during term time would fuel the rise.
The total number of food parcels handed out to children and adults between 1 July and 31 August last year was 240,000. The areas that received the most food packages in 2018 were the North West (24,000), London (17,000) and East of England (16,000).
To combat UK hunger, the charity is calling for the government to end the five-week wait for universal credit payments.
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “Food banks will do all they can to help families over the summer, with many running holiday clubs to support parents who find that their income simply won’t stretch to meet the extra pressure of missing free school meals or paying for additional childcare during the holidays.
“But no charity can replace the dignity of having enough money for the basics.”
Revie called on the government to ensure that benefits reflected the true cost of living and that work is secure and pays the real Living Wage. …”