Counting the cost of UK poverty

Part of the case for investing in programmes to reduce poverty is that it produces huge costs not just to those who experience it but to taxpayers who foot the bill for some of the consequences of poverty to society. In areas where poverty is high, public spending on things like health care, children's social services and criminal justice is increased. Moreover, people who have experienced poverty, especially in childhood, face disadvantages that reduce their chance of being in work and reduce their projected earnings when they do work, which means the Exchequer brings in less in taxes and pays out more in benefits. Counting these costs is not easy, but this report gives an estimate to illustrate that poverty costs the Exchequer huge amounts of money - amounting to £78 billion a year, or around four per cent of GDP.

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