Report finds 1.5 million people in the UK faced destitution last year.

Angela Crawley MP has said the UK government must wake up to their failed austerity agenda as a report finds over 1.5 million people in the UK experienced destitution last year.

According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 1.5 million people, including 365,000 children, were pushed into destitution last year alone. It was largely due to debt recovery at the hands of authorities and delays or sanctions on benefit payments.

Destitution is defined as when a person has been forced to go without essentials such as shelter, food, heating, lighting, clothing and footwear, or toiletries in the last month, or if an adult’s income is below £70 week.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is calling for the redesign of the UK’s social security system following the study conducted by Heriot-Watt University.

Commenting, Angela said:

“This Joseph Rowntree Report makes for grim reading – the UK government must wake up to the reality of their callous austerity agenda.

“As this report highlights, we need a complete redesign of the social security system to ensure that nobody in the UK is left without the bare essentials.

“To be destitute means going without the basics to survive. It’s losing the ability to keep a roof over your head, eat enough, or keep warm. It’s utterly shameful that 1.5 million people in the UK find themselves in this situation.

“Benefit sanctions have been putting more people at risk – the UK government must see how dangerous their policies are.”