FREDs being forgotten, says charity

By staff writers
April 8, 2009

A hard-hitting charity report has today warned that things will get much worse for the fifth of the population already living in poverty, and for millions more whose livelihoods are threatened by the recession.

Oxfam’s report ‘Close to Home, UK Poverty and the Economic Downturn’, highlighted the situation of so-called Freds, a term Oxfam has created, standing for Forgotten, Ripped-off, Excluded and Debt-ridden.

Oxfam says Freds are despised by the media, left behind by the government, have no future prospects and pay far too much tax.

A new poll commissioned by Oxfam suggested that 76 per cent of adults do not think that the Job Seeker's Allowance is enough to live on.

Only four per cent of adults surveyed think that the government has done enough to help those that have lost their jobs and 75 per cent say they, or someone they know, has had their working life negatively affected by the recession

Oxfam is calling on the government to adopt a six-point rescue plan, including cutting taxes for people on low incomes and raising benefits so that everyone, in and out of work, has a basic income that is enough to live on.

Antonia Bance, Oxfam’s Deputy Director of UK Poverty said: “We created the FRED concept after speaking to people who have been suffering from the effects of the financial crisis. Bold action needs to be taken by the government to prevent a major rise in poverty here in the UK.

“Now, more than ever, it can’t be business as usual in the UK. The government must help people living below the poverty line as well as the growing number at risk of poverty in the Budget on 22 April.”

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Keywords:oxfam | budget 2009
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