Income and Poverty

Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion in Wales 2015

  • Published 9th Sep 2015
  • Authors: Adam Tinson, , Tom MacInnes,
  • Category: Income and Poverty

This Findings from the New Policy Institute analyses the latest data to show trends in work, poverty, housing and benefits sanctions in Wales. The research looks at measures of low income, low pay and other types of disadvantage. It then considers what challenges these changes and the Summer Budget 2015 pose to policy-making in Wales.

Key points

• An average of 700,000 people were in poverty in Wales in the three years to 2013/14, equivalent to 23 per cent of the population.
• Compared with ten years earlier, there are more people of working age (particularly young adults)n poverty and fewer children and pensioners. Poverty has risen in working families and fallen in workless families.
• Twenty-seven per cent of people in a family with at least one disabled adult are in poverty,
compared with 23 per cent overall. The poverty rate in these families rises to 33 per cent if
disability benefits are excluded from income.
• There has been no reduction in the extent of low pay in Wales for a decade, with the proportion of jobs that are low paid remaining at around 25 per cent. In total, 270,000 jobs, mainly held by women, are paid below two-thirds of the UK median hourly wage.
• In 2014 there were 30,000 Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) sanctions, lower than in 2013, due mainly to fewer claimants. It is still a high figure relative to earlier years. Younger claimants and claimants from ethnic minority groups are disproportionately sanctioned.
• A growing share of people in poverty live in the private rather than social rented sector but there are still more in the latter overall.
• The introduction of the national living wage (NLW) will only partially offset the cuts in tax credits: some families with children in particular will be worse off. Rural Wales will be disproportionately affected.