Thrive Teesside, ATD Fourth World and Dole Animators, together as Poverty 2 Solutions, are a group of activists from across the UK who have direct experience of living in poverty.
Together, we’re using our expertise to propose solutions to some of the biggest issues that lock people in poverty across the UK. We’re taking our ideas to politicians, policymakers and the media.
We need a new approach to solving poverty. Successive governments have maintained that work is the best route out of poverty – but with 60% of Britons in poverty living in a household where someone is working, it’s clear that poverty affects both those in and out of work. It’s also clear that – too often – the benefit system is not providing the support people need, with benefit changes often pushing families further into poverty and making entering work more, rather than less, difficult.
We have first hand experience of living in poverty and we know that, every day, people across the UK are having to try to find their own solutions to the problems they face. We believe that this experience should be valued as a form of expertise and it should be taken into account when developing measures to tackle poverty.
We also believe that people who have experienced poverty, benefit changes, and services designed to support transitions into work, should be part of efforts to design policies that will tackle UK poverty effectively – this will help build a great society that works for us all.
That’s why we’ve decided to work together, to discuss the problems we face every day and to think about possible solutions to some of these issues.
We’ve already taken our ideas to politicians, policymakers and the media, but now we want to focus attention on making sure that the voices of people in poverty are included in policy and media debates.
As a group we decided that the government needs to take into account economic background when making decisions in parliament. In 2010 MP Harriet Harman brought forward the Equality Bill, now known as the Equality Act. The Equality Act was intended to promote equality, fight discrimination in all its forms, including age discrimination, and introduce transparency in the workplace which is key to tackling the gender pay gap. Since 2010, the Tory-LibDem government has announced that they will repeal the socio-economic duty which promoted fairness; has repealed other provisions and delayed commencement of a number of new rights within the Bill, including duel discrimination and pay transparency. – Taken from Harriet’s website.
Meeting with Harriet Harman
On Tuesday the 5th of March, Poverty2Solutions met with Harriet to discuss our project and our aims to reintroduce this socio-economic duty and how best to do so. Harriet was more than helpful and assured that people from low income communities should be more involved in making decisions in parliament. Harriet has a good appreciation that, done well, the value of the duty would be not just about adding data and statistical analysis on socio-economic inequalities into policy-making, but also about incorporating the voices and experiences of those with lived experience. Harriet is happy to work with us to further this work and we will post updates as we progress.
Fairer Scotland Duty Event- 26/03/19
Poverty2Solutions travelled to Glasgow to attend the fairer Scotland duty event on the 26th of March on a fact finding mission to learn from the duty already implemented in Scotland, we wanted to know what did and didn’t work and how we could learn to implement the socio economic duty.
For more information on this Project that Thrive Teesside are involved in, Visit the Poverty 2 Solutions website here