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Joseph Rowntree plans UK anti-poverty strategy

Image from Joseph Rowntree strategic plan 2012-2014
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Joseph Rowntree plans UK anti-poverty strategy1

Governance | Tania Mason | 20 Jan 2012

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust together plan to invest up to £125m over the next three years on services, research, and new property developments.

The proposals are outlined in the two organisations’ new three-year strategic plan, published this month.

Top of their priority list is to identify the causes of poverty and inequality and produce a UK-wide anti-poverty strategy. They will also track the impact of the deficit on poverty and inequality and develop practical solutions to reducing poverty.

The organisations will also work towards being anti-poverty organisations themselves, by aiming to pay all staff a wage that is equal or more to the Foundation’s Minimum Income Standard for a single working-age adult.

And they will try to maximise the income of Housing Trust residents by enhancing energy efficiency, exploring the potential for community enterprises, and promoting credit unions.

The charities have also committed to reduce their own carbon emissions by at least 20 per cent between 2010 and 2020.

The trusts are clear about their status: “We are independent, but we are not neutral: we are on the side of people and places in poverty.”

Another major aim is to respond positively to the opportunities and challenges of an ageing society, exploring how risk and regulations affect care and support for older people and running imaginative services.

The plan states that the Foundation will invest up to £23m in research, policy and practice development, influencing and communications activities.

The Housing Trust will invest up to £30m in service provision for older people; up to £21m in neighbourhood-based services for residents with learning disabilities, and up to £43m on property developments.

The strategic plan concludes with a quote from Tony Stoller CBE, who chairs both charities: “When Joseph Rowntree established his trusts in 1904, he tasked us with seeking out ‘the underlying causes of weakness or evil in the community, rather than remedying their more superficial manifestations’.  This, he said, was a need he expected to remain throughout the life of the trusts.

“In the twenty-first century the world we live in may have changed, but our core purpose is the same – to understand the underlying causes of social problems in order to achieve lasting change for people and places in poverty; to build communities where everyone can thrive, and to help create a more equal society.”

Peter Gallagher
20 Jan 2012

After looking at the figures of the very well researched Foundation’s Minimum Income Standard, it is enlightening to see that the benefits system does provide fully for Pensioners, only 2 thirds for families and worst of single people receiving only half of what the country believes is minimum to carry out basic living. It is no wonder that so many end up turning to or being driven to disability benefits.

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