Money Wellness
Image of a Union Jack flag that's cracking up and broken
category iconcost of living
calendar icon11 Dec 2023

Britain – the growing divide between the haves and have nots

The UK is in danger of sliding back into a country of two halves – those that have and those that don’t – not seen since the Victorian era - as the gulf between main stream society and a depressed and poverty-stricken underclass widens, according to a new report.

Commissioned by the think tank, The Centre for Social Justice, the Two Nations: The State of Poverty in the UK, shows that the most disadvantaged are no better off than 15 years ago and that the jump from welfare into work isn’t worth it for most people.

The study also finds that the pandemic lockdowns had a much worse effect on those who are less well off, which is where the gap between the so-called ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ was blown wide apart.

Six in ten of the general public say that their area has a good quality of life – plummeting to less than two in five in the most deprived areas.

Post-Covid, Children are having a particularly hard time. Twenty years ago, just one in nine children were assessed as having a clinically recognised mental health problem. But that figure is now one in five, rising to nearly one in four for those aged 17-19.

If this trend continues, the report argues that by 2030 over one in four 5–15-year-olds – which could be as many as 2.3 million children – could have a mental disorder. There are likely to be 208 per cent more boys with mental health disorders by 2030 than there would have been if the lockdown hadn’t happened.

Mental health was a particular worry for those living in deprived areas. After higher benefits, they cited improved mental and physical health as pivotal to a better life. The report found that 40 per cent of the most disadvantaged having a mental health condition compared to just 13 per cent of the general population.

The report spoke to 6,000 people – 3,000 from the general public and 3,000 on the lowest income. It also heard from over 350 small charities, social enterprises, and policy experts, and travelled to three nations and more than 20 towns and cities.

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

Related posts

cost of living

18 Jul 2024

UK jobs markets cools but not enough to encourage a summer drop in interest rates

Find out what today’s wage inflation figures mean for your household finances.

cost of living

18 Jul 2024

Tenants choose to stay put despite renewal rents creeping up

Tenants are choosing to stay put instead of moving to new homes despite renewal rates rising faster than the rental market, according to new data.

cost of living

17 Jul 2024

Inflation remains unchanged at 2%

June’s figures from the Office for National Statistics show inflation remained steady in June at 2%. Find out what it means for your money and the impact it could have on interest rates.

cost of living

28 Jun 2024

UK travellers cut back on holidays due to cost-of-living crisis

Find out how to save money on your holidays.