Thinktank calls on parties to set out anti-poverty policies

HALIFAX and Dewsbury are among marginal constituencies where residents are at the highest risk of poverty according to new analysis from a respected thinktank.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation says the election should "go beyond Brexit"
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation says the election should "go beyond Brexit"

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation highlighted as it called for the General Election to focus on how to spread prosperity to all parts of the country.

The York-based thinktank identified the 100 constituencies with the highest poverty risk including Bradford East and Bradford West.

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Halifax and Dewsbury, Labour-held seats that are both targets for the Conservatives at the coming election, also feature on the list.

JRF chief executive Campbell Robb said: “Our analysis shows poverty affects every constituency in Britain, from Conservative districts to Labour industrial heartlands.

“It means millions of people, including working families, are struggling to make ends meet. This election campaign needs to be go beyond Brexit and ensure prosperity and opportunity reach all corners of the country.

“The next government has a historic opportunity to transform the prospects of the UK, but there is a danger Brexit negotiations could suck the oxygen out of the reforms we badly need to see at home.

“Over the next Parliament, the focus should be on making sure that people can improve their prospects and get on at work, that pay and productivity rise in all parts of the UK, and people’s incomes keep pace with the cost of essentials.

“The vote to leave the EU highlighted the deep divisions that exist across the UK, with too many people and places left behind by the country’s economic success.

“The parties must use their manifestos to address these concerns.”

Bradford West and Doncaster Central feature on the list of constituencies with the lowest full-time wages.

Bradford East, Bradford West and Leeds East are highlighted in the new JRF analysis as among constituencies with the highest proportion of workers with low skill levels.

The JRF is calling for a “better deal” for parts of the UK that have been left behind and better support for adults who want to improve their skills.