According to Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s 2022 UK Poverty report, more than a fifth of its population (22%) are in poverty. That’s 14.5 million people.

Of these, 8.1 million are working-age adults, 4.3 million are children and 2.1 million are pensioners.

Of the working-age adults, the report noted that lone parents are by far the most likely of any family type to be struggling with poverty.

To illustrate the issue, the BBC recently did a piece on one of them, Rebeccah, who works as a nurse in Leicester. In it, the woman explained that she simply cannot afford enough food for her three children and herself, so she sometimes goes without.

Rebeccah said the rising cost of living has pushed her close to breaking point, but she is trying to find ways to cope, including accepting donated groceries from neighbors.

But Kevin Edger, a man from London, who calls himself a conservative and a political enthusiast, thinks Rebeccah and those alike can solve everything with smarter budgeting.

A few days ago, a conservative political enthusiast from London, England, said struggling families should just live smarter

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When Bored Panda reached out to Edger, he replied that our initial headline for this piece (Delusional Conservative Says Families Should Just Eat Plain Pasta, Poverty Activist Destroys Him With Her Answer) wasn’t the best representation of what he meant. “Never in my tweet did I say people should just eat plain pasta,” he told us.

So we edited it for clarity.

“It was an example of something that is cheap to buy. If you actually read past my first sentence … I said if you shop and cook properly, you can do healthy cheap meals. Therefore, I made clear you would buy other ingredients and cook them to make a full meal.”

But writer Jack Monroe, who is also known for campaigning against poverty, broke down this claim to show how absurd it actually is

Image credits: BootstrapCook

Image credits: BootstrapCook

Image credits: BootstrapCook

Image credits: BootstrapCook

Image credits: BootstrapCook

Image credits: BootstrapCook

Image credits: BootstrapCook

The before-mentioned Joseph Rowntree Foundation report also noted that families with 3 or more children are almost twice as likely to be poor as one- or two-child families (47% compared with 24%).

This means around 1 in 4 children in one- or two-children families are in poverty, compared with almost 1 in 2 children in families like Rebeccah’s, with 3 or more children.

However, when analyzing the big picture, poverty rates vary greatly depending on the age of children in the family—having younger children affects their parents’ ability to work, the hours they can work, and their pay. 36% of children in poverty live in families with a youngest child aged under five, 28% in families with a child aged between five and ten, 26% in families where the youngest child is aged 11 to 15, and 25% in families where the youngest child is 16 to 18 years old.

Monroe finished with strong words

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So far, it’s likely that the poverty rates for larger families will continue to increase. These households have a higher proportion of their incomes made up of benefits (despite increasing employment rates for such families in recent years), so are disproportionately more sensitive to political decisions, such as the past benefits freeze or the recent cut in Universal Credit for workless families.

Such families are also disproportionately affected by the benefits cap. Beyond this, though, looking at the latest data, the report concluded there’s no visible effect of the two-child limit policy which explicitly targets these families. This has withdrawn means-tested support from third and subsequent children born since April 2017. The data also reveals that over half of families containing three or more children have their youngest child born before this date, so are unaffected. As time goes on, more and more families will be affected.

And people couldn’t agree with her more

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