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UK authorities underestimate poverty to their own benefits

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Researchers say the governments in Britain and Scotland are willfully underestimating the number of families living in poverty, local media reported.

A report backed by the Economic and Social Research Council found that ministers both at Holyrood and Westminster have failed to “effectively define” deprivation.

Academics at Edinburgh University believe there is a “weakness” in the way central and devolved governments record poverty levels.

Morag Treanor, of the university’s Centre for Research of Families and Relationships, said ministers at Holyrood and Westminster measure deprivation in a “completely arbitrary way”.

“If the weakness of the current threshold is not addressed, then the UK government and devolved administrations will be left scratching their heads at the inevitable failure of their efforts to reduce child poverty”, she said.


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