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CSJ research exposes vast inequality in Britain for Dispatches documentary

The poorest people in Britain live 18 years fewer than the richest, major new Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) research has shown.

Commissioned by Channel 4 Dispatches, the CSJ has exposed how poverty and inequality have become so entrenched in Britain that the most disadvantaged have life expectancies similar to some of the poorest countries in the world.

How the Rich Get Richer, broadcast earlier this week, was presented by Spectator Editor Fraser Nelson, who is also a CSJ Fellow.

To research the documentary the CSJ built the most comprehensive poverty database ever assembled in the UK to analyse the difference between the poorest and richest communities.

It showed:

• Children in the most deprived communities are three-times more likely to fail to get five good GCSEs than the rich;

• Levels of worklessness amongst households with children are eight-times higher in the poorest neighbourhoods;

•Around two in five households with children in the poorest areas have no father present;

• Rates of violent crime are 12-times higher in Britain’s most deprived communities than the richest.

The CSJ said barriers such as worklessness, family breakdown and addiction keep people trapped in poverty and mean the gulf between the rich and poor is in danger of growing wider.

Earlier this year the CSJ put forward a host of recommendations to tackle poverty as part of its Breakthrough Britain 2015 study. Read the reports: Closing the Divide, Ambitious for Recovery, Restoring the Balance, the Journey to Work, Social Solutions and Fully Committed?

Watch Dispatches here.

‘Marriage has become a preserve of the better off’, warns the CSJ

More needs to be done to promote family stability after new figures showed that marriage is becoming the preserve of the better off, the CSJ has said.

Office for National Statistics figures show that since 2001 those in the top economic group have gone from being 24 per cent more likely to be married to 50 per cent more likely.

The CSJ said a decrease in marriage rates can lead to less stability throughout the country and reversing this needs to be a political priority.

CSJ Director Christian Guy said there were a host of reasons why couples who want to get married do not.

“Marriage has become a preserve of the better off,” he said. “That means we have much less stability throughout the population. We have had a benefits system which says not just don’t get married, but don’t bother getting together.

“You are better off financially if you live apart. The cost of getting married is also putting people off having a wedding.”

This is concerning because evidence shows parents who cohabit are three times more likely to have separated by the time their child is aged five than parents who are married.

The CSJ responded to the new statistics and was quoted in the Telegraph, TimesDaily Mail and the Spectator

The data came just weeks after the CSJ backed an announcement that a new ‘family test’ will be applied to Government policies.

All Whitehall initiatives will now be measured against the effect they have on the formation of stable families, parenting and caring duties and the risk of breakdown and separation.

The CSJ is a leading voice on British family policy and has published numerous reports, including: Fractured Families, Supporting Families, Strengthening Marriage, Breakthrough Britain: Family Breakdown and Fully Committed?

Youth mental health under the spotlight at CSJ event

The CSJ is teaming up with leading urban youth charity XLP to host an event exploring youth mental health on December 4.

Health Minister Norman Lamb will speak at the event, which will look at issues such as why children from the lowest income households are three-times more likely to suffer from mental health problems compared to children from the wealthiest backgrounds.

ITV News presenter Nina Hossain will host the evening and other speakers include XLP founder and CEO Patrick Regan and Dr Samantha Callan, CSJ Associate Director for Families and Mental Health.

Dr Charlie Howard, a clinical psychologist and founder of MAC-UK, and Olu Oyerinde, the Youth Offending Nurse for Tower Hamlets, will also speak at the event.

The CSJ has carried out extensive work on mental health issues, including Completing the Revolution and Commissioning Effective Talking Therapies.

More details of the event are available here.