John McDonnell lays out Labour's anti-poverty strategy

Ben Gartside
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (L) sits with Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell will pledge to end the “scourge” of in-work poverty by the end of Labour’s first term in office.

McDonnell is set to speak at the Resolution Foundation’s Living Standards Audit, as Labour prepare for a potential transition to government as rumours swirl about a potential snap election.

McDonnell will say that “behind the concept of social mobility is the belief that poverty is OK as long as some people are given the opportunity to climb out of it, leaving the others behind.”

“I reject that completely, and want to see a society with higher living standards for everyone as well as one in which nobody lacks the means to survive or has to choose between life’s essentials.”

The Resolution Foundation’s report is set to show that UK households have experienced the the weakest growth outside of recessions since records began in 1961, and slower growth in the past two years than in the recovery from the early 1990s recession.

Commenting on McDonnell’s pledge, the director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Claire Ainsley said: “it was “unacceptable that more working families are being swept into poverty, so this significant ambition to eliminate in-work poverty is the right thing to do”.

“With more working families unable to make ends meet, people are frustrated at the failure of politics to unlock the jobs, investment and opportunities needed so their families and local economies can thrive.”