Urban Poverty

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In a City the size of London, poverty was a major problem. A survey undertaken by the influential Fabien Society called 'Round About a Pound a Week' looked at the lives of families in Lambeth whose men-folk were in relatively stable employment - they called them the 'respectable poor'. The Society found that even with a regular wage coming in, these families struggled to make ends meet and regularly suffered from hunger and cold. It found that one in five of their children died in the first year and one in ten before the age of ten years old.

This report, published in 1913, argued for government reforms and the introduction of child benefit, school dinners and free health clinics - things we take for granted nowadays, but it was to be a long wait before these were introduced.

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