Report shows poverty growing in rural areas

 A new report shows that poverty and inequality are growing in Britain's rural communities, even faster than in our towns and cities. Church Action on Poverty have repeated their call for action to end inequality in all sectors of our society. The 2008 State of the Countryside report, published today, shows that: The actual volume of disadvantage and poverty in rural areas is not picked up in most analysis, because it is dispersed across rural settlements. There is increasing inequality within rural areas. Poverty appears to be increasing in rural areas, and more than in urban areas. Over the last two years for which data are available, the percentage of the population under the poverty line rose by 3% in rural areas, compared to 1% in urban areas. Wages for jobs in rural areas tend to be lower. Work is therefore not proving to be a route out of poverty for many rural employees and residents. CAP Coordinator Niall Cooper said: "This is more evidence that the gap between rich and poor is growing to unacceptable levels, across all sectors of UK society. It's time for real action to address the growing problem of poverty in all our communities, including the often hidden problem of rural poverty. That's why over 45 organisations, working on every aspect of UK poverty and disadvantage, have come together to form the Get Fair coalition, and call for an end to inequality in the UK." The State of the Countryside is an annual report produced by the Commission for Rural Communities. The 2008 report can be downloaded at The Get Fair campaign will be launched nationally in September. See for more details.

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