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Many people today believe that the key factors driving poverty in the UK are the personal failings of the poor – especially ‘idleness’. In this report, we expose the most prominent myths about poverty in the UK, which are frequently reinforced by politicians and the media. These myths allow the poor to be blamed for their poverty, and the rest of society to avoid taking any of the responsibility. We hope that this report will help people to weigh prejudice and anecdote against evidence. 

Truth and Lies about Poverty is published by Oxfam Cymru and the Church in Wales, and is based on the report The Lies We Tell Ourselves: Ending comfortable myths about poverty, produced by the Joint Public Issues Team in early 2013. The original report is available at:




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