New research commissioned by Elizabeth Finn Care shows that the lack of financial security faced by nurses is going unnoticed by the general public.
Just 9% of the UK population think that nurses are likely to fall into poverty, and only 2% of people believe the same of teachers. The reality is a lot bleaker, says the charity, with 40% of people that they help financially coming from either a nursing or teaching background.
Today's new research will, the charity hopes, draw attention to the potential financial jeopardy facing many people from the nursing and teaching professions. The survey found that one-third (29%) of respondents believe that only three million people are living in poverty in the UK, when in reality the number is nearer to 13 million.
With over two-thirds of people (68%) thinking that poverty is more likely to occur to those without qualifications, the lack of understanding of the plight of nurses and teachers is widespread. There are many people who struggle in silence and remain hidden in poverty.
"I'm one of the many now trapped at the top of band 5 despite the combination of experience and formal qualifications (including a specialist degree relevant to my area). Agenda for Change and KSF seems to have been designed to create this situation, demanding more and more of the majority of nurses while fixing the cost to manage budgets. Last year's rise was insulting, this year's offer is a punishment. I am single and already struggling to keep up with rising costs of essentials like housing, fuel and food – never mind even contemplating trying to have a holiday or any relaxation. Now I'm in effect having my income reduced. How much longer does the government think our dedication will let us tolerate this? Time the public knew what was really being done to their 'angels'." - Name and address supplied
"I am terribly out of sleep about my financial situation, would be most obliged if Icould be linked with an honest charitable organisation that can help me out asap please." - Name and address supplied