Our policy journal

Published three times a year, Poverty journal carries articles and features to inform, stimulate and develop debate about the nature and causes of poverty. Each issue includes three in-depth features, reviews of latest poverty research, analysis of child poverty statistics, and views from practitioners and young people themselves.

This page contains a selection of articles and editorials from each issue. Access to the full content is part of CPAG’s membership package.

Please note the views expressed in articles are not necessarily those of CPAG. We welcome articles and other contributions from our readers – if you are interested, please contact the editor at jtucker@cpag.org.uk.

  • Welfare reform summit

    Issue 161 (Winter 2018)

    In April this year Staffordshire University hosted a welfare reform summit, funded by the Social Policy Association and delivered in partnership with CPAG and the Centre for Health and Development. The aim of the summit  was to explore the impact of welfare reform on claimants and the organisations that support them. Over 80 delegates attended from a wide range of backgrounds, including welfare rights and housing professionals, and social policy academics and students. A series of workshops gave delegates the opportunity to share their experience. Richard Machin, Dan Norris and Professor Martin Jones discuss the issues raised.

  • Rough justice: problems with universal credit assessment periods

    Issue 161 (Winter 2018)

    One in twenty universal credit cases submitted to CPAG’s Early Warning System to date relates to a problem with the way in which people’s income and circumstances are assessed on a strict monthly basis. Josephine Tucker discusses some of the problems which can arise, and provides possible solutions.

  • Getting poverty statistics right

    Issue 161 (Winter 2018)

    Poverty statistics are important. They help us know where progress is being made – or lost – and hold politicians to account. So it is worth asking whether the poverty statistics themselves are right. A new Resolution Foundation report suggests that existing poverty statistics need large corrections, with significant implications for what we think about UK poverty and how it has changed over the last two decades.

  • Editorial: Poverty 161

    Issue 161 (Winter 2018)

    What would it take to reverse child poverty increases in the next Budget?

    On 29 October, the government has the chance to announce measures which would halt or reverse recent increases in child poverty, following the Prime Minister’s recent statement that austerity is coming to an end. What would such a Budget look like?

  • Fair Shares and Families study

    Issue 160 (summer 2018)

    Here, Gill Main describes a new study, looking at how resources are shared in families and how children economise in order to save money, meet their own needs and minimise the stress on their parents.

    More from Poverty 160

  • The impact of welfare reform on housing security

    July 2018

    Welfare reforms underway since 2010 will reduce social security spending by £27 billion a year by 2021, and reach into most aspects of financial support for working-age adults and children. These deep cuts hit the poorest places hardest, and disproportionately affect lone parents and disabled people. Several key reforms particularly affect the affordability of social rents, despite the fact that the provision of social housing has been described as the most redistributive and poverty-reducing aspect of the welfare state.

  • ‘You can’t live on thin air’: the wait for universal support

    Issue 160 (summer 2018)

    The impact of the transition to universal credit is only just beginning to be felt. By the end of 2018, all job centres across the UK will be processing claimants in the new system, and by 2022 all existing eligible claimants still on the legacy benefits will have been migrated to the new system – 12 million households.

  • Editorial: Poverty 160

    Issue 160 (summer 2018)

    New poverty figures show that child poverty has risen for the third year in a row, to 4.1 million (after housing costs). And analysis by the University of York shows that families in poverty are now more than £60 a week below the poverty line on average, compared with just over £50 10 years ago. This ‘poverty gap’ has increased most starkly since 2012, when the first round of this decade’s welfare reforms started to take real effect.

  • Editorial: Poverty 159

    Issue 159 (Winter 2018)

    The appointment of the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, has caused a stir, especially coming shortly after her predecessor had shown some willingness to address universal credit design problems. In last year’s Budget he reduced the initial wait for payments from six to five weeks and announced two weeks’ extra housing benefit for people who would otherwise struggle to pay their rent, as well as announcing that larger advances would be available.

  • The importance of income for children and families: an updated review of the evidence

    Issue 159 (Winter 2018)

    It is an all too familiar fact that children from low-income households tend to do less well than children whose parents are better off. They have worse health, do less well at school, and are more likely to have behavioural problems. In a systematic evidence review conducted in 2013, Kerris Cooper and Kitty Stewart found clear confirmation that low income is itself one reason for these worse outcomes, and not just a proxy for other factors such as parental education.