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.

  • Child wellbeing in the UK

    Issue 145 (Summer 2013)

    At a time when many political voices suggest we should be more phlegmatic about child poverty, Dragan Nastic highlights the recent findings of a UNICEF study on child wellbeing in economically advanced nations over the first decade of the 2000s. International comparisons show that child poverty in these countries is not inevitable, but is susceptible to policy – and that some countries are doing much better than others at protecting their most vulnerable children.

    More from Poverty issue 145 (Summer 2013)

  • New investment in childcare

    Issue 145 (Summer 2013)

    In response to the growing burden of childcare costs, the Chancellor announced in this year’s Budget close to an extra £1 billion investment in childcare. At a time of cuts to most government budgets, this is to be celebrated and offers a clear indication of the political priority that childcare now enjoys. But a question remains as to who will benefit most from this new investment. Will it help those for whom childcare represents a major barrier to employment or will it predominantly benefit the better off? Vidhya Alakeson provides some answers.

    More from Poverty issue 145 (Summer 2013)

  • Editorial: time for the rhetoric to change

    Issue 145 (Summer 2013)

    Much of the current rhetoric about child poverty revolves around the idea that poverty is a result of individual choice rather than structural constraints. We have seen this clearly in recent months: whether it is the much-employed ‘strivers versus skivers’ line, the idea that poverty is a ‘lifestyle choice’, or government polling that headlined drug and alcohol abuse as a key explanation of child poverty, personal responsibility and behaviour is repeatedly highlighted in the discourse.

  • Poverty, social security and stigma

    Issue 144 (Spring 2013)

    ‘Proud to be poor’ is not a banner under which many want to march.’

    Writing recently about the lack of respect accorded to those living on a low income, Ruth Lister identified the strong and historic link between poverty and stigma. Social security can be seen as a way of helping to reduce the stigma of poverty, providing enough for people to participate in society, without being reduced to charity. But in recent years, there has been a perception of an increasing sense of stigma attached simply to the receipt of benefits. Kate Bell asks whether social security itself has become a source of shame.

  • Measuring child poverty: can we do better?

    Issue 144 (Spring 2013)

    In June 2012 when the government published the Households Below Average Income dataset for 2010/11, it announced at the same time that it would revisit the question of how we measure child poverty in the UK. In November 2012, a public consultation on the topic was launched when the Department for Work and Pensions issued the document Measuring Child Poverty: a consultation on better measures of child poverty. Jonathan Bradshaw looks at the key aspects of the various dimensions that the government has selected for inclusion, assesses their appropriateness for inclusion in any metric of child poverty and presents the shortcomings of the proposed new measure.

  • The impact of the Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill

    Issue 144 (Spring 2013)

    In December 2012, at the tail end of the parliamentary session, the government laid before the House of Commons a new piece of legislation. The Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill 2012 has a clear objective: to legitimate the Chancellor’s decision in his Autumn Statement to uprate key in- and out-of-work benefits by just 1 per cent for the next three fiscal years. Lindsay Judge explores the likely impacts of the Bill on the fortunes of children growing up in low-income families in the UK today, and subjects some of the rhetorical claims surrounding it to further scrutiny.

  • Why we need a relative income poverty measure

    Issue 143 (Autumn 2012)

    The latest international comparisons of child poverty rates from UNICEF show a smaller proportion of children living in relative income poverty in Hungary, Slovakia and Estonia than in the UK, Italy, Spain or the United States. Amid the current political debate about the value of measuring child poverty in this way, Dragan Nastic draws together UNICEF’s perspective to argue why it is still the best measure of the government’s success in countering child poverty.

  • The indignity of the Welfare Reform Act

    Issue 143 (Autumn 2012)

    At the 101st session of its conference in June this year, the International Labour Organization agreed Recommendation 202 on national social protection floors. Esoteric though it sounds, this sets standard that has the potential to require the radical upgrading of the British social security system. Robert Walker, Elaine Chase and Ivar Lødemel provide an overview of the Recommendation’s context, and argue why its rights-based approach and emphasis on dignity matter to UK anti-poverty programmes.

  • Last Word: Gateshead Youth Assembly

    Issue 143 (Autumn 2012)

    In the first of a new series of contributions from young people, Melanie Caddle and Mirander Delahaye describe their work on the Gateshead Youth Assembly.

  • The cost of a child

    Issue 143 (Autumn 2012)

    How much does it cost to bring up a child, free of material hardship and social disadvantage, in the UK today? How should these costs be measured and what costs should be included? And how adequate is the benefits system in meeting the cost of children? Donald Hirsch draws on his latest work to provide some answers.