Poverty articles

This page contains a selection of articles and editorials from our Poverty journal. Published three times a year, it is sent to all CPAG members as part of the membership package.

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  • 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.

  • Implementing universal credit

    Issue 159 (Winter 2018)

    The implementation of universal credit has been beset with problems. Here, Ros White considers the effect on claimants of the delays to the universal credit roll-out and the government’s failure to fully address the complexities involved.

    More from Poverty 159

  • The austerity generation: the impact of cuts to universal credit on family incomes and child poverty

    Issue 159 (Winter 2018)

    CPAG’s new report, The Austerity Generation, sets out the effect of a decade of cuts to social security on family incomes and child poverty, based on modelling by the Institute for Public Policy Research.

  • Interview: Paul Gray

    Issue 159 (Winter 2018)

    The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) is an independent, non-partisan, statutory body of experts, set up in 1980 to advise the Secretary of State on secondary legislation and to scrutinise how social security policy will be implemented. It also carries out independent work to build an evidence base, stimulate debate and introduce new thinking. Paul Gray has chaired SSAC since 2011, following a career in the civil service which included roles as second permanent secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and chair at HM Revenue and Customs.

  • Twenty-first century working welfare: the experiences of lone mothers and their children

    Issue 158 (Autumn 2017)

    ‘A welfare system that recognises work is the best route out of poverty.’

    ‘The best route out of poverty is through work.’

  • It’s poverty, not worklessness

    Issue 158 (Autumn 2017)

    For the last 20 years there has been a mantra among the UK political classes that work is the best solution to poverty. It was the background to the welfare-to-work New Deal programmes in the 2000s. Since 2010, it has been reinforced with more benefit conditionality and punitive sanctions and it has been used to justify many of the austerity measures: the freezing of working-age benefits, the benefit cap, the two-child policy, cuts to employment and support allowance, the bedroom tax and rent limits in housing benefit.

  • The growth of emergency food provision to children

    Issue 158 (Autumn 2017)

    In 2016/17, Trussell Trust food banks provided 436,938 food parcels to children. The increasing use of food projects by children, together with evidence on the rising levels of food insecurity, has drawn attention to the level of hunger experienced by families with children across the UK. Hannah Lambie-Mumford reviews the research and suggests what the policy response should be.

    More from Poverty 158

  • Editorial: Poverty 158

    Issue 158 (Autumn 2017)

    As this editorial is being written, Theresa May has just given her closing speech to the Conservative Party conference. Pressure has been building on the government to dial back austerity, improve the affordability of housing, do more to create financial security for young people, and fix its flagship welfare reform programme: the now infamous universal credit. The articles in this issue highlight some of the challenges it might have addressed: the cost of austerity for single parents, the rise of food bank use, and the growing problem of in-work poverty.

  • ‘Loud and clear’ no more: the shift from child poverty to ‘troubled families’

    Poverty 157 (Summer 2017)

    The legally binding commitment to eradicate child poverty, once agreed upon by all our main political parties, no longer exists. Instead, the social policy focus at the current time is on ‘troubled’ and ‘workless’ families. Stephen Crossley examines the shifts that have taken place in recent years, highlighting some causes for concern.