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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  • ‘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.

  • Editorial: Poverty 157

    Poverty 157 (Summer 2017)

    Under David Cameron we saw child poverty targets scrapped and poverty reframed as a matter not of lack of money but of poor ‘life chances’, while the number of children in poverty increased. Theresa May promised to address the ‘burning injustices’ in society, including poverty, but has continued to pursue policies which are projected to drive child poverty up to over 5 million by the end of this parliament.

  • 25 years on: reflections on social justice

    Poverty 157 (Summer 2017)

    Since she took office, Theresa May has adopted the language of ‘social justice’, promising to end the ‘burning injustice’ that some are born into lives of more opportunity than others, because of poverty, race, gender or class. There have been promises of a green paper, setting out her reform agenda. ‘Social justice’ has been high on the agenda before. Twenty five years ago, John Smith’s Commission on Social Justice was set up and, two years later, it published its final recommendations for improving social justice in the UK in Social Justice: strategies for national renewal. Advocating for a society that invests in people as its greatest asset and source of growth, the Commission was very influential in shaping social policy in the New Labour years. Here, four former Commission members, together with a commentator from a different part of the political spectrum, the Director of the think tank Bright Blue, reflect on developments since then and suggest what should be included in a social justice strategy today.

  • Developing effective policy to improve job quality

    Issue 156 (Winter 2017)

    Job quality is back on the UK policy agenda. Indeed, it is back on the policy agenda of many countries’ governments, as well as international governmental bodies. As part of the G20, the UK government signed the 2015 Ankara Declaration that committed the UK and the other member countries to improving job quality with the aim of promoting inclusive growth, creating sustainable growth and reducing inequalities.

  • Not by pay alone

    Issue 156 (Winter 2017)

    The idea that child poverty in the UK can only be effectively addressed by a combination of better pay and better state support is not a new one. Here, Donald Hirsch revisits it, arguing that it is folly to rely excessively either on pay or on in-work support to secure acceptable living standards for working families, and suggests how a coherent narrative can be developed about the way they can be combined.

    More from Poverty 156

  • Britain works

    Issue 156 (Winter 2017)

    Child Poverty Action Group and Working Families have launched a new project, ‘Britain works’, looking at in-work poverty and how work can be improved for families living on a low income. Here, Jane Mansour sets out the context, examining a range of evidence on the characteristics of low-paid work in Britain today, and reports on what employers say about their policies on and practices towards their low-paid staff.

    More from Poverty 156

  • Editorial: Poverty 156

    Issue 156 (Winter 2017)

    In this issue we focus on the world of work. Unemployment is low in the UK, but in-work poverty is at record levels. Debates about the nature and future of work are increasing. What can be done to tackle in-work poverty and the growth in temporary, low-hours and insecure forms of work? What is the relationship between action on pay and security, and increasing productivity? How will the labour market respond to new forms of automation? How can decent jobs be provided in industries where customers increasingly expect low costs and service on demand?

  • Unfinished business: where next for extended schools?

    Issue 155 (Autumn 2016)

    Schools which deliver a range of services beyond their core function of classroom education are known as ‘extended schools’, offering anything from childcare outside basic school hours, to sports and arts activities and adult learning sessions. Evidence shows that wraparound childcare can help parents stay in work, while sports and arts activities can improve children’s ‘soft’ skills and motivation to learn, leading to better educational and employment outcomes.

  • Still too poor to pay

    Issue 155 (Autumn 2016)

    While the myriad of social security cuts introduced by the Welfare Reform Act 2012 have rightfully generated extensive reporting, monitoring and analysis, the abolition of council tax benefit has slipped by relatively unnoticed. In the same year as the benefit cap and the ‘bedroom tax’ were laid down in legislation, the 2012 Local Government Finance Act set out to abolish the national system of council tax benefit and to replace it with locally administered council tax support schemes.

  • The cost of children

    Issue 155 (Autumn 2016)

    Families with children face a particular set of poverty risks. As children come into their lives, parents have a duty to care for them, something which takes time and which thus reduces the hours available to undertake paid work. At the same time, children cost money. They need to be fed, clothed, sheltered and kept warm. To thrive, they need to have the things required to participate in society: toys, books, school trips, access to safe places to play, presents on their birthday.