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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  • 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.

  • 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: article in Poverty journal

    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.

    Find out more about the project