Our journal aims to stimulate debate about the nature, causes and consequences of child poverty in the UK, and potential solutions. To contact the Editor, Josephine Tucker, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are still not all in this together – so where now? Several articles in this issue add to the mounting evidence of the effects of government cuts on particular groups, showing once again that we are not all in this together.
New Zealand is traditionally regarded as a quiet, safe, egalitarian country with nothing in it more dangerous than a few hobbits. The reality, however, is that between the mid-1980s and the mid-2000s, it experienced the biggest increase in the gap between the rich and the rest of any developed country.
We will all have woken up this morning knowing there are children in this country who went to bed last night on an empty stomach. We also know that a large number of those children will have taken that hunger with them to school.
On 11 November 2015, Gordon Brown delivered CPAG’s 50th Anniversary Lecture. The former Prime Minister and Chancellor spoke powerfully about the history of poverty in the UK and pointed to low pay and the falling value of children’s benefits as important contemporary drivers of child poverty.
Much has been written and said about the introduction of size criteria in the social rented sector (the ‘bedroom tax’). Indeed, few other changes to the benefits system have provoked so much comment from politicians, journalists, charities, landlords, advice providers and church leaders.
London has the highest rates of child poverty in the country, with 37 per cent of children growing up in poverty. While the drivers of poverty are always complex, there has long been a recognition that London’s lower parental employment rates play a significant role in driving these high rates of child poverty.
Since 2012, Child Poverty Action Group and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have been measuring the cost of a child and the adequacy of family incomes and benefit levels. This year, for the first time, the project also assessed the additional costs facing families in London.
This month’s edition of Poverty has a significant focus on costs. At a time when we are experiencing zero inflation, and macroeconomists are fretting about the spectre of deflation, this may seem incongruous. Yet the cost of a raising a child, particularly childcare and rent, continues to creep up, at the same time as the means for meeting these costs continue to be eroded.
As the election recedes into the distance, the new government is setting about implementing its agenda, with the Queen’s Speech delivered and first Budget of this parliament scheduled for early July. The agenda feels a familiar one.