In the current popular discourse the media and the government have positioned migrants from the European Union (EU) as welfare threats and, despite the evidence that they are net contributors to the economy, as acceptable targets for welfare reform.
Last year, a shocking 913,000 people were referred to a Trussell Trust food bank for emergency food. In the latest of our series of interviews, Adrian Curtis, the Network Director of the UK’s largest food bank provider, talks to CPAG’s Moussa Haddad.
In recent years there has been a great deal of political activity directed towards the goal of ‘eradicating’ child poverty in the UK. The Child Poverty Act enshrines this goal in law, two child poverty strategies have been published and, at times, a great deal of progress has been made.
Stories and pictures in the mass media form an important basis for creating opinions of ‘the poor’ and welfare recipients. The media content influences who we think these people are, how we think they behave and what we think should be done to either help or punish them.
The denigration of people in poverty is not new. It has been evident since at least the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII when the Tudor state assumed de facto responsibility for the care of ‘paupers’, and the terms ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ were coined.
More than half of all people in poverty now live in a working family. For children in poverty, this figure rises to nearly two-thirds. In each case, this proportion is the highest for all the years for which we have data.