measuring poverty

  • UK child poverty gaps increasing again

    May 2018

    Read the analysis

    There has always been a debate in the world of poverty measurement about whether we should be more concerned about poverty rates (the proportion below a poverty threshold) or poverty gaps (how far people in poverty are below the poverty threshold). Is it better for a country to have many children a little way below the poverty threshold or few children below the poverty threshold, but a long way below it?

  • Editorial: Poverty cannot be reduced to a one-dimensional caricature

    Issue 148 (Summer 2014)

    As the consultation on the government’s latest three-year child poverty consultation closes, it seeks to articulate the policies it sees as reducing poverty, even as it prevaricates over how to define it. This issue of Poverty explores questions that are surely important to anyone seeking to reduce poverty, and to understand it. What does poverty look like? How does it feel?

  • The politics of the child poverty measurement consultation

    February 2013

    Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of CPAG, has written this week in Children and Young People Now about the politics of the government's child poverty measurement consultation.

    She argues that through its consultation, the government is trying to legitimate a new indicator of child poverty that would not be sensitive to changes in income. As a result, the new measure would obscure the impact of cuts to benefits on the fortunes of low income families.

  • CPAG's response to the child poverty measurement consultation

    February 2013

    CPAG has today issued its response to the government consultation on child poverty measurement. In it we make it clear that we object to the government’s new proposed measure on three grounds.

  • Measuring child poverty: can we do better?

    Issue 144 (Spring 2013)

    In June 2012 when the government published the Households Below Average Income dataset for 2010/11, it announced at the same time that it would revisit the question of how we measure child poverty in the UK. In November 2012, a public consultation on the topic was launched when the Department for Work and Pensions issued the document Measuring Child Poverty: a consultation on better measures of child poverty. Jonathan Bradshaw looks at the key aspects of the various dimensions that the government has selected for inclusion, assesses their appropriateness for inclusion in any metric of child poverty and presents the shortcomings of the proposed new measure.

  • Welfare Reform and Work Bill: Peers vote to retain poverty measures

    January 25, 2016
    press release

    Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) welcomes the House of Lords vote today to retain the statutory duty to measure and report on income poverty which the Government wanted to scrap. Measures in the Welfare Reform & Work Bill which were voted down today would scrap the statutory duty to measure and report on income-based poverty, replacing it with only a duty to report on the number of workless households and children’s attainment at GCSE.

    Read more
  • Coping with Complexity: child and adult poverty


    Coping with Complexity

    Price £11.00   99 pages    ISBN 978 1 906076 36 8

    • Buy it now from our online shop
    • Call 020 7837 7979 to order by phone

    Published 2009.

    Authors: Mark Tomlinson and Robert Walker

  • Government must focus on reducing not redefining poverty

    November 14, 2012
    press release

    Commenting ahead of the launch of a new government consultation on better ways of measuring child poverty, Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said:

    "It's perfectly sensible to look at the progress the government is or is not making across a broad range of indicators affecting children and families, but there’s no getting away from the plain fact that if child poverty is rising as a result of government policies then it's a rethink of government decisions not definitions that's needed.

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  • Government must not airbrush poverty pay out of the picture

    January 31, 2013
    press release

    A speech today on the causes of child poverty by Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, made no mention of his department’s evidence that in-work problems like low wages and low hours are a factor in the majority of child poverty cases. Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said:

    “Now is not a time to airbrush the main causes of child poverty out of the picture and move the goal posts. With 5 million people paid less than the living wage, it is no surprise that official figures show children are much more likely to be in poverty because they have a parent who is a security guard, care worker or cleaner than a drug addict.

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  • Is rising child poverty a price worth paying to protect our children?


    Today’s awful figures tells us several things. Child poverty is high. It’s rising – it’s jumped to 4 million. Two thirds of poor children come from working families. But perhaps the main lesson to take away is that we need to call time on the unfathomable Whitehall orthodoxy, driven by George Osborne but still in place under Theresa May, that rising child poverty is a price worth paying to protect our children.