The Child Poverty Bill: a guide

Issue 134 (Autumn 2009)

The Child Poverty Bill was first announced by Gordon Brown in September 2008, and introduced to Parliament in July 2009. Not only does the Bill have the support from all three major political parties, but CPAG and other organisations concerned about child poverty have welcomed it. Paul Dornan outlines what it contains.

A false economy: undervaluing childcare

Issue 135 (Winter 2010)

The provision of high-quality, affordable and accessible childcare lies at the heart of the Government’s child poverty strategy. And yet childcare as a profession is undervalued. This illustrates a system-wide problem, in which the most valuable occupations to society are among the lowest paid, while those which may be damaging to society, the environment and the economy, may be among the highest paid. Helen Kersley outlines research findings from two reports which take a radically different look at child poverty.

What should be done next?

Issue 136 (Summer 2010)

Child poverty is not a discrete social problem that can be eradicated without tackling wider inequalities of income and wealth. As the recent National Equality Panel report demonstrates, earnings, income and wealth are all distributed highly unequally, thereby undermining the goal of ‘equality of opportunity’ for children espoused by the main political parties. Social class interacts with other social divisions such as gender, ethnicity and disability to shape the contours of poverty and inequality. Ruth Lister argues that a multi-pronged (gendered) strategy is required, which explicitly aims to create a more equal society within which all children can flourish.

Destitution among refugee and asylum-seeking children

Issue 138 (Spring 2011)

Fleeing from persecution to seek protection in a different country places already vulnerable families in a precarious position. Often families are forced to live on amounts that fall far short of providing for their basic needs and which place them well below the poverty line as their asylum claim is processed, which can take several months or even years.

Employment and migrant poverty

Issue 138 (Spring 2011)

The issue of migrant poverty and employment is complex and migrants’ experiences in the UK differ enormously. While some of these variations stem from the uniqueness of individual experience, others relate to the migrant’s particular immigration status and her/his associated right to reside in the UK and to access work.

The impact of poverty on the educational experiences of migrant children

Issue 138 (Spring 2011)

Although migrants are a diverse group in terms of their employment and earnings, their children are disproportionally represented among those living in poverty in the UK. Poverty impacts on migrant children’s educational outcomes, but also on their social experiences at school. Child poverty also limits the chances of inter-generational mobility among migrants and, in some communities, poor labour market outcomes are becoming entrenched.

Universal credit: the gender impact

Issue 140 (Autumn 2011)

The government’s plans to introduce a new universal credit are intended to improve work incentives and simplify a complex benefits system, but may work against its duty to promote gender equality. Here, Fran Bennett, drawing on work for the Women’s Budget Group, looks at the impact the new benefit may have on gender issues, in particular on financial autonomy for women.

Riots, redistribution and reparation

Issue 140 (Autumn 2011)

Many people have asked why a tiny proportion of (mostly) young people rioted this summer. They have also questioned the part that rising inequalities could have played in making many people poor and some angry. After all, young adults in Britain today have only ever known a country in which income and wealth have been redistributed from poor to rich – to the detriment of all. How much money could be saved by doing the reverse and redistributing from rich to poor? And how much reparation is required in the long run for a sense eventually to emerge that we are all in this together? Danny Dorling seeks answers from an eclectic mix of sources, including a Chinese daily newspaper, a former London gang member and the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

End of a Faustian pact: workfare and riots

Issue 140 (Autumn 2011)

During the past three decades, Guy Standing argues, politicians struck a Faustian pact. In return for ‘labour market flexibility’, government would top up declining wages through subsidies and tax credits and redirect social protection from an emphasis on social solidarity and social insurance to means-tested social assistance. In the aftermath of rioting, they must now face the following fact: it is the economic policies they have supported that are a major cause of the underlying malaise.

Pre-Budget Report 2009

Issue 214 (February 2010)

David Simmons highlights the most significant announcements relating to welfare benefits and tax credits.