Our policy journal

Published three times a year, Poverty journal carries articles and features to inform, stimulate and develop debate about the nature and causes of poverty. Each issue includes three in-depth features, reviews of latest poverty research, analysis of child poverty statistics, and views from practitioners and young people themselves.

This page contains a selection of articles and editorials from each issue. Access to the full content is part of CPAG’s membership package.

Please note the views expressed in articles are not necessarily those of CPAG. We welcome articles and other contributions from our readers – if you are interested, please contact the editor at jtucker@cpag.org.uk.

  • Implementing universal credit

    Issue 159 (Winter 2018)

    The implementation of universal credit has been beset with problems. Here, Ros White considers the effect on claimants of the delays to the universal credit roll-out and the government’s failure to fully address the complexities involved.

    More from Poverty 159

  • The austerity generation: the impact of cuts to universal credit on family incomes and child poverty

    Issue 159 (Winter 2018)

    CPAG’s new report, The Austerity Generation, sets out the effect of a decade of cuts to social security on family incomes and child poverty, based on modelling by the Institute for Public Policy Research.

  • Interview: Paul Gray

    Issue 159 (Winter 2018)

    The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) is an independent, non-partisan, statutory body of experts, set up in 1980 to advise the Secretary of State on secondary legislation and to scrutinise how social security policy will be implemented. It also carries out independent work to build an evidence base, stimulate debate and introduce new thinking. Paul Gray has chaired SSAC since 2011, following a career in the civil service which included roles as second permanent secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and chair at HM Revenue and Customs.

  • 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.