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.

  • Developing effective policy to improve job quality

    Issue 156 (Winter 2017)

    Job quality is back on the UK policy agenda. Indeed, it is back on the policy agenda of many countries’ governments, as well as international governmental bodies. As part of the G20, the UK government signed the 2015 Ankara Declaration that committed the UK and the other member countries to improving job quality with the aim of promoting inclusive growth, creating sustainable growth and reducing inequalities.

  • Not by pay alone

    Issue 156 (Winter 2017)

    The idea that child poverty in the UK can only be effectively addressed by a combination of better pay and better state support is not a new one. Here, Donald Hirsch revisits it, arguing that it is folly to rely excessively either on pay or on in-work support to secure acceptable living standards for working families, and suggests how a coherent narrative can be developed about the way they can be combined.

    More from Poverty 156

  • Britain works: article in Poverty journal

    Issue 156 (Winter 2017)

    Child Poverty Action Group and Working Families have launched a new project, ‘Britain works’, looking at in-work poverty and how work can be improved for families living on a low income. Here, Jane Mansour sets out the context, examining a range of evidence on the characteristics of low-paid work in Britain today, and reports on what employers say about their policies on and practices towards their low-paid staff.

    Find out more about the project

  • Editorial: Poverty 156

    Issue 156 (Winter 2017)

    In this issue we focus on the world of work. Unemployment is low in the UK, but in-work poverty is at record levels. Debates about the nature and future of work are increasing. What can be done to tackle in-work poverty and the growth in temporary, low-hours and insecure forms of work? What is the relationship between action on pay and security, and increasing productivity? How will the labour market respond to new forms of automation? How can decent jobs be provided in industries where customers increasingly expect low costs and service on demand?

  • Unfinished business: where next for extended schools?

    Issue 155 (Autumn 2016)

    Schools which deliver a range of services beyond their core function of classroom education are known as ‘extended schools’, offering anything from childcare outside basic school hours, to sports and arts activities and adult learning sessions. Evidence shows that wraparound childcare can help parents stay in work, while sports and arts activities can improve children’s ‘soft’ skills and motivation to learn, leading to better educational and employment outcomes.

  • Still too poor to pay

    Issue 155 (Autumn 2016)

    While the myriad of social security cuts introduced by the Welfare Reform Act 2012 have rightfully generated extensive reporting, monitoring and analysis, the abolition of council tax benefit has slipped by relatively unnoticed. In the same year as the benefit cap and the ‘bedroom tax’ were laid down in legislation, the 2012 Local Government Finance Act set out to abolish the national system of council tax benefit and to replace it with locally administered council tax support schemes.

  • The cost of children

    Issue 155 (Autumn 2016)

    Families with children face a particular set of poverty risks. As children come into their lives, parents have a duty to care for them, something which takes time and which thus reduces the hours available to undertake paid work. At the same time, children cost money. They need to be fed, clothed, sheltered and kept warm. To thrive, they need to have the things required to participate in society: toys, books, school trips, access to safe places to play, presents on their birthday.

  • Editorial: Poverty 155

    Issue 155 (Autumn 2016)

    A lot has happened since the last issue of Poverty hit your desks. A new prime minister, new ministerial teams, and Brexit on the horizon. We have had only some indications of the direction the new government intends to take. No more social security cuts will be legislated, but we will still see the extensive cuts already made come into force over the coming years, while cuts to local authority budgets are continuing without respite. Selective education may be about to come roaring back. Theresa May has spoken of helping those who are ‘just managing’ – we must wait to see what this means.

  • Meeting London’s childcare challenge

    Issue 154 (Summer 2016)

    New research from 4in10 and the Family and Childcare Trust shows that parents in London are paying over £1 billion on childcare every year. In the run up to the mayoral elections, Megan Jarvie ran a series of focus groups with parents on low incomes to discover the issues they wanted the next mayor to address. Despite the huge financial investment parents make, problems with childcare loomed large over a number of different areas of discussion, but most notably over their decisions about employment. Would their wages cover childcare costs?

  • Child support: a forgotten resource for low-income families?

    Issue 154 (Summer 2016)

    It is clear that the government intends to do little to increase the cash incomes of poor families with dependent children. Most poor families are set to get less and less over the next four years. The recent reprieve for tax credits will expire as families are transferred to universal credit, and this will all but end by 2020. It was child poverty that was supposed to end in 2020, but instead we are going to see it rise. This leaves CPAG and other campaigners fighting to defend the progress of the past two decades.