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.

  • Reframing poverty

    Issue 146 (Autumn 2013)

    The Webb Memorial Trust is hoping to reframe the debate about poverty. Here, Barry Knight explains why and discusses some early results.

  • Public attitudes to child poverty

    Issue 146 (Autumn 2013)

    During the recent economic downturn, we have seen public attitudes towards benefit recipients harden. But are attitudes towards child poverty behaving in a similar manner or is the public becoming more sympathetic? And given a widespread programme of government cuts and media coverage of the fact that the government will inevitably miss its target to eradicate child poverty by 2020, how are perceptions of the prevalence of child poverty affected? Liz Clery looks to the British Social Attitudes survey for answers.

  • Editorial: we must win the battle of attitudes

    Issue 146 (Autumn 2013)

    What do the benefit cap, tougher conditionality for claimants and means testing child benefit all have in common? They all hit families with children hard. And they will all drive up child poverty in the next five years and beyond. Yet despite this, they are all highly popular policies, for which the government regularly receives strong approval ratings.

    What should we do as poverty campaigners when the policies that affect our constituencies so negatively have such widespread support? With social security already identified as one of the key battle lines for the next general election, this issue of Poverty explores the complex question of public attitudes to child poverty, to benefits and, more broadly, to policies that we know have an enduring effect on child wellbeing.

  • Poverty minus a pound: how the poverty consensus unravelled

    Issue 145 (Summer 2013)

    In 2010, a political consensus seemed to have emerged – that poverty was relative, too high, and needed to be tackled with preventative measures as well as by raising people’s incomes. All three of the main political parties had now backed the pledge made by Tony Blair in 1999 to eradicate child poverty within 20 years and the Child Poverty Act was passed with all-party support. Three years on, and this consensus has unravelled. Stewart Lansley looks at what happened.

    More from Poverty issue 145 (Summer 2013)

  • Child wellbeing in the UK

    Issue 145 (Summer 2013)

    At a time when many political voices suggest we should be more phlegmatic about child poverty, Dragan Nastic highlights the recent findings of a UNICEF study on child wellbeing in economically advanced nations over the first decade of the 2000s. International comparisons show that child poverty in these countries is not inevitable, but is susceptible to policy – and that some countries are doing much better than others at protecting their most vulnerable children.

    More from Poverty issue 145 (Summer 2013)

  • New investment in childcare

    Issue 145 (Summer 2013)

    In response to the growing burden of childcare costs, the Chancellor announced in this year’s Budget close to an extra £1 billion investment in childcare. At a time of cuts to most government budgets, this is to be celebrated and offers a clear indication of the political priority that childcare now enjoys. But a question remains as to who will benefit most from this new investment. Will it help those for whom childcare represents a major barrier to employment or will it predominantly benefit the better off? Vidhya Alakeson provides some answers.

    More from Poverty issue 145 (Summer 2013)

  • Editorial: time for the rhetoric to change

    Issue 145 (Summer 2013)

    Much of the current rhetoric about child poverty revolves around the idea that poverty is a result of individual choice rather than structural constraints. We have seen this clearly in recent months: whether it is the much-employed ‘strivers versus skivers’ line, the idea that poverty is a ‘lifestyle choice’, or government polling that headlined drug and alcohol abuse as a key explanation of child poverty, personal responsibility and behaviour is repeatedly highlighted in the discourse.

  • Poverty, social security and stigma

    Issue 144 (Spring 2013)

    ‘Proud to be poor’ is not a banner under which many want to march.’

    Writing recently about the lack of respect accorded to those living on a low income, Ruth Lister identified the strong and historic link between poverty and stigma. Social security can be seen as a way of helping to reduce the stigma of poverty, providing enough for people to participate in society, without being reduced to charity. But in recent years, there has been a perception of an increasing sense of stigma attached simply to the receipt of benefits. Kate Bell asks whether social security itself has become a source of shame.

  • 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.

  • The impact of the Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill

    Issue 144 (Spring 2013)

    In December 2012, at the tail end of the parliamentary session, the government laid before the House of Commons a new piece of legislation. The Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill 2012 has a clear objective: to legitimate the Chancellor’s decision in his Autumn Statement to uprate key in- and out-of-work benefits by just 1 per cent for the next three fiscal years. Lindsay Judge explores the likely impacts of the Bill on the fortunes of children growing up in low-income families in the UK today, and subjects some of the rhetorical claims surrounding it to further scrutiny.