Poverty articles

This page contains a selection of articles and editorials from our Poverty journal. Published three times a year, it is sent to all CPAG members as part of the membership package.

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  • Politically acceptable poverty

    Issue 149 (Autumn 2014)

    In the current popular discourse the media and the government have positioned migrants from the European Union (EU) as welfare threats and, despite the evidence that they are net contributors to the economy, as acceptable targets for welfare reform.In addition to the stream of new rules reducing their entitlement, EU migrants also face a host of hidden administrative obstacles, impairing their access to welfare benefits to which they are entitled under EU law.

  • Interview: Adrian Curtis

    Issue 149 (Autumn 2014)

    Last year, a shocking 913,000 people were referred to a Trussell Trust food bank for emergency food. In the latest of our series of interviews, Adrian Curtis, the Network Director of the UK’s largest food bank provider, talks to CPAG’s Moussa Haddad.

  • The ‘un-politics’ of child poverty

    Issue 149 (Autumn 2014)

    In recent years there has been a great deal of political activity directed towards the goal of ‘eradicating’ child poverty in the UK. The Child Poverty Act enshrines this goal in law, two child poverty strategies have been published and, at times, a great deal of progress has been made. However, it now seems very likely that if current trends continue, the 2020 targets will be missed.

  • Editorial: It’s time to step outside the confines of current political debate

    Issue 149 (Autumn 2014)

    As Poverty goes to press, we have just completed a party conference season that, in its headline policy announcements, has made depressing viewing from a child poverty perspective. With the austerity narrative unchallenged, we have been left to watch competing attempts at proving ‘grown up’ economic credentials by taking money out of the pockets of families with children.

  • The poor of the mass media

    Issue 148 (Summer 2014)

    Stories and pictures in the mass media form an important basis for creating opinions of ‘the poor’ and welfare recipients. The media content influences who we think these people are, how we think they behave and what we think should be done to either help or punish them. In The Rise and Fall of Social Cohesion, Christian Albrekt Larsen illustrates how the US and UK are caught in a vicious circle. High levels of poverty and a targeted welfare system produce a large volume of newsworthy negative stories, which make further punishment the most likely political response. Who would want to help scroungers and spongers? In contrast, Sweden and Denmark are caught in a virtuous circle. Low levels of poverty and a universal welfare system reduce the amount of newsworthy negative stories and allow room for stories about the deserving poor. Who does not want to help our ordinary fellow citizens in need? Here, he describes his research.

  • Adding to the shame of poverty: the public, politicians and the media

    Issue 148 (Summer 2014)

    The denigration of people in poverty is not new. It has been evident since at least the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII when the Tudor state assumed de facto responsibility for the care of ‘paupers’, and the terms ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ were coined. The words used have changed and the vehemence of the language has ebbed and flowed, but the divisive, self-justifying distinction between the workless, rogues, idlers and scroungers on the one hand and the hardworking, law-abiding, responsible, ‘middle class’, taxpayer has not. Robert Walker and Elaine Chase draw on their recent research to highlight how recent welfare reforms continue our long tradition of shaming people who live in poverty.

  • In-work poverty

    Issue 148 (Summer 2014)

    More than half of all people in poverty now live in a working family. For children in poverty, this figure rises to nearly two-thirds. In each case, this proportion is the highest for all the years for which we have data. Tom MacInnes from the New Policy Institute unpicks these statistics and looks at the factors driving the increased significance of in-work poverty.

  • 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?

  • How can we reduce child poverty without improving its prevention?

    Issue 147 (Winter 2014)

    The need to prevent child poverty is often acknowledged, but it is astonishing how quickly we slip away into being ‘realistic’ about what can be done now. The hardships of those already trapped in poverty, of course, call for immediate action. But, argues Adrian Sinfield, however effective the ways of lifting children and families out of poverty, unless we improve the strategies needed to prevent it from occurring, we will never make a major impact.

  • The real reason for the misery of work assessments

    Issue 147 (Winter 2014)

    Many sick and disabled people, including those with Huntington’s Disease, uncontrolled epilepsy, kidney failure or brittle bone disease, are refused employment and support allowance. Why are so many being failed, and who is responsible? Kaliya Franklin investigates.