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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  • 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.

  • Sport and poverty

    Issue 154 (Summer 2016)

    Living in a disadvantaged area hampers young people’s development: area-based deprivation is strongly related to higher crime, poorer educational achievement, health problems and high levels of disability. These factors have a knock-on effect on the local environment and community spirit, with residents in poor areas experiencing roughly four times more social and environmental problems than residents in more affluent areas.

  • 10 years of austerity: the impact on low-income households and women

    Issue 154 (Summer 2016)

    Tax changes and cuts to public spending and social security have been key to the deficit-reduction strategy implemented by the coalition government between 2010 and 2015 and continued by the Conservative government elected in May 2015.

    Indeed, the Conservative government has vowed to reach a structural surplus in the public finances by 2020, with an austerity programme made up of 89 per cent public spending cuts and 11 per cent net tax rises.

    Pursuing a fiscal surplus is economically controversial and it is not clear that it is necessary for a healthy, sustainable economy.

  • Editorial: Poverty 154

    Issue 154 (Summer 2016)

    We are still not all in this together – so where now?

    Several articles in this issue add to the mounting evidence of the effects of government cuts on particular groups, showing once again that we are not all in this together.

  • Campaigning on child poverty: the New Zealand experience

    Issue 153 (Winter 2016)

    New Zealand is traditionally regarded as a quiet, safe, egalitarian country with nothing in it more dangerous than a few hobbits. The reality, however, is that between the mid-1980s and the mid-2000s, it experienced the biggest increase in the gap between the rich and the rest of any developed country. The result is that, as the economy has delivered a growing share of national income to the rich, there has been relatively little for the rest to share. Levels of poverty, and child poverty in particular, have increased dramatically in the last 30 years. Here, Max Rashbrooke assesses the impact of New Zealand’s Child Poverty Action Group and other campaigners working to reverse this trend, and uncovers some familiar issues.