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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  • 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.

  • Abolishing hunger among children in the UK

    Issue 153 (Winter 2016)

    We will all have woken up this morning knowing there are children in this country who went to bed last night on an empty stomach. We also know that a large number of those children will have taken that hunger with them to school. This is the most crushing finding from a recent report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger, examining the extent, causes and changing dynamics of hunger among families in the UK. With the reliance on food banks on the increase, the Group’s Chair, Frank Field, and the report’s author, Andrew Forsey, summarise the evidence received and present some potential solutions.

  • Gordon Brown delivers CPAG’s 50th Anniversary Lecture

    Issue 153 (Winter 2016)

    On 11 November 2015, Gordon Brown delivered CPAG’s 50th Anniversary Lecture. The former Prime Minister and Chancellor spoke powerfully about the history of poverty in the UK and pointed to low pay and the falling value of children’s benefits as important contemporary drivers of child poverty. In particular, he took aim at plans to cut tax credits, arguing that too much policy making is driven by fictions about the nature of poverty in this country. In the place of eight widespread myths about poverty he offered eight ‘poverty facts’ of which future policy ought to take note. What follows is an edited transcript of the speech.

  • Editorial: Poverty 153

    Issue 153 (Winter 2016)

    In this edition of Poverty we are delighted to feature an edited transcript of the rousing speech delivered by Gordon Brown for CPAG’s 50th Anniversary Lecture in November. The former Prime Minister and architect of tax credits gave us a dose of history, charting the relationship between work, social security and poverty across the twentieth century. He spoke out against continual cuts to social security and the myths about poverty which now seem to dominate both policy making and the public debate.

  • Staying put: the impact of the ‘bedroom tax’ on tenants in North Staffordshire

    Issue 152 (Autumn 2015)

    Much has been written and said about the introduction of size criteria in the social rented sector (the ‘bedroom tax’). Indeed, few other changes to the benefits system have provoked so much comment from politicians, journalists, charities, landlords, advice providers and church leaders. Here, Richard Machin, Anna Tsaroucha and Liz Boath describe new research from Staffordshire University examining the impact of the bedroom tax on a group of local housing association tenants.

  • Hard work: parental employment in London

    Issue 152 (Autumn 2015)

    London has the highest rates of child poverty in the country, with 37 per cent of children growing up in poverty. While the drivers of poverty are always complex, there has long been a recognition that London’s lower parental employment rates play a significant role in driving these high rates of child poverty. Megan Jarvie describes CPAG’s recent research into the issue.

  • The cost of a child

    Issue 152 (Autumn 2015)

    Since 2012, Child Poverty Action Group and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have been measuring the cost of a child and the adequacy of family incomes and benefit levels. This year, for the first time, the project also assessed the additional costs facing families in London. Josephine Tucker provides a rundown of this year’s findings.

  • Editorial: Poverty 152

    Issue 152 (Autumn 2015)

    This month’s edition of Poverty has a significant focus on costs. At a time when we are experiencing zero inflation, and macroeconomists are fretting about the spectre of deflation, this may seem incongruous. Yet the cost of a raising a child, particularly childcare and rent, continues to creep up, at the same time as the means for meeting these costs continue to be eroded. This reminds us that not all costs are created equal.

  • Editorial: Poverty 151

    Issue 151 (Summer 2015)

    As the election recedes into the distance, the new government is setting about implementing its agenda, with the Queen’s Speech delivered and first Budget of this parliament scheduled for early July. The agenda feels a familiar one. The Full Employment and Welfare Benefits Bill will see further freezing of benefit levels and a reduction in the level of the benefit cap. The Budget will include at least the first tranche of the promised £12 billion of social security cuts.

  • In-work poverty: the ‘hours question’

    Issue 151 (Summer 2015)

    There is an increasing number of children who are living in poverty, despite having at least one parent in work. Lindsay Judge, the author of CPAG’s latest report, Round the Clock, investigates one particular aspect of in-work poverty – the number of hours parents should be expected to work in order not to be poor.