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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  • 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.

  • 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.