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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  • Social mobility in the UK: what does the evidence tell us?

    Issue 132 (Winter 2009)

    In November 2008 the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit asserted that recent research demonstrated that government policy was improving social mobility in the UK. But what does research actually tell us about the reality of social mobility now or, more correctly since the evidence is always retrospective, in the recent past? David Byrne examines the evidence.

  • Recession: a major threat to tackling poverty

    Issue 132 (Winter 2009)

    How will the current downturn in the labour market affect poverty? Adrian Sinfield looks back at previous recessions and asks what can be learnt in order to prevent a similar rise in poverty to that seen in the 1980s.

  • Celebrating sixty years of the welfare state?

    Issue 131 (Autumn 2008)

    In the recent celebrations of the sixtieth anniversary of the implementation of the majority of Beveridge’s welfare state reforms, the National Insurance Acts and the National Assistance Act, which together introduced a nationwide system of national insurance and a means-tested safety net, seem to have been forgotten. Fran Bennett looks at what happened.

  • Unjust rewards

    Issue 131 (Autumn 2008)

    After months of persuasion and with great difficulty, Polly Toynbee and David Walker managed to assemble focus groups of some of the country’s highest earners. Most of these City merchant bankers and lawyers were in the top 0.1 per cent, earning around £500,000, some up to £10 million, a year. Ipsos Mori had never before managed to assemble such high earners. Here, Polly Toynbee describes the key findings from these focus groups, now published in Unjust Rewards. What did they know and think about Britain’s growing inequality, and the widening gap between themselves and everyone else? Were they uneasy? Did they worry about their children being brought up so isolated from the rest?

  • Who is fuel poor?

    Issue 131 (Autumn 2008)

    By June 2008 the domestic fuel commodity price index had increased by 51 per cent from 2005, more than five times the rate of general inflation. The energy companies have warned that prices will rise again – by between a quarter and a third this winter. Harriet Harman told us that she had she spent her week as Acting Prime Minister working on a package of measures to increase the level of investment in energy-saving schemes in low-income housing and exploring other ways to tackle fuel poverty. Here, Jonathan Bradshaw asks who the Government should be targeting.

  • 60 years of the welfare state

    Issue 130 (Summer 2008)
    The welfare state at 60

    Paul Dornan considers the up and downs of social change since 1948, championing the need for a renewed sense of purpose in social policy research.

  • Poverty and the child's world: assessing children's needs

    Issue 129 (Winter 2008)

    Poverty in a child’s life is the result of specific social and economic circumstances, which are always interrelated and complex. However, frontline workers are often unaware of the causes and consequences of poverty. Owen Gill and Gordon Jack argue the case for exploring children’s living environments to articulate more holistic approaches to the fight against poverty.

  • Child poverty and well-being in the here and now

    Issue 129 (Winter 2008)

    Since New Labour pledged to eliminate child poverty by 2020, a myriad of policy changes have been made to address the problems associated with poverty and deprivation during childhood. Much of the research and policy emphasis is on the costs of child poverty and its impact on life chances and outcomes in adulthood. Recent research by Mark Tomlinson, Robert Walker and Glenn Williams relates the various dimensions of poverty to children’s well-being in their lives today.

  • An interview with Ed Balls

    Issue 129 (Winter 2008)

    In the wake of the creation of the new, cross-governmental Child Poverty Unit and the implementation of the Children’s Plan, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families Ed Balls MP is optimistic about the future. Labour has done a lot to eradicate child poverty since 1997, he says, and remains the only party with a true commitment to the cause.

  • 'Mini-jobs' for lone parents?

    Issue 128 (Autumn 2007)

    Juggling work and childcare is the big conundrum of being a lone parent. But as the Government increasingly promotes work as the best way out of poverty, lone parents have little to choose from. Now however, new research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has found that working in a so-called 'mini-job' for under 16 hours a week could be the way to bring lone parents gradually back into full-time employment while also allowing them to adjust their childcare needs. But are the advantages to lone parents real ones? What happens once benefit cuts are taken into account? Kate Bell considers the different options, as well as whether the strategy could contribute to achieving the Government's target of halving child poverty for 2010.