The Double Lockout: how low income families are locked out of fair living standards.

The Child Poverty Action Group has published a report The Double Lockout: how low income families are locked out of fair living standards. The report has contributions from a range of experts and aims to address the impact of benefit up-rating on poverty, social security and the economy. Key conclusions include:
• The 1% benefits cap will reverse progress to lift children out of poverty, making it very difficult for the government to meet its commitment to end child poverty by 2020
• The Bill is poverty-producing and means that both absolute and relative child poverty will increase
• Contrary to Ministers arguments, welfare spending on workless families has been falling and most Jobseekers Allowance claimants find new jobs within months
• The Bill puts the economy at risk by failing to protect the economy's ‘automatic stabilisers'
• Contrary to popular perception, benefit fraud is at its lowest ever recorded level and the ‘scrounger' stereotype is grossly inaccurate
• The government must focus on the root causes of social security and tax credit demand and prioritise progression on full employment, living wages, affordable housing and affordable childcare

Monitoring poverty and social exclusion 2012

This annual study analyses trends to tell the story of poverty in the UK today, looking at measures of low income and deprivation. Poverty trends over recent decades show improvement in some areas and worsening in others, above all they show that poverty is not inevitable. Among the key points: the composition of those in poverty is very different today than 10 or 20 years ago - more than 6.1 million people in working households live in poverty, more than the 5.1 million who live in working-age households where no one has a job. The proportion of pensioners in poverty has halved since the early 1990s, while that of working-age adults without children has risen by a third; Over half of children and working-age adults in poverty live in a working household. The family make-up of children in poverty is very different from 30 years ago. In the 1980s, around 40% of children in poverty were in a family with a working adult. Since the mid-1990s this proportion has risen, by 2010 it had reached 61%. Most children in poverty now live in a working family. Download the report or a summary from:

Measuring child poverty: a consultation on better measures of child poverty

The government believes that poverty cannot be defined by income alone and this consultation proposes a number of potential dimensions of measuring child poverty, including: income and material deprivation, worklessness, unmanageable debt, poor housing, parental skill level, access to quality education, parental health and family stability.

Impact of spending decisions on vulnerable children and families

Action for Children has published their third The Red Book 2012: The annual review of the impact of spending decisions on vulnerable children and families. The second in its series of annual reports examines the impact of public spending decisions on vulnerable children and families. It says that 2 out of 3 of the most vulnerable families were struggling with more severe issues than a year previously and with welfare reforms still to be implemented, it argued that the situation is 'only going to get worse'.
Visit the website at:

Child Poverty Statement

Here is a copy of the Child Poverty Statment from the Local Authority - An Equal Chance for Every Child Wakefield District Child Poverty Statement- Action Plan 2012-2013.  Click on the link below to open.

 Child Poverty Action Plan

 Child Poverty 2012: It shouldn't happen here

Britain's poorest children are having their parents go hungry to feed them, missing regular hot meals, unable to afford warm coats and new shoes and suffering enormous emotional strain, according to our new report. Child Poverty 2012: It Shouldn't Happen Here. highlights children's - as well as parents' - experiences living in recession-hit Britain and the extent to which poverty is blighting young lives. One in eight of the poorest children in the UK go without at least one hot meal a day, and one in ten of the UK's poorest parents have cut back on food for them to make sure their children have enough to eat, the report reveals. Download the report from:

CPAG report on Cost of a Child

The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) have published new research on the Cost of a Child. It is the first time research has been published to provide a robust analysis of how much it costs to provide children with a minimum level of participation in society, as well as meeting basic needs like food, clothes and shelter. It shows that the cost of children has been rising faster than inflation and that the support families receive from the state falls significantly short of the minimum income standard British parents think children need. The combination of National Minimum Wage and in-work benefits is not sufficient to ensure the basic needs of a child are met either. For single parent families, they are left with 89% of the basic requirement; and for couple families it is just 82% of the basic requirement. One of the key findings from our research is the changing spending needs of families. For example, as the availability of public transport declines and its cost rises, the families who take part in the research say, for the first time, that a car is now essential. Download the report from:

How much do individuals, institutional structures and culture influence poverty levels?

With unemployment rising, pressure on incomes, and cuts to public services, it is not unreasonable to believe poverty will become a pressing issue over coming years. What role will individuals, institutions and cultures play in any rise in poverty? This programme paper assesses some of the causes of poverty and examines the role played by:
• family structure
• employment and intergenerational
• worklessness;
• geographical concentrations of poverty
• educational outcomes
• addiction to alcohol and drugs
• debt.
Choosing themes which are prominent in current policy thinking, this study makes a useful
contribution to an established social policy debate

In the eye of the storm: Britain's forgotten children and families

This report from, Howard Reed, Landman Economics, for Action for Children, The Children's Society and NSPCC, highlights the need to protect children from the impact of austerity measures and start a national debate on the needs of children. The research shows that the most vulnerable families and their children are being most heavily affected by changes to the tax and benefits system, as well as being hit by spending cuts affecting public services. The number of children living in vulnerable families is also set to rise. Landman suggests that the government should: Re-think how to better protect children from the impact of the recession and the resulting austerity measures. Download the report from:

Living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK: 2012

Jonathan Cribb, Robert Joyce and David Phillips for the Institute for Fiscal Studies How have household incomes evolved since the onset of the financial crisis? What is the gap between rich and poor? Who was hit hardest by the recession? How many people are there in poverty? Which groups are most likely to face poverty? Cribb et al. use the government's Households Below Average Income (HBAI) statistics to examine poverty, inequality and average incomes. In the aftermath of the recession, average incomes have fallen by near-record amounts and inequality has fallen back to levels last seen in the mid-1990s. Relative poverty continues to fall, but only because the poverty line is also falling. Visit the Infrastructure for Fiscal Studies website at:

Fair access to professional careers: a progress report by the Independent Reviewer on Social Mobility and Child Poverty

This report from the Cabinet Office looks at the opportunities available to individuals from different backgrounds to enter and progress in professional careers. It considers how these opportunities have changed since 2009, when Alan Milburn, the independent reviewer, issued a call for action to employers and government to tackle barriers to fair access. Among the report's findings are that: Efforts to raise career awareness and aspiration in schools are too sporadic and too unspecific; Too many employers are recruiting from too narrow a range of universities and regions; Work experience and internships are becoming more important to job prospects, but they are still a lottery; Selection processes for careers are still too haphazard; The graduate grip on the labour market is still strong. The report expresses disappointment that, despite rhetoric to the contrary, the fair access agenda remains sidelined in most professions. It says this must change. The professions should consider what steps they need to take and the government should do more to pressurise them to act. Download the report at:

Fair and Square

The Children's Society have released a report that shows that more than half of all school children living in poverty - 1.2 million - are missing out on free school meals and 700,000 are not entitled to free school meals at all. Fair and Square also found that 60% of parents surveyed say that free school meal eligibility has a direct impact on their decision to move back into work or work more hours. The Children's Society campaign is calling on the Government to ensure that all children living in poverty receive free school meals when addressing the future of school meals as part of the overhaul of the current welfare system. Download the report from:

Ending child poverty: ensuring Universal Credit supports working mums

This briefing from Save the Children argues that the potential positive impact of Universal Credit - the new welfare system due to replace tax credits and most benefits from 2013 - on supporting parents into work and reducing child poverty could be undermined. It identifies three key issues: insufficient earnings disregards for working mothers; lack of support for childcare costs; Universal Credit payments will be withdrawn too quickly. There are two reports you can download from:

Child Poverty

Child Poverty - Definitely not a thing of the past. I found this link on Voices, Northumberland. It shows lots of useful resources about child poverty and the differences between different countries:
The link is from the Equality Trust at:

End Child Poverty

4 million children - one in three - are currently living in poverty in the UK, one of the highest rates in the industrialised world. This is a shocking figure given the wealth of our nation. Poverty can have a profound impact on the child, their family, and the rest of society. It often sets in motion a deepening spiral of social exclusion, creating problems in education, employment, mental and physical health and social interaction. End Child Poverty is now being hosted by Child Poverty Action Group. Although in the last decade the number of children living in poverty has reduced, progress has not been fast enough for us to reach the goal of ending child poverty by 2020 that all the main political parties signed up to in the Child Poverty Act. You can download a report from the website at:

 Democracy and disadvantaged young people

The Department of Education at the University of Cambridge is publishing a series of project reports on the democratic engagement of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds
To help you access the latest research findings relating to youth participation and democracy, they will arrange to have summaries written up and posted as soon as they are ready throughout the year. You will find the summaries under the year in which they have been produced, and can contact their author as listed to have a more in-depth discussion. Visit the website at:

White working-class views of neighbourhood, cohesion and change

Community cohesion has been influential in shaping government policy since the 2001 disturbances in Burnley, Oldham and Bradford. During this period, few studies have assessed the contribution of white working-class communities to cohesion. Reviewing the experiences of residents in three neighbourhoods across England, this study:
• critically reviews the concept of community cohesion and its application;
• looks at whether white working-class communities are a forgotten group disconnected from policy and politics;
• discusses the complexity of whiteness, class and cohesion; and
• recommends changing community cohesion to a grassroots initiative, embracing difference and diversity.
Download the report from:

What does the Local Child Poverty Measure tell us about the distribution of child poverty in England?

(Department of Education)
The Child Poverty Strategy, A New Approach to Child Poverty: Tackling the Causes of Disadvantage and Transforming Families' Lives, set out the Government's approach to tackling child poverty for this Parliament. The strategy maintained the Government's commitment to the Child Poverty Act 2010 and the duties it placed on national Government to meet four child poverty targets by 2020. This paper explores what local level child poverty data can tell us about the distribution of child poverty in England and how child poverty rates at these lower geographies have changed over time, further developing the evidence base on the extent and distribution of child poverty. It demonstrates how this data might be exploited more fully in developing local and national strategies. This report builds on the range of data and analysis and support for local areas that has already been published. This includes the Child Poverty Needs Assessment Toolkit, aimed at individuals and groups who lead on understanding family poverty locally and designed to help provide the underpinning information and insights to develop strategies that can reduce, or mitigate against the effects of, child poverty. Download the report from:

uSwitch Quality of Life Index: UK is the worst place to live in Europe

The UK is the worst place to live in Europe, thanks to a combination of high living costs, a poor work-life balance and low government spending on healthcare and education, according to the latest uSwitch Quality of Life Index. This is the UK's first year at the bottom of the Index, which calculates an overall quality of life score for ten European nations, based on 16 factors including net income, VAT and the cost of essential goods such as fuel, food and energy bills, as well as lifestyle issues like hours of sunshine, days holiday, working hours and life expectancy

Child Poverty 1

The Department for Education has published the Local authority child poverty innovation pilot evaluation: Final synthesis report. This was commissioned by the Child Poverty Unit in 2009. The aim was to assess the effectiveness of 10 local authority pilot programmes that designed local approaches to tackling child poverty and increasing employment. The evaluation found that the pilots had achieved a great deal in challenging circumstances, and drew important lessons for the development of future interventions:
• There was a high demand for all the pilot services aimed at parents and families.
• There is a lack of integrated family support provision that results in many families' needs not being recognised and addressed.
• Community capacity building and co-production can be extremely effective but must be supported by dedicated resources.
• Parents require specialist flexible support focused on overcoming barriers to move nearer the labour market.
You can download the report from:

Child Poverty 2

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has released a new forecast for child poverty in the UK funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Key predictions in the forecast include:
By 2012-13 absolute poverty is forecast to rise by about 600,000 children and 800,000 working-age adults.
• Median income is expected to fall by around 7% in real terms, which would be the largest three-year fall for 35 years.
• By 2020-21 the long term effect of Universal Credit is to reduce relative poverty by about 450,000 children and 600,000 working-age adults.
• Absolute and relative child poverty are forecast to be 23% and 24% in 2020-21 respectively.
• These compare to the targets of 5% and 10%, set out in the Child Poverty Act (2010) and passed with cross-party support
Disabled Children and Poverty
The Children's Society has published a report into disabled children's experience of poverty. The report finds that disabled children and their families experience higher levels of poverty than children and families as a whole.
• 4 in 10 disabled children live in relative income poverty compared to 3 in 10 of all children.
• 14% of disabled children are in severe income poverty compared to 11% of all children
• Around 100,000 disabled children will lose up to £27 per week under the universal credit.
You can download the report and recommendation to government from:

Austerity measures are hitting children's charities hardest

This report from NCB, researched and published with input from NCVO, finds that the children and young people's voluntary sector is amongst the hardest hit by government funding cuts and local authority austerity measures. 'The Ripple Effect' paints a picture of the children's voluntary sector as heavily reliant on government funding and less likely to receive funding from the private sector. Just over half of the children's voluntary sector relies on statutory funding, as opposed to only 38% of the wider voluntary sector. Similarly, children's charities receive only 1% of their funding from corporate sources, compared to an average of 4% for the entire voluntary sector. The research, which includes an analysis of Charity Commission data, in-depth interviews with five local authorities and a review of existing literature, found that while the children's voluntary sector accounts for a quarter of all charitable organisations, it only receives one tenth of the income. The research also found that 96% of the children's voluntary sector operates at a grass-roots, local level - delivering vital service to families in need. These factors combine to make the children's voluntary sector particularly vulnerable to the current funding environment that seeks to cut back on central government funding while meeting the shortfall through private sector funding for local services. Download the report from:

Exploring poverty gaps among children in the UK

Karen Gardiner and Martin Evans for the Department for Work and Pensions Measures set out in the Child Poverty Act and in the National Child Poverty Strategy are based on poverty headcounts, i.e. you are either below or above a certain poverty threshold. The head count does not distinguish between those with incomes just below the poverty line and those deeper in poverty. This paper supplements the headcount measures with analysis of the ‘poverty gap' for UK children. The poverty gap measures ‘How poor are the poor', i.e. the extent of poverty for those who are below the relative poverty threshold.

Children and Young People's Views on Poverty

The Children's Commissioner has published a report that details the views on child poverty of children and young people living in deprived areas. The children and young people interviewed associated stigma with being poor, were reluctant to tell others about their situation and embarrassed to ask for help. They also reported that not having mobile phones, PCs or branded clothing could lead to social isolation. Download the full report from:

The Campaign to End Child Poverty

The Campaign to End Child Poverty has published the first instalment of a two part report providing a child poverty map of the UK. The publication provides Local Authority and constituency information for England. On the End Child Poverty website you can find local child poverty data down to ward level in England.  Here are the figures copied from the spreadsheet on their website

Local Authority and wards

Percentage of children in poverty







Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton


Airedale and Ferry Fryston


Altofts and Whitwood


Castleford Central and Glasshoughton


Crofton, Ryhill and Walton






Horbury and South Ossett








Pontefract North


Pontefract South


South Elmsall and South Kirkby


Stanley and Outwood East


Wakefield East


Wakefield North


Wakefield Rural


Wakefield South


Wakefield West


Wrenthorpe and Outwood West


If you want to explore further the information is available at: (click on Why end child poverty tab and choose Poverty in your area from the drop down list)


 Young Lives Poverty Special

In March 1999 Tony Blair said his government would end child poverty in 20 years and half it in 10 years. It's been fifteen years since, so how are we doing?

The Young Lives Poverty Special is a selection of recent reports and articles followed by older information and useful websites to aid further research about child poverty.

To view the report click here