Wednesday, 12 October 2011

What do we do with the poverty figures?

There has been a lot of debate about poverty over the last 24 hours.

I would like to point you in the direction of this article from Julia Unwin who is the CE of the Joseph Rowntree Trust.

One of the hardy perennials of the poverty debate is the question of measurement. I wonder what it says about us as a country: why do we spend so much effort thinking about definitions of poverty, and so little responding to the reality

The piece was in repsonse to yesterday's IFS report which predicted a substantial rise in poverty over the next few years

Julia asks what do we do when faced with reports like these?

We can read them and despair, or we can address the well-documented and widely-recognised underlying drivers of poverty. The instability and insecurity of so many poorly paid jobs, the limits to child care for working parents, and the educational inequality which condemns people to a life of poverty. We can design jobs that help people to progress, and at the same time support families and break the damaging cycles that lie behind these figures

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