‘Poverty will always be a part of Britishsociety.
‘ Assess this statementwith reference to past and present policies to alleviate or reducepoverty.This essay is going to be assessing whether’poverty will always be part of British society’. I’m going to be looking atthe present and past policies and see if they reduce or alleviate Poverty inEngland. Firstly, I am going to state the different definitions of poverty.There are 3 different definitions of poverty these are absolute poverty, relativepoverty and social exclusion. Absolute poverty defines as an individual withouttheir basic needs being met to be alive such as water and food. Relativepoverty is used in most countries and it defines as being poorer when relatedto other individuals in a certain society. Social exclusion is when anindividual is excluded socially due to their poverty and often individuals inpoverty are disadvantaged.
(The House of Commons Scottish AffairsCommittee)First, I am goingto be looking at the past policies that were put in place by the LabourGovernment. The main aim for the Labour Governments was to abolish childpoverty and this was supported by the main political parties. They set targetsand monitored the ongoing progress of this aim.One of the pastpolicies that were introduced by the new labuor to prevent poverty was moretargeted benefit for people who really need it. This is done by using the Newdeal schemes which is targeted at jobseekers, disabled and lone parents. Thisscheme offered them an increased benefit and assisted childcare by providingfinancial grants to provide funding to child minding. this is so lone parentscan return to employment.
If any of the individuals who are receiving thesewelfares are not seeking work actively will have the extra welfare taken awayand will receive the least amount. This policy was successful in reducing andalleviating the poverty within UK as lone parents who are in employment hasrisen as in the years 1996 it was 43.8% and has risen to 66.5% in 2016. (Officefor National Statistics 2016). These increase in employments in UK means thereis a decrease in absolute poverty as a lot more people are employed and thismeans children are also being lifted out of poverty as well. Parents of thechildren can give their children’s quality meals and clothing and many of thoseare earning a minimum wage which means they have a decent living standard.However, many of the jobs that was made are very low paid jobs and weretemporary or part time jobs.
These jobs have little or no opportunity to makeprogression in also individuals wouldn’t be able to gain skills to get a highpaid employment. This means individuals in the society would suffer fromcontinuous poverty and would be in relative poverty due to having lower annualincome and wage when compared to the average of the UK.Another policythe labour party brought in to tackle poverty in the UK was taking on the taxcredits system for families with pensioner, children’s and working families.
Thissystem was aimed to motivate unemployed individuals to take up any kinds ofemployment that maybe available to them regardless of the pay. This then willbe topped up by the government so their overall income or wage is much higher(Ending child Poverty, 2008). This policy was to promote individuals to gainemployment has made a positive effect on reducing poverty on both relative andabsolute terms. This is because people on minimum wages are ensured to have abasic living standard and are above the poverty line as their necessities arebeing met to survive. Also, the top up on individual’s overall income allowsthem to get a better wage and this lowers levels of poverty in the relativeterm as individuals are getting a good income that is like others in thesociety. However even though their wage is being topped and is a little higherit is still is not comparable if compared with the median wage of the overallUK. This means it’s still considered as relative poverty.Another policyused to tackle poverty is financial supports such as Child Benefit and TheChild Trust Fund.
The Child Care Trust Fund encourages parents to save for the children’sfuture and is in place to ensure that every child will have some financialasset as soon as they reach the age of 18. Child benefit is a benefit that isavailable to all parents whether they are in work or out to help with raisingtheir children’s. These policies have alleviated poverty as all parents aresupported financially for the cost of raising their children’s. So, children’sin most households have adequate clothing, food, and necessities to grow andprosper into successful adults. The New Labourtargets was not achieved as national statistics show only 500,000 children’shave only been lifted above the poverty line by the date April 2001. (Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2003). The Newlabour target was to lift 1 million children’s out of poverty.
TheNew Labour Government weren’t re-elected in 2010 and as resulted the followinggovernment who are the Coalition government must follow up with legislationsand child poverty acts. Some of thepolicy’s the Coalition government used to tackle poverty was meeting the needsof parents and their children and raising children’s educational attainments.They did this by bringing out the Childcare Act which then place duty on localauthorities from the date April 2008 to give quality early years childcare forparents who want to work and are working. Also, government brought out pupilpremium and early years pupil premium so that children from deprived familiescan get a better start in their educational life.
(Child Poverty Strategy, 2014)This helped to alleviate poverty as more children can get early education whichboosts their educational attainment. As they can be in a same level as children’sin wealthier families and can achieve 5 A*-C. This would then help them to goonto further education or training to gain jobs on higher paid wages. Whichimproves the relative poverty as more children’s will be earning a wage whichis nearer to the median wage of the society when they are adults. Also, they brought out a Child Poverty Strategy(2014- 2017) which set out many actions to tackle child poverty and one of themwas supporting families into getting employment and increasing their wages.
Governmentdid those by working with businesses to make more jobs available, helping individualsget jobs through job center and training schemes, increasing the minimum wageand improving qualifications for people so can get better paid jobs. This was successfulin alleviating poverty as statistics show employment rates from 2010 have goneup to almost 1.7 million and more people are in work.
(CPS, Gov.uk,2014) bygetting more individuals in employment poverty rates will decrease as they willbe earning a wage and will be less dependent on benefit system. Also, it meansmore people will be earning and will be above the absolute poverty line as theycan afford to buy the basic needs they require. Also by improving theirqualifications individuals can get better paid jobs which will increase theliving standards and will be working their way up to the median wage of theoverall country. To conclude the Governmenthas made a lot of changes and improvements by bring out these policies in reducingthe Poverty in the UK.
As a report shows a huge reduction in child poverty inthe years 1998/9 to 2010/11. As ‘1.1 million children were brought out ofpoverty’ (DWP, 2012).
However regardless of this there still a wide range ofconcerns that will continue Poverty levels to shift in the UK. Some of theseconcerns are the cuts within the public sector that is affecting the supportdeprived and troubled families receive for example the cuts in children’s centers.This would then increase poverty all over again. Also, other agendas areuniversal credit, fuel poverty, costs of energy use, benefit changes and inwork poverty. Policy changes like the bedroom tax and benefit inflations havebeen reported to have reduced the income of the poorer families.
The institutefor fiscal studies suggests by 2012/22 ‘absolute poverty, taking housing costsinto account may increase by around 400 thousand children’s’ they also suggest ‘relativechild poverty increasing from 30% to 37%’. My conclusion is the Poverty willalways be a part of British Society as the country cannot ever end childpoverty as it is unavoidable. No matter how much is done Poverty will always bepresent as it cannot be completely avoided.
Governments will bring out policiesto alleviate poverty and then new policies such as bedroom tax and inflation ofbenefits will outdo the previous policies. As they will decrease the income ofthe poorer families and Individuals in our society.