‘Poverty this was supported by the main political

‘Poverty will always be a part of British
society.’  Assess this statement
with reference to past and present policies to alleviate or reduce
poverty.

This essay is going to be assessing whether
‘poverty will always be part of British society’. I’m going to be looking at
the present and past policies and see if they reduce or alleviate Poverty in
England. Firstly, I am going to state the different definitions of poverty.
There are 3 different definitions of poverty these are absolute poverty,
relative poverty and social exclusion. Absolute poverty defines as an
individual without their basic needs being met to be alive such as water and
food. Relative poverty is used in most countries and it defines as being poorer
when related to other individuals in a certain society. Social exclusion is
when an individual is excluded socially due to their poverty and often
individuals in poverty are disadvantaged. (The House of
Commons Scottish Affairs Committee)

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First, I am going
to be looking at the past policies that were put in place by the Labour
Government. The main aim for the Labour Governments was to abolish child
poverty and this was supported by the main political parties. They set targets
and monitored the ongoing progress of this aim.

One of the past
policies that were introduced by the new labuor to prevent poverty was more
targeted benefit for people who really need it. This is done by using the New
deal schemes which is targeted lone parents. This scheme offered them an higher
benefit rate and childcare. They did this by giving lone parents financial
grants to provide funding to minding their child. this is so they can get back
to employment. If any of the individuals who aren’t receiving these welfares
are not seeking work actively will have the extra welfare deducted and will receive
less benifit. This policy was successful in reducing and alleviating the
poverty within UK as lone parents who are in employment has risen as in the
years 1996 it was 43.8% and has risen to 66.5% in 2016. (Office for National
Statistics 2016). These increase in employments in UK means there is a decrease
in absolute poverty because more people are employed and this means children
are also being lifted out of poverty as well. Parents of the children can give
their children’s quality meals and clothing and many of those are earning a
minimum wage which means they have a decent living standard. The employment
found by lone parents have little or no opportunity to make progression in also
individuals cant gain skills to get a high paid employment. This means
individuals in the society would continue to suffer from continuous poverty.

Another policy
the labour party brought to reduce poverty in the UK was taking on the tax
credits system for families with pensioner, children’s and working families. This
system was aimed to motivate unemployed individuals to go into any employment
that they can find. This then will be topped up by the government so that their
whole income a lot more higher (Ending child Poverty, 2008). This policy was to
promote individuals to gain employment has made a positive effect on reducing
poverty. This is because people on minimum wages are ensured to have a basic
living standard. This means they are above the poverty line as their
necessities are being met to survive. Also, the top up on individual’s overall
income allows them to get a better wage and this lowers levels of poverty in
the relative term as individuals are getting a good income that is like others
in the society. However even though their wage is being topped and is a little
higher it is still is not comparable if compared with the median wage of the
overall UK. This means it’s still considered as relative poverty.

Another policy
used to tackle poverty is financial supports such as Child Benefit and The Child
Trust Fund. The Child Care Trust Fund encourages parents to save for the children’s
future and is in place to ensure that every child will have some financial
asset as soon as they reach the age of 18. Child benefit is a benefit that is
available to all parents whether they are in work or out to help with raising
their children’s. These policies have alleviated poverty as all parents are
supported financially for the cost of raising their children’s. So, children’s
in most households have adequate clothing, food, and necessities to grow and
prosper into successful adults.

The New Labour
targets was not achieved as national statistics show only 500,000 children’s
have only been lifted above the poverty line by the date April 2001. (Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2003). The New
labour target was to lift 1 million children’s out of poverty. The
New Labour Government weren’t re-elected in 2010 and as resulted the following
government who are the Coalition government must follow up with legislations
and child poverty acts.

Some of the
policy’s the Coalition government used to tackle poverty was meeting the needs
of parents and their children and raising children’s educational attainments.
They did this by bringing out the Childcare Act which then place duty on local
authorities from the date April 2008 to give quality early years childcare for
parents who want to work and are working. Also, government brought out pupil
premium and early years pupil premium so that children from deprived families
can get a better start in their educational life. (Child Poverty Strategy, 2014)
This helped to alleviate poverty as more children can get early education which
boosts their educational attainment. As they can be in a same level as
children’s in wealthier families and can achieve 5 A*-C. This would then help
them to go onto further education or training to gain jobs on higher paid
wages. Which improves the relative poverty as more children’s will be earning a
wage which is 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 them
was supporting families into getting employment and increasing their wages. Government
did those by working with businesses to make more jobs available, helping individuals
get jobs through job center and training schemes, increasing the minimum wage
and improving qualifications for people so can get better paid jobs. This was
successful in alleviating poverty as statistics show employment rates from 2010
have gone up to almost 1.7 million and more people are in work. (CPS, Gov.uk,2014)
by getting more individuals in employment poverty rates will decrease as they
will be earning a wage and will be less dependent on benefit system. Also, it
means more people will be earning and will be above the absolute poverty line as
they can afford to buy the basic needs they require. Also by improving their
qualifications individuals can get better paid jobs which will increase the
living standards and will be working their way up to the median wage of the
overall country.

To conclude the Government
has made a lot of changes and improvements by bring out these policies in reducing
the Poverty in the UK. As a report shows a huge reduction in child poverty in
the years 1998/9 to 2010/11. As ‘1.1 million children were brought out of
poverty’ (DWP, 2012). However regardless of this there still a wide range of
concerns that will continue Poverty levels to shift in the UK. Some of these
concerns are the cuts within the public sector that is affecting the support
deprived and troubled families receive for example the cuts in children’s centers.
This would then increase poverty all over again. Also, other agendas are
universal credit, fuel poverty, costs of energy use, benefit changes and in
work poverty. Policy changes like the bedroom tax and benefit inflations have
been reported to have reduced the income of the poorer families. The institute
for fiscal studies suggests by 2012/22 ‘absolute poverty, taking housing costs
into account may increase by around 400 thousand children’s’ they also suggest ‘relative
child poverty increasing from 30% to 37%’. My conclusion is the Poverty will
always be a part of British Society as the country cannot ever end child
poverty as it is unavoidable. No matter how much is done Poverty will always be
present as it cannot be completely avoided. Governments will bring out policies
to alleviate poverty and then new policies such as bedroom tax and inflation of
benefits will outdo the previous policies. As they will decrease the income of
the poorer families and Individuals in our society.