Poverty Strategies
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A brief look at Make Poverty History, The UK Child Poverty Act and structural and cultural responses to poverty

A brief look at Make Poverty History, The UK Child Poverty Act and structural and cultural responses to poverty

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  • The 31st G8 summit was held from 6 to 8 July 2005 at the Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder, Scotland, United Kingdom and hosted by British Prime MinisterTony Blair.
  • If poverty can be solved by social policy, why does it still exist???The Labour years – tackling povertyNational Minimum Wage introduced, and increased each year.Tax credits introduced (so that those on low incomes effectively get some of their tax back)Sure Start set up for nursery places/child careWinter fuel payments for the elderly
  • Quotes from Lewis(1968)“they have a low level of literacy and education”“make very little use of banks, hospitals, department stores, museums or art galleries”“hatred of the police, mistrust of government”Culture of poverty solution - Educate the poor – teach them mainstream norms of values such as hard work, academic success and deferred gratification.All children are taught norms and values at school, so why does poverty still exist?Culture of poverty criticisms - Can this study be applied to modern day UK?How do you measure/study norms and values? – could be a subjective interpretation.Ignores the lack of jobs and lack of education at that time
  • Not all proletariat are poor – what about footballers, actors and CEOS?Marxists are looking at inequality, not poverty – and they are bound to find inequality in capitalist statesAssumes poverty will disappear under communism – but many communist states have severe povertyIgnores recent policies designed to help the working class - National Minimum wage, tax credits etc
  • Since Field’s theory was published in late 1980s, New Labour pledged to abolish the poverty trap. Fields research focused on citizenship and exclusion and that in recent history certain groups had been excluded from rights that citizens should enjoy – long term unemployed, lone parents, pensioners, defined by government policies increasing gap between rich and poor and increasing long term unemployed, and stigmatising and blaming poor for their poverty rather than reflecting on wider economic and social factors – his solution to concentrate on a better organised and comprehensive welfare stateTax credits now existSure start provides some free nursery places for 3-4 year oldsMurray would say that Field ignores the fact that there shouldn’t be lone parents in the first place, and that some people just don’t want a job.
  • Poverty is NOT particularly functional for those experiencing it!Murray would say that the underclass do not help the economy – instead they claim benefits whilst committing crime!

Poverty Strategies Presentation Transcript

  • 1. “Solutions to Poverty” Policies & Perspectives
  • 2. Assessment Criteria • Outline and critically evaluate different explanations of social inequality and poverty. • Outline and critically evaluate research evidence relating to social inequality and poverty.
  • 3. MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY Nelson Mandela - 3rd February, 2005 • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NennM CLG7A
  • 4. MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY • Urged the government and international decision makers to make meaningful policy change on three critical and inextricably linked areas: trade, debt and aid.
  • 5. Trade justice • Fight for rules that ensure governments, particularly in poor countries, can choose the best solutions to end poverty and protect the environment. • End export subsidies that damage the livelihoods of poor rural communities around the world. • Make laws that stop big business profiting at the expense of people and the environment.
  • 6. Drop the debt • The unpayable debts of the world's poorest countries should be cancelled in full, by fair and transparent means.
  • 7. More and better aid • Donors must now deliver at least $50 billion more in aid and set a binding timetable for spending 0.7% of national income on aid. • Aid must also be made to work more effectively for poor people.
  • 8. MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY • On January 31, 2006, the majority of the members of the campaign passed a resolution to disband the organisation • The British coalition had only agreed to come together formally for a limited lifespan, to correspond with Britain holding the presidency of the EU and G8.
  • 9. Evaluation • The relief is spread over some 40 years, amounting to $1 billion per year; The net present value of the deal is about $17 billion. • It is tied with many economic conditions that have caused poverty and debt misery in the first place; • These conditions are undemocratically imposed by rich countries and their institutions, and promote what has historically been unequal trade; • What countries get in debt relief, they will lose in future aid. (Give with one hand, take with the other) http://www.globalissues.org/article/541/g8summit-2005
  • 10. Poem • More Precious than Gold
  • 11. More Precious than Gold • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayg8NriNE dU
  • 12. The Child Poverty Act 2010 • In March 2010 the Child Poverty Act was passed, legally binding the government to a commitment to eradicate child poverty in Britain by 2020. • For the first time ever, government and local authorities have been set targets to end childhood poverty for good. [online] http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/9/contents
  • 13. Child Poverty Act targets The Act imposes a legal duty on current and future governments to move towards four UKwide targets by 2020 as follows: • Relative poverty – for less than 10% of children to live in relative low income families. • For the purposes of this target, low income is defined as an equivalised net income below 60% of the UK median. http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/child-povertypromise-and-child-poverty-act
  • 14. Combined low income and material deprivation • For less than 5% of children to live in material deprivation and low income families. • For the purposes of this target, low income is defined as an equivalised net income below 70% of the UK median.
  • 15. Absolute poverty • …for less than 5% of children to live in absolute low income families. • For the purposes of this target, absolute low income is defined as an equivalised net income below 60% of an adjusted base amount, with the base year being 2010/11.
  • 16. Persistent poverty • … for fewer children to live in relative poverty for long periods of time, with the specific target to be set at a later date. • For the purposes of this target, a long period is defined as three years or more
  • 17. Child Poverty duties • The Act also imposes a range of duties on local authorities. They are obliged to undertake a child poverty needs assessment and must co-operate with partner agencies with a view to reducing child poverty. These agencies include: – – – – district councils the police and criminal justice systems transport authorities health authorities http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/child-povertypromise-and-child-poverty-act
  • 18. Current Situation In 2011/12: • 17% of children (2.3 million) were in households in the UK with incomes below 60% of contemporary median net disposable household income before housing costs (BHC), • 27% (3.5 million) after housing costs (AHC).
  • 19. Historical Comparison • Compared to 2010/11, this represents a fall of 0 percentage points (no change in numbers) on a BHC basis and a fall of 0 percentage points (no change in numbers) AHC.
  • 20. Historical Comparison • Compared to 1998/99, this represents a fall of 9 percentage points (1.1million) on a BHC basis and a fall of 7 percentage points (0.9 million) AHC. • Dept for Work and Pensions [online] https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/households-below-average-incomehbai--2
  • 21. Evaluation of Measurement • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avJHYeFb o8c • http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newsvideo /9856092/Government-child-poverty-targetsunincentivising-work-says-think-tank.html
  • 22. So poverty still exists……  A cultural explanation blames the existence and persistence of poverty on the individual’s culture/behaviour/way of life.  A structural explanation blames the existence and persistence of poverty on wider society, or the government  Also known as:  Also known as: Right-wing explanations ‘Dependency’ explanations  The New Right perspective and the Culture of Poverty theory agrees with this view. Left wing explanations Societal explanations  Marxists, Social Democrats and the ‘cycle of deprivation’ theory all agree with this view.
  • 23. Lewis (1968) – The Culture of Poverty Theory • Studied a poor community in Mexico • Found their way of life was keeping them in poverty • Children were taught different norms and values from mainstream society: – ‘Fatalism’ – acceptance of their situation, rather trying to change it – ‘Immediate gratification’ – spend any money they had immediately – did not save up for the future or stay on at school. • Therefore, poor children grew up to be poor adults, who then brought up the next generation of poor children…
  • 24. The New Right Perspective: Charles Murray (1989) • A political and sociological perspective • Associated with ‘Thatcherism’ from the 1980s • A ‘right wing’ approach: – capitalism is the best way to run the economy – People should be allowed to make as much money as they like – The government should not interfere – ‘Lazy’ people should not be dependent on government benefits!
  • 25. The Marxist View of Poverty • Poverty is caused by capitalism • Poverty is inevitable under capitalism • The bourgeoisie pay the proletariat low wages in order to maximise profit. • The proletariat suffer from false consciousness, thinking their wages are fair and reasonable.
  • 26. The Social Democratic View of Poverty • A political and sociological perspective • Believes capitalism is acceptable with government intervention • Government should provide range of benefits for the poor • The rich should pay high taxes to help the poor • Key sociologist: Frank Field (1989)
  • 27. Field • When Field’s theory was published in late 1980s, New Labour pledged to abolish the poverty trap. • Field’s research focused on citizenship and exclusion and that in recent history certain groups had been excluded from rights that citizens should enjoy • These groups included the long term unemployed, lone parents, pensioners
  • 28. Field was concerned about.. • The increasing gap between rich and poor • The increasing long term unemployed • The stigmatisation and blaming of the poor for their poverty rather than reflecting on wider economic and social factors • His solution to concentrate on a better organised and comprehensive welfare state
  • 29. Policies that resulted… – Tax credits now exist – Sure start provides some free nursery places for 34 year olds etc. etc. etc. • However, Murray would say that Field ignores the fact that there shouldn’t be lone parents in the first place, and that some people just don’t want a job.
  • 30. The Functionalist Explanation of Poverty Herbert Gans (1971) • • Poverty exists and persists because it is functional! Poverty performs 13 functions – some for individuals and some for society Examples: • Poverty creates jobs for the middle classes – police officers, social workers etc. • Poverty helps the economy - out-of-date food, last-season clothes and old cars are all bought by the poor! • Poverty ensures that all jobs are filled in society – the poor will take up dull/dangerous/dirty jobs that no one else wants!
  • 31. The Coalition’s Welfare Reform White Paper published in November 2010: • The current system is too complicated because there are more than 50 different benefits/payment schemes available • Need to reduce the number of people on benefits, especially the long-term unemployed.
  • 32. The Coalition’s Welfare Reform • To reform the benefit system & make “it fairer, more affordable and better able to tackle poverty, worklessness and welfare dependency” the coalition introduced a introduced a new benefit policy called universal credit.
  • 33. Welfare Reform Act 2012 • The benefit cap will see couples and single parents receive no more than £500 a week in benefits. • The limit for single people is £350, although there are some exemptions.
  • 34. Bedroom Tax • Welfare reforms cut the amount of benefit that people can get if they are deemed to have a spare bedroom in their council or housing association home.