Maternal Poverty Chris Warburton Brown 20th February 2012 [email_address]
Today’s goals <ul><li>To understand why maternal poverty is important, and why it is often ignored </li></ul><ul><li>To re...
A note on single parents <ul><li>28% of single parents are in income poverty and 91% of single parents are women </li></ul...
What is poverty? <ul><li>‘ A person can be said to be poor when their resources do not satisfy their needs...’ (Bryan Perr...
Flaws in poverty research  <ul><li>Focus on children, not parents </li></ul><ul><li>Little work on coupled women or women ...
My key assumptions <ul><li>Mothers have a unique experience, different to other women or men </li></ul><ul><li>Low income ...
Material Deprivation <ul><li>‘ Material deprivation’ assesses whether individuals or households have the basic necessities...
The Newcastle Studies <ul><li>Two studies, both in Newcastle upon Tyne between 2008 and 2010. 1) My PhD, involving 17 Whit...
Deprivation scores by household <ul><li>First and second quintiles excluded   (n=47)  </li></ul>6.4 1.5 1.9 3 Bottom quint...
Five Clear Findings <ul><li>Children generally suffered the least material deprivation and mothers the most. </li></ul><ul...
Anna <ul><li>‘ People say ‘money’s not important’ but it’s very important! I have had panicky times … at my worst times, I...
Claire <ul><li>‘ If Colin gets money to go to the shops he could quite easily spend thirty pounds on popcorn and orange ju...
Karen <ul><li>‘ I really have nothing to spend on myself…   I don’t really buy myself clothes. I just manage with clothes ...
Widespread Findings <ul><li>Mum is the household financial manager </li></ul><ul><li>Maternal self-sacrifice </li></ul><ul...
The two crucial issues  <ul><li>Generally: </li></ul><ul><li>Household incomes were too low </li></ul><ul><li>Income was n...
Boosting household incomes <ul><li>Two parent family, two kids. </li></ul><ul><li>Dad works 25 per week, minimum wage </li...
Possible strategies <ul><li>Dad increases hours to 30 (+5) </li></ul><ul><li>Dad increases rate of pay by 50% (£9.12) </li...
Dad increases hours to 30 <ul><li>Weekly income is £360.21 </li></ul><ul><li>59% of median household income </li></ul>
Dad increases pay to £9.12 an hour <ul><li>Weekly income is £357.90 </li></ul><ul><li>59% of median household income </li>...
Have another baby <ul><li>Weekly income is £398.97 </li></ul><ul><li>But household size has increased… therefore so has th...
Mum gets a minimum wage job 5 hours a week <ul><li>Weekly income is £369.94 </li></ul><ul><li>61% of median household inco...
The Impact of the Universal Credit  <ul><li>In the current system, earnings below the tax threshold are withdrawn at 41% a...
The Universal Credit <ul><li>Will be paid to only one partner, and the CTC/CB stipulation that it should be ‘the main care...
Cuts burden: Women 73%/Men 27% <ul><li>New research by the House of Commons Library shows that the measures outlined in th...
Small group discussion <ul><li>What were the things that interested you most from the presentation? (10 mins) </li></ul><u...
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Maternal Poverty

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This is the presentation that Dr Chris Warburton-Brown presented at the Maternal Poverty smeinar held in Sunderland on 20th February 2012.

The seminar explored the idea that mothers are generally the most materially deprived members of low income households, but that policy makers have largely ignored their needs.

Published in: Education, Self Improvement
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Maternal Poverty

  1. 1. Maternal Poverty Chris Warburton Brown 20th February 2012 [email_address]
  2. 2. Today’s goals <ul><li>To understand why maternal poverty is important, and why it is often ignored </li></ul><ul><li>To recognise the key role that mothers play as family finance managers </li></ul><ul><li>To understand that mothers’ employment can be key to lifting a family out of poverty </li></ul><ul><li>To be equipped to identify and undertake action within your own organisation that will reduce maternal poverty </li></ul>
  3. 3. A note on single parents <ul><li>28% of single parents are in income poverty and 91% of single parents are women </li></ul><ul><li>However, of families in income poverty 68% are two-parent families </li></ul><ul><li>Moreover, on average, a single mother will re-couple after four years; single motherhood is not a fixed state </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is poverty? <ul><li>‘ A person can be said to be poor when their resources do not satisfy their needs...’ (Bryan Perry, 2002) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Flaws in poverty research <ul><li>Focus on children, not parents </li></ul><ul><li>Little work on coupled women or women in working households </li></ul><ul><li>Poverty is measured at the household level </li></ul><ul><li>Income is used as the key measure of poverty </li></ul>
  6. 6. My key assumptions <ul><li>Mothers have a unique experience, different to other women or men </li></ul><ul><li>Low income women have a great deal to tell us about their lives </li></ul><ul><li>The poverty of each individual should be considered </li></ul><ul><li>Material deprivation is the best measure of poverty </li></ul>
  7. 7. Material Deprivation <ul><li>‘ Material deprivation’ assesses whether individuals or households have the basic necessities expected in their society and the means to do the things most people do. </li></ul><ul><li>HBAI now includes a measure combining material deprivation and low income; the 3rd tier measure. </li></ul><ul><li>This measure assesses whether household members have access to twenty one items such as a warm home or money for leisure. </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Newcastle Studies <ul><li>Two studies, both in Newcastle upon Tyne between 2008 and 2010. 1) My PhD, involving 17 White British women. 2) For Oxfam UK, with 30 ethnic minority women. </li></ul><ul><li>All were in couple households with children, all had one family member in work, and all had an annual household income of less than £30,000. </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews in three parts; 1) household income, 2) material deprivation, 3) in-depth qualitative exploration of household resource distribution. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Deprivation scores by household <ul><li>First and second quintiles excluded (n=47) </li></ul>6.4 1.5 1.9 3 Bottom quintile (51-61%) 5.5 1.4 1.5 2.6 Fourth quintile (62-65%) 3.3 0.4 0.5 2.4 Third quintile (66-70%) Mean household deprivation score (max = 15) Mean child deprivation score (max =5) Mean family deprivation score (max =5) Mean mother deprivation score (max =5) Quintile (% of median household income)
  10. 10. Five Clear Findings <ul><li>Children generally suffered the least material deprivation and mothers the most. </li></ul><ul><li>60% median poverty line not significant. </li></ul><ul><li>Material deprivation levels were only broadly related to household income. </li></ul><ul><li>Huge variation in the deprivation levels between families with very similar household incomes. </li></ul><ul><li>Possible to explain deprivation scores by reference to the qualitative interviews. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Anna <ul><li>‘ People say ‘money’s not important’ but it’s very important! I have had panicky times … at my worst times, I’d be sitting on the couch crying because I didn’t have enough money to buy a bag of crisps for Gavin for a packed lunch box. Things like that. It can affect you hugely. If you don’t have money, you can’t do anything. …there’s times where you get a little bill, and … you don’t think about it logically, because you’re already in the depression, you’re suffocated, and its blown out of all proportion, you’re totally hysterical, it’s the end of the world.’ ‘ </li></ul>
  12. 12. Claire <ul><li>‘ If Colin gets money to go to the shops he could quite easily spend thirty pounds on popcorn and orange juice and sweets and come back and be happy as Larry and have me freaking out all over the place, ‘cos I would have spent that thirty pound on shopping that would have lasted us like a fortnight. That’s why I’ve had to take control of everything ‘cos Colin’s in Oompa Loompa Land.’ </li></ul>
  13. 13. Karen <ul><li>‘ I really have nothing to spend on myself… I don’t really buy myself clothes. I just manage with clothes that I’ve had for a long time. But it affects your self esteem, ‘cos sometimes you’re wandering about and you think you look typically like a mum, you know, covered in food (laughs) … Sometimes I go swimming. Things like that I feel bad about doing. Because of the cost, it’s a fiver to go swimming. It’s just a fiver that probably doesn’t really exist, it should go on food.’ </li></ul>
  14. 14. Widespread Findings <ul><li>Mum is the household financial manager </li></ul><ul><li>Maternal self-sacrifice </li></ul><ul><li>Material hardship </li></ul><ul><li>The need to prove oneself a ‘good mother’ </li></ul><ul><li>Psychological distress </li></ul><ul><li>Accusations of male financial irresponsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Feelings of guilt </li></ul><ul><li>A constant sense of financial struggle </li></ul>
  15. 15. The two crucial issues <ul><li>Generally: </li></ul><ul><li>Household incomes were too low </li></ul><ul><li>Income was not distributed equally within the households </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore: </li></ul><ul><li>Boost household incomes </li></ul><ul><li>Improve the access women have to household resources </li></ul>
  16. 16. Boosting household incomes <ul><li>Two parent family, two kids. </li></ul><ul><li>Dad works 25 per week, minimum wage </li></ul><ul><li>No Housing benefit </li></ul><ul><li>After PAYE, NI, CB, WTC, CTC, and Council Tax, weekly income is £336.44 </li></ul><ul><li>55% of median household income (i.e. in income poverty) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Possible strategies <ul><li>Dad increases hours to 30 (+5) </li></ul><ul><li>Dad increases rate of pay by 50% (£9.12) </li></ul><ul><li>They have another baby </li></ul><ul><li>Mum gets a minimum wage job 5 hours a week </li></ul>
  18. 18. Dad increases hours to 30 <ul><li>Weekly income is £360.21 </li></ul><ul><li>59% of median household income </li></ul>
  19. 19. Dad increases pay to £9.12 an hour <ul><li>Weekly income is £357.90 </li></ul><ul><li>59% of median household income </li></ul>
  20. 20. Have another baby <ul><li>Weekly income is £398.97 </li></ul><ul><li>But household size has increased… therefore so has the amount they need to cross the 60% line…so… </li></ul><ul><li>57% of median household income </li></ul>
  21. 21. Mum gets a minimum wage job 5 hours a week <ul><li>Weekly income is £369.94 </li></ul><ul><li>61% of median household income </li></ul>
  22. 22. The Impact of the Universal Credit <ul><li>In the current system, earnings below the tax threshold are withdrawn at 41% and above the tax threshold at 73% </li></ul><ul><li>Under Universal Credit, earnings below the tax threshold will be withdrawn at 65% and above the tax threshold at 76% </li></ul><ul><li>This still means getting mum into employment is the best way to boost family incomes </li></ul>
  23. 23. The Universal Credit <ul><li>Will be paid to only one partner, and the CTC/CB stipulation that it should be ‘the main carer’ will be dropped </li></ul><ul><li>Does this mean gov’t no longer rewards the work of caring? </li></ul><ul><li>Could create purse to wallet transfers, especially for vulnerable women </li></ul><ul><li>Will reduce incentives for mothers to take part time work, but only slightly </li></ul>
  24. 24. Cuts burden: Women 73%/Men 27% <ul><li>New research by the House of Commons Library shows that the measures outlined in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement will be paid for almost three times more by women than by men. On Tuesday, George Osborne laid out plans to raise £2.37 billion though tax credit cuts and caps on public sector pay -- but new figures reveal that 73 per cent (£1.73 billion) of the money will come from women, and just 27 per cent (£638 million) from men. </li></ul><ul><li>(New Statesman Blog, 2 nd December 2011) </li></ul>
  25. 25. Small group discussion <ul><li>What were the things that interested you most from the presentation? (10 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>Has the focus on child poverty meant neglect of maternal poverty? (10 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>What can you do to raise awareness of and tackle maternal poverty? (15 mins) </li></ul><ul><li>Finish by committing to two actions, one personal and one organisational (5 mins) </li></ul>

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