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Spending Cuts 'will See Rise In Absolute Child Poverty'

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/dec/16/spending-cuts-rise-absolute-child-poverty

The government's radical programme to slash spending will see the first rise in absolute child poverty for 15 years, with almost 200,000 children pushed into penury, according to an analysis by the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

Tax changes introduced by the coalition government will, the leading independent fiscal thinktank finds, increase absolute poverty by 200,000 children and 200,000 working-age adults in 2012-13.

Cuts to housing benefit alone will force a further 100,000 children into poverty.

In the next three years the IFS says average incomes are forecast to stagnate and this, coupled with deep cuts in welfare, will see a rise in relative poverty for children and working-age adults of 800,000 and a rise in absolute poverty for the same group of 900,000.

The institute directly challenges the government's claim that the impact of the budget would have no effect on child poverty.

Sally Copley, head of UK policy at Save the Children, said: "George Osborne promised in his spending review that child poverty would not get worse over the next two years. These new figures show the government will meet this commitment.

"But standing still on child poverty is never good enough and the prospect of it actually rising after 2012 is totally unacceptable."

Absolute poverty, set at 60% of 2010's average income, is used to set legally binding targets in the landmark Child Poverty Act passed this year with cross-party support.

As long as people can afford to bailout the bankers and fund deficit spending all is well.

So more families are expected to drop below the 60% threshold hold then?

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As long as people can afford to bailout the bankers and fund deficit spending all is well.

So more families are expected to drop below the 60% threshold hold then?

We are fast sliding down the slippery slope of haves and have nots in this country, sadly the young, unless they are from very wealthy families are doomed to be in the have nots category no matter how hard they work.

The more I experience of the UK the more it feels like one giant Gulag. There is the illusion of freedom but unless you are rolling in money then it's all an illusion.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/dec/16/spending-cuts-rise-absolute-child-poverty

As long as people can afford to bailout the bankers and fund deficit spending all is well.

So more families are expected to drop below the 60% threshold hold then?

Maybe we need a new definition of 'absolute' poverty.

There was something on TV the other night, some volunteer working with poor families on a deprived estate somewhere in London. She said Christmas was a very hard time for them, since the way they showed their love for their children was by buying them 40 or 50 inch plasma TVs for their bedrooms.

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Maybe we need a new definition of 'absolute' poverty.

There was something on TV the other night, some volunteer working with poor families on a deprived estate somewhere in London. She said Christmas was a very hard time for them, since the way they showed their love for their children was by buying them 40 or 50 inch plasma TVs for their bedrooms.

Have to agree with you here

I keep telling my children, that they are amongst the 10% of richest people on the planet Just by being able to live in the UK (my kids are Maltese) Dont complain about the UK until you have lived in a country which is far less lucky

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It is a strange measure.

If you have a country of 100 people, 99 families earning £1m a year, 1 family earning £10b a year then in absolute poverty levels 99% of families are poor.

However if the billionaire has been allowed to buy up all the land, homes, food and power supplies and charges the most he can possibly charge it could well be true.....

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The definition doesn't sound like an absolute.. it sounds like a relative measure. 60% of the median income.

An absolute measure would be something like, clean clothes, certain amounts per day of macro and micro nutrients, heated living space, able to get to school, access to flush toilet, access to refrigeration, clean water.. etc..

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Sorry, looks like a bit of 1984 wordplay going on here.

Define relative poverty - here's one:

http://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2010/12/spending-reforms-to-plunge-almost-a-million-into-poverty/

Spending reforms to plunge almost a million into poverty

By David Williams

17 December 2010

The government’s tax and benefit reforms will plunge 800,000 people into relative poverty by 2013/14, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has found.

In a study commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the influential economics think-tank says that although the average household income is projected to fall, increasing numbers will be living on less than 60% of the national median.

Yes the same story reported correctly..

Define absolute poverty - here's one:

David Gordon's paper, "Indicators of Poverty & Hunger", for the United Nations, further defines absolute poverty as the absence of any two of the following eight basic needs:[2]

Food: Body Mass Index must be above 16.

Safe drinking water: Water must not come from solely rivers and ponds, and must be available nearby (less than 15 minutes' walk each way).

Sanitation facilities: Toilets or latrines must be accessible in or near the home.

Health: Treatment must be received for serious illnesses and pregnancy.

Shelter: Homes must have fewer than four people living in each room. Floors must not be made of dirt, mud, or clay.

Education: Everyone must attend school or otherwise learn to read.

Information: Everyone must have access to newspapers, radios, televisions, computers, or telephones at home.

Access to services: This item is undefined by Gordon, but normally is used to indicate the complete panoply of education, health, legal, social, and financial (credit) services.

Relative and absolute are not interchangeable. Absolute is the sort of word you would use to describe a shanty town dweller. Relative poverty is an unreachable statistical ploy to trigger sympathy for ever present social engineering.

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I think the threshold for "absolute child poverty" is something like £340 a week.

I dunno, but that doesn't seem like the poverty I think of, or the rest of the world.

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Hear Hear.

And the other trick they use is to quote income before tax and benefits have been applied.

Just because you are on £35 grand a year, doesnt mean you are better off in absolute terms that someone earning £0. Take away all your tax, add in income support, council tax benefits, free school meals, housing benefit, council house subsidies, and then look, and you end up with a completely different outcome.

It is the post tax and benefit figure that needs to be looked at. And I would argue as well that if someone is working 40 hours a week to earn their money, then their ought to be a notional deduction from their figure as recognition of their efforts.

So unless you have parents with really great jobs, it is the children with working parents that are in the greatest relative poverty in the UK. (Omitting the hideous problem of abusive or neglectful parents).

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in other other words parents treated credits/welfare paid to them as income, took out a ton of debt against welfare, salary, and assets then go glassy eyed 'Won't you THINK of the children'. The children will be fine just default, ah I see why the Government cares so much now.

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The definition doesn't sound like an absolute.. it sounds like a relative measure. 60% of the median income.

An absolute measure would be something like, clean clothes, certain amounts per day of macro and micro nutrients, heated living space, able to get to school, access to flush toilet, access to refrigeration, clean water.. etc..

But, but, but if we do that, we'll discover that bog all people in this country are in poverty. And we cannot have that can we? What will all the box tickers in the council do all day?

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The definition doesn't sound like an absolute.. it sounds like a relative measure. 60% of the median income.

An absolute measure would be something like, clean clothes, certain amounts per day of macro and micro nutrients, heated living space, able to get to school, access to flush toilet, access to refrigeration, clean water.. etc..

Yes.

I think they should measure it more sensible.

They add a weeks holiday a year into the poverty thing too

I'm not sure it's an essential - a holiday is a luxury really.

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What would be the better measure?

See how many are hungry, without a home, without clothing, school, etc

And then measure how many are living in sh&t cos of their parents and then do something about it.

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Yes.

I think they should measure it more sensible.

They add a weeks holiday a year into the poverty thing too

I'm not sure it's an essential - a holiday is a luxury really.

Or at least a foreign holiday. I never went abroad until I was 20. Never did me any harm (and we're talking the mid-late 80s here, when 2 weeks in Santa Ponsa was "de-rigeur" for a large chunk of the population).

Most people in the UK live with an hour's drive/train trip to the seaside. Very few couldn't afford that as a day out. Kids love that. No need to sit for 6hrs in a busy airport and travel half the day just to make a sandcastle.

<edited for sense>

Edited by Agentimmo

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Got to keep feeding the banksters (and the land owners and globo corporates and their lawyers, accountants, politicians........)

Skimmers scummers and scammers.

We're all in this together shouts Osborne from his apprenticeship bankster job.

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It is the post tax and benefit figure that needs to be looked at. And I would argue as well that if someone is working 40 hours a week to earn their money, then their ought to be a notional deduction from their figure as recognition of their efforts.

So unless you have parents with really great jobs, it is the children with working parents that are in the greatest relative poverty in the UK. (Omitting the hideous problem of abusive or neglectful parents).

Yes the problem is for so many work does not pay. Low wages in comparison to the high essential cost like housing, travel , and energy paid out of post tax income forces so many into a poverty trap .

I know one person who gets top rate DLA , his house is rent and council tax free, he is provided with a car taxed insured and serviced free, he is given x amount per week to live on . A single working person would need an income of £35,000k before stoppages to get his standard of living and they would have to get out of bed and work five days a week to get it.

Rent and council tax for a two bed house where he lives would be about £700 per month. That is before anything else. No wonder so many are trapped on benefits.

As for the flat screen tvs , consumer tat like that is so cheap now that what was a luxury can be obtained by anyone working or not and really has no bearing in assessing poverty.

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'Relative poverty' is nonsense - simply a malleable concept used by pressure groups and vested interests.

'Absolute poverty' does not exist in the UK.

The problem is how to define poverty. Nobody seems to address this. In the nineteenth century there was a huge debate about it and eventually Rowntree's definition was accepted, that poverty (or absolute poverty) is lack of the minimum basic level of food, clothing and shelter.

Of course, it's difficult to come up with an acceptable definition of 'minimum basic level', but the British shy away from any discussion of this and simply wallow in guilt instead. It's part of the 'all must have prizes' mentality of the left, that nobody in authority has the right to make value judgements about how people live.

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'Relative poverty' is nonsense - simply a malleable concept used by pressure groups and vested interests.

Showing how much of an imbalance there is between the richest and everyone else is useful, but it isn't necessarily anything to do with poverty.

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I think the threshold for "absolute child poverty" is something like £340 a week.

I dunno, but that doesn't seem like the poverty I think of, or the rest of the world.

+1

and what everyone else says

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See how many are hungry, without a home, without clothing, school, etc

And then measure how many are living in sh&t cos of their parents and then do something about it.

Exactly. You can't separate (relative) child poverty from parent poverty - they are intrinsically linked, and all too often there's poverty of aspiration thrown in. You can chuck all the money you like at parents, but if they still feed their kids junk, leave them in front of the telly half the day, don't read to them or show any interest in their education, and show absolutely no example of any work ethic, what good's it going to do?

Anyone who's seen much of the 3rd world will have seen children from infinitely poorer families than any we have here, beautifully turned out for school by parents who value education highly and are often struggling to find the money for the school books our kids get for free. Sometimes they're struggling to pay fees, too.

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1 in 10 boys leave primary school without learning to read!

A national scandal and disgrace.

Labour had years to tackle this - they could have made it mandatory to use teaching methods that have been proven to work far better than some of the trendier methods* that are still used. But they didn't, and I bet anything the Tories/LDs now try to do will be resisted on anti-Tory principle by teaching unions.

*like Look and Say (whole words) . Anyone still in favour of this should be made to learn a language with a completely unfamiliar alphabet (like Thai or Arabic) and be made to learn to read it by Look and Say. That'd larn 'em. :)

Edited by Mrs Bear

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Exactly. You can't separate (relative) child poverty from parent poverty - they are intrinsically linked, and all too often there's poverty of aspiration thrown in. You can chuck all the money you like at parents, but if they still feed their kids junk, leave them in front of the telly half the day, don't read to them or show any interest in their education, and show absolutely no example of any work ethic, what good's it going to do?

Anyone who's seen much of the 3rd world will have seen children from infinitely poorer families than any we have here, beautifully turned out for school by parents who value education highly and are often struggling to find the money for the school books our kids get for free. Sometimes they're struggling to pay fees, too.

That's because in the third world basic education is, or at least is seen to be, a means of materially improving yourself and your family. There is no such connection in the UK, because several generations have been taught not only that the state will provide all your requirements regardless of your own effort, but that any attempt to better yourself through work will be financially penalised.

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There is a difference between being in poverty and being poor.....no child in the UK should be in poverty, but they could well be if their carers spend the money they receive on the wrong things, or they borrow money when no responsible lender should be lending to those that do not have the disposable income to repay with loan shark interest rates added....that is more like why the poor that do have enough to live on are falling into poverty trap. ;)

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