‘Poverty poverty defines as an individual without their basic

‘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 at jobseekers, disabled and lone parents. This
scheme offered them an increased benefit and assisted childcare by providing
financial grants to provide funding to child minding. this is so lone parents
can return to employment. If any of the individuals who are receiving these
welfares are not seeking work actively will have the extra welfare taken away
and will receive the least amount. 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 as a lot 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.
However, many of the jobs that was made are very low paid jobs and were
temporary or part time jobs. These jobs have little or no opportunity to make
progression in also individuals wouldn’t be able to gain skills to get a high
paid employment. This means individuals in the society would suffer from
continuous poverty and would be in relative poverty due to having lower annual
income and wage when compared to the average of the UK.

Another policy
the labour party brought in to tackle 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 take up any kinds of
employment that maybe available to them regardless of the pay. This then will
be 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 gain
employment has made a positive effect on reducing poverty on both relative and
absolute terms. This is because people on minimum wages are ensured to have a
basic living standard and 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. 

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