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How has the experiences of poverty changed over the last thirty years. Six new videos drawing from the ITV Breadline Britain series in 1983, 1991 and 2013. Breadline Britain: the rise of mass poverty by Stewart Lansley and Joanna Mack is published by Oneworld on February 19, 2015

David Gordon, Joanna Mack, Stewart Lansley, Gill Main, Shailen Nandy, Demi Patsios, Marco Pomati and the PSE team from the University of Bristol, Heriot-Watt University, National Centre for Social Research, Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency, The Open University, Queen's University Belfast, University of Glasgow and University of York.

In this section you will find reports outlining our approach to the PSE UK 2012 research project.

Gill Main and Jonathan Bradshaw

The final report into child poverty and social exclusion finds 30% of children lack two of more of the child necessities and that child deprivation would be much higher if parents were not sacrificing their own living standards for their children's sake.

Simon Pemberton, Eileen Sutton, Eldin Fahmy and Karen Bell

The final report from the PSE qualitative research on the reality of life on low income records how people's perpetual struggles to make meagre budgets stretch eventually this takes its toll on their lives.

The percentage of households falling below society's minimum standard of living has increased from 14% to 33% over the last 30 years, despite the size of the economy doubling. In Scotland today, when we compare people's actual living standards with the minimum standards which the public thinks everyone should have, we find that:

Gill Main and Jonathan Bradshaw
This paper provides an analysis of questions on attitudes to necessities for the child items and activities in the 2012 PSE Attitudes to Necessities survey.
David Gordon

The PSE team presented the findings of their research at The 3rd Peter Townsend Memorial Conference: Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK, held in June 2014. Download the presentations.

The results of the largest ever study into poverty and social exclusion show rising levels of deprivation and that parents sacrifice their own welfare to protect their children. Read the full press release for the 2014 Townsend Memorial conference held in London on June 19 and 20, 2014.

Gabi Kent

As part of our commitment to public engagement, the PSE has sought to create a model or process to connect low income communities with PSE research, to amplify their voices by linking their local experiences to a national research project and to share their findings via digital media tools, such

Communities in Action and PSE team members

The Hard Times reports provide evidence gathered by communities themselves on the impact of austerity and cuts on families and young people across Northern Ireland. Watch the accompanying films on home repossession, struggles with debt and youth hopes and dreams on the community webpages.

Communities in Action and PSE team members
Gabi Kent

This working paper describes an experimental collaboration between members of the PSE team, the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland and communities from some of the most deprived wards in Northern Ireland. It's aim was to link local experiences to a national research project and to share their findings via digital media tools, such as the PSE website.

Only about 6 per cent of social housing tenants affected by the coalition government's 'bedroom tax' have moved home, according to research carried out by the BBC.

As many as one in eight people in Wales are finding it a 'constant struggle' to keep up with their bills, according to the latest findings from the National Survey of Wales.

The coalition government has claimed that it is tackling the root causes of poverty by 'giving people opportunities rather than trapping them in dependency', in its response to the first annual report of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.

The poorest families in Northern Ireland have suffered a dramatic fall in their income following the economic downturn, deteriorating at a markedly worse rate than the rest of UK, says new research published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

Between 2000 and 2013 the pay gap between the top 10 per cent and the bottom 10 per cent of earners rose by 5 per cent, according to a new analysis from the Trades Union Congress, released to mark the beginning of 'Fair Pay Fortnight'. 

European Union countries are still not giving social inclusion goals a high enough priority, according to a new report based on the work of a network of independent experts.

Living in poverty is universally linked with feelings of shame, according to an Oxford University study featured in a new film.

Total spending on most benefits and tax credits will be capped at £119.5 billion in 2015-16, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced in his 2014 Budget speech.

Relying on a 'snapshot' perspective tends to overstate inequalities in living standards between individuals, according to a new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies. The authors call instead for inequalities to be examined from a life-cycle perspective.

Key points

    Social security benefits are an essential tool for reducing child poverty, according to international evidence highlighted in a paper published by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG).

    A report by MPs has criticised the Department for Work and Pensions for a series of cases in which official statistics were used to 'spin' stories about benefit claimants, thereby encouraging 'negative preconceptions and prejudices'.

    Income inequality and social divisions could worsen and become entrenched unless governments in developed countries act quickly to boost support for the most vulnerable people in society, according to a new report from the Organisation of Economic and Social Development (OECD).

    Gerry Mooney

    The latest edition of Poverty in Scotland, 2014, sets out to inform the independence debate in Scotland, providing the latest facts and figures and looking at how other regions and nations have tackled the problem. Gerry Mooney gives an overview.

    The five richest families in the UK are now wealthier than the bottom 20 per cent of the entire population, according to a briefing drawn up by Oxfam.

    The social and economic impact of inequality costs the UK the equivalent of over £39 billion every year, according to new calculations from the Equality Trust.

    The government should have a minimum wage target of £6.94 an hour and create a powerful watchdog to help workers escape low pay, according to the conclusions of an inquiry chaired by Sir George Bain, one of the original architects of the UK statutory national minimum wage.

    The Department of Communities and Local Government claims that the Troubled Families Programme is ‘on track at the half-way stage’. Ruth Levitas unpicks the figures and argues this is far from the truth.

    A significant number of local council tax support schemes do not meet the official objective of protecting vulnerable people, according to a report by a committee of MPs. The report calls on the government to assess the impacts of localising council tax support.

    Plans to tackle child poverty in Scotland have been published by the Scottish Government. The new strategy, which covers the period 2014 to 2017, is aimed at tackling the causes of poverty by addressing them early.

    More than half of all children in poverty are missing out on crucial help that could keep them warm, a new analysis by the Children’s Society has revealed.

    A progressive property tax – replacing the 'widely discredited' council tax – could reduce bills for the poorest tenth of households by £202 a year on average, and increase them for the top tenth by £184, according to a new study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

    A new campaign aimed at highlighting the 'humanitarian crisis' caused by poverty in Scotland has been launched by a group of charities.
    The campaign will seek to raise awareness of the scale and impact of poverty on people living in Scotland.

    A coalition government minister has claimed it is ‘very hard to know' why people go to foodbanks.

    Household spending on energy has jumped by as much as 55 per cent over the course of a decade, according to new data published by the Office for National Statistics.

    Local councils in England and Wales have spent nearly £3 million over the last two years on tackling food poverty, an investigation has revealed.

    Each year as many as 68,000 people on jobseeker's allowance have their benefits taken away unfairly and face unnecessary hardship as a result, according to a new report from the Policy Exchange think tank. The report calls for the system of sanctions to be overhauled.

    The coalition government has reiterated its commitment to end child poverty in the UK by 2020 through tackling what it calls the underlying causes of deprivation. Plans to offer a revised measure of child poverty appear to have been shelved.

    The Low Pay Commission has recommended a 3 per cent rise in the statutory minimum wage from 1 October 2014, lifting the main adult hourly rate from £6.31 to £6.50.

    The pay gap between the over-50s and under-21s has ballooned by 50 per cent in the past decade and a half, at the same time as people in their 20s have seen rents rise by more than a third, according to a new report from the Intergenerational Foundation.

    The national minimum wage in the UK is no longer strong enough to tackle the country’s low pay problems, according to a report from the Resolution Foundation think tank.

    Low incomes, unemployment and benefit delays have combined to trigger increased demand for foodbanks among the UK's poorest families, according to an independent report commissioned by the government.

    The total number of sanctions imposed on benefit claimants in the year to September 2013 was 897,690 – the highest figure for any 12-month period since jobseeker's allowance was introduced in 1996 – according to figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions.

    Twenty-seven Church of England bishops have signed a letter condemning the coalition government's benefits reforms, which they say have forced people into food and fuel poverty.

    Britain's most senior Catholic cleric has described the effects of the coalition government's benefits reforms as a 'disgrace', and said the changes have removed even the most basic safety net for those threatened by poverty.

    The coalition government's reforms to benefits and tax credits will cost Wales around £900 million a year by 2015-16, according to a study carried out for the Welsh Government.

    Cuts in public spending have been targeted at people who are already disadvantaged, according to a new report from the Centre for Welfare Reform think tank.

    Tax credits and benefits play a crucial role in lifting low-paid workers out of poverty, according to new research published by the TUC.

    Plans by the coalition government to change how child poverty is officially measured have had to be shelved due to deadlock in a row between the Treasury and the Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, according to a report in the Guardian newspaper.

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