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Some families cannot afford the basic necessities a disabled child is entitled to under international law in order to live a dignified life, according to a study prepared for the children's rights watchdog for England.

Financial stress – caused by difficulty in affording essentials such as housing and fuel costs – is linked to worsening mental health among those affected, according to a new study of residents of deprived areas in Glasgow, Scotland.

The poorest income group spends twice as much on so-called 'sin taxes' and VAT than the wealthiest income group as a proportion of their income, according to a report from the Institute of Economic Affairs think tank.

As many as 28 per cent of Londoners are living in poverty, according to a report from the New Policy Institute. This is seven percentage points higher than in the rest of England.

A large majority of the public agree with the principle behind the benefit cap, and think that those affected by it should be prepared to find jobs or work more hours, according to an opinion survey carried out for the Department for Work and Pensions.

As many as 21 per cent of London workers – 625,000 people in total – are paid below the London 'living wage', according to researchers at the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion.

Demi Patsios and Shailen Nandy

This statistical briefing note compares differences between Great Britain and Northern Ireland in items reported as ‘necessary’ using the harmonised UK Omnibus dataset.

More than one in four people who receive social security benefits have hidden the fact because they are worried about what other people will think. And more than half (51 per cent) of all those who have never been supported by benefits say they would feel embarrassed to claim.

Sarah Payne

This conceptual note explores the complex relationship between poverty and social exclusion and mental health problems in terms of how we might measure poor mental health, and in how we might assess the direction of causality: does poverty, or social exclusion, cause poor mental health, or does p

David Gordon, Shailen Nandy and Demi Patsios

The statistical briefing examines the implications of a programming error that resulted in higher than expected amounts of missing data in the ‘sort card’ sample of the June 2012 Northern Ireland Omnibus Necessities Module.

Nick Bailey and Mike Tomlinson

This conceptual note explores work, paid and unpaid, looks at how the PSE research can examine the impact of the trend to an economy based on higher levels of low pay and insecurity and the impact of this on the extent to which paid work reduces poverty.

Demi Patsios, Shailen Nandy and David Gordon
This statistical briefing sets out the harmonisation that was carried out to ensure that there was comparability between NatCen and NISRA Omnibus surveys in the following areas: necessities; household membership and composition; socio-demographic variables; additional variables from Omnibus sur

Social policy in Britain and the USA is less effective than in Germany at alleviating the inter-generational transmission of social and economic disadvantages, according to a new paper from the German Institute for Economic Research.

Some of the UK’s most vulnerable families are struggling to afford essential household items such as fridges and beds due to a ‘poverty penalty’, says a new report from the campaign group Family Action.

Poverty is deepening and inequality is widening in the borough of Islington in north London, according to a new think-tank report. It says that after five years of economic uncertainty, public sector cuts and now 'welfare' reform, lower-income residents are under more pressure than ever.

Schemes to reduce poverty among particular ethnic groups in Wales need to form part of population-wide anti-poverty strategies, a new study for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has concluded.

More than 2.7 million benefit recipients think they will struggle to make sense of their payment options when universal credit is introduced, according to estimates by the Payments Council, the organisation responsible for overseeing the bank and card transfers system.

Progress in reducing or preventing poverty in the UK could be helped by the answers to 100 important research questions, according to a new report.

Nearly four out of five people who take out a payday loan do so in order to be able to buy food, a survey has found. The survey was conducted among over 1,500 clients of Christians Against Poverty, a Church-based national charity that tackles debt and money management problems.

Has social mobility in Britain been declining in recent decades, or has it been broadly static? Researchers at the London School of Economics have been trying to reconcile the different answers to that question given by incomes data as against social class data.

Long-term unemployed people deemed to be capable of working will in future be 'asked' to do so as a condition for continuing to receive benefits, under an announcement made by the coalition at the start of the Conservative Party conference.

Cuts to social security benefits introduced by the coalition government since 2010 amount to a breach of the UK's obligations under international agreements on human rights, according to an article by two legal experts and campaigners.

European Union countries are falling short over promises on constructing a 'Social Europe', according to a new report from anti-poverty campaigners.

Worsening income inequality in Germany in recent decades is the result of a combination of factors that includes less effective state redistribution mechanisms, according to a paper from academics in Düsseldorf.

Adult items and activities
PSE Team

Overall, levels of deprivation and financial hardship, are more extensive in Northern Ireland than in the UK as a whole and have increased since the last PSE survey in Northern Ireland in 2002/3. Read full details in Key Findings.

More than one in three households in social housing in the north of England have no money at all left at the end of each week after they have met their financial commitments, according to new research.

Julia Kukiewicz

Julia Kukiewicz asks if school-based education will actually increase financial literacy and how much real help will it offer those struggling on low incomes.

The opposition Labour Party's plans for the future of the benefits system have been clarified in two new reports. The first, by Liam Byrne (shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions), bases plans for reforming the social security system on a return to full employment.

Capping overall spending on social security benefits and tax credits could provide an opportunity to advance centre-left objectives for reforming 'welfare', argues a new report from the Institute for Public Policy Research think tank.

An alternative 13-item indicator produces a more accurate measurement of material deprivation in the European Union than the existing one, according to a paper by researchers from the Centre for Social Policy at Antwerp University.

As many as 690,000 people in Wales (23 per cent of the total) were estimated to be living in low-income households over the three year period to 2011-12, according to a regular monitoring report published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. 

The number of Americans in poverty rose slightly last year to 46.5 million, according to US Census data, despite a stock market recovery. The figure edged up from 46.2 million in 2011, leaving the national poverty rate unchanged at 15 per cent.

All infant school pupils (aged 5-7) in state-funded schools in England will be eligible for free school meals from September 2014, the coalition has announced. It says this is the first step towards giving free school meals to all children in primary schools (up to age 11).

Stewart Lansley

There has been much debate on the merits of tackling inequality by prioritising ‘pre-distribution` - of attempting to achieve a more equal distribution of the cake before turning to ‘redistribution’ through tax and benefits. Stewart Lansley examines the possible impact of a number of measures on wage levels and the wage share.

On average 2.4 pupils in every class arrive at school hungry at least once a week, says a report produced by multinational food company Kellogg's.

Austerity policies are leading to a massive increase in poverty and inequality in European countries, causing damage that will take two decades or more to reverse, according to a report from Oxfam GB. It warns that 25 million more people could be pushed into poverty in Europe by 2020.

The coalition government's tax and benefit reforms will have the overall effect of strengthening people's incentives to work, according to a new paper from the Institute for Fiscal Studies. The paper looks at reforms implemented, or due to be implemented, over the period 2010–2015.

The coalition's housing policies – including the controversial 'bedroom tax' – have been publicly criticised by a  United Nations Special Rapporteur.

Further government action on low pay is needed to help tackle the problem of in-work poverty, according to a report from the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.

Many EU member states still fail to provide adequate protection for their citizens against low income, according to researchers at the Centre for Social Policy in Antwerp.

Some signs of a softening in public attitudes to benefits and the welfare state have been detected in the latest British Social Attitudes Survey report, which is published each year by the National Centre for Social Research.

European governments need to step up efforts to tackle child poverty and social exclusion if the targets set for 2020 are to be achieved, according to a new analysis carried out for the Eurochild campaign consortium.

Tackling child poverty in Scotland is likely to prove still more difficult in years ahead because of the UK coalition government’s programme of benefits reform, according to the Scottish Government.

Trends in China are the dominant factor in global inequality trends since the late 1980s, according to a study by academics at the Center for Global Development in Washington (USA).

The economic downturn has pushed the earnings of a further 1.4 million employees below the level of the 'living wage' since 2009, according to a new report from the Resolution Foundation think tank.

White boys from poorer homes have been falling further behind at school in recent years, says a new report from the Centre for Social Justice think tank. The report highlights the role played by inadequate parenting associated with family breakdown, poverty and drug addiction.

New universal credit claimants would be forced to undertake work-related activity after a certain time, under proposals in a think-tank report aimed at tackling so-called 'welfare dependency'.

Planned reforms to the benefits system have been hampered by a series of 'missteps', the man charged with overseeing the introduction of universal credit has admitted. His remarks were made in an article published in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

The Welsh Government has claimed it is doing more than the UK coalition government – or any of the other devolved administrations – by way of efforts to tackle poverty.

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