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The overall level of relative poverty in Northern Ireland increased between 2010-11 and 2011-12, according to the latest edition of the Northern Ireland Poverty Bulletin.

Significantly more children are growing up in poverty now than 40 years ago, says the National Children's Bureau in a new report.

The proportion of households in the UK with at least one person of working age who is workless is at its lowest level since records began in 1996, according to the latest statistical bulletin published by the Office for National Statistics.    

Changes to the benefits system made by the UK coalition government since it took office in 2010 have hit women disproportionately hard, according to a new study published by the Scottish Government.

Some domiciliary care workers are being paid as little as £5 an hour – well below the legal minimum wage – according to a report from the Resolution Foundation think tank.

The extra support for childcare costs proposed by the government is skewed towards wealthier households, even among those who will qualify for universal credit, according to a new report from the Resolution Foundation think tank.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has said he finds it 'hard to talk' about modern-day poverty when he comes across families on low incomes who live on junk food but spend money on expensive TV sets.

The redistributive effect of tax and benefit systems depends heavily on the way in which income is defined, says a new working paper from the Institute for Social and Economic Research.

Many families find their finances stretched to breaking point over the school holidays, according to findings of a survey carried out on behalf of the Salvation Army charity.

YouGov sampled 4,263 adults online during the period 7-12 August 2013.

Key findings


The coalition government’s benefit reforms are plunging into 'chaos', according to Liam Byrne, Labour's shadow work and pensions secretary. In a speech in London he said the so-called 'welfare revolution' promised by the coalition was clearly in 'very, very serious trouble'.

Levels of deprivation in the largest seaside destinations in England have been highlighted in an analysis from the Office for National Statistics, based on the official indices of deprivation.

New figures from Citizens Advice show a 78 per cent rise in enquiries about food banks in the past six months. Enquiries about food banks in Citizens Advice Bureaux have risen in almost every region of the country.

Meeting the minimum needs of a child up to age 18 now costs around £148,000 – equivalent to around £160 a week – according to an updated analysis published by the Child Poverty Action Group. The figure has risen by 4 per cent between 2012 and 2013.

The coalition government's austerity programme is mainly hitting those people who depend on vital support from public services and social security, according to a new study from the New Economics Foundation think tank.

Moving to a system of 'personalised welfare' is the answer to the problems facing the benefits system for working-age people, says a new report from the Social Market Foundation think tank.

Current trends in income mobility between different generations may be heavily influenced by policies and events in the past, according to a new  study of developed countries by researchers at the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn.

As many as nine per cent of children in London, or the equivalent of 74,000 children, may be suffering from inadequate food intake. That's one of the key findings of research conducted by Ipsos MORI for the Greater London Authority.

Low-income children are disadvantaged across the full spectrum of later developmental outcomes, a study by Bristol University has found.

The next generation of Americans faces a lower level of inter-generational earnings mobility than their immediate predecessors, according to a paper from the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn.

Fewer than one out of every four people receiving benefits will be in a position to offset cuts in their income by finding work or moving to cheaper accommodation, a new study has concluded.

People are more likely to support the principles of the welfare state, such as  income equalisation and government interventions, if they feel that key events affecting their lifecourse are outside their control.

The £500 a week benchmark used by the coalition government to set its household benefit cap is significantly lower than the level of average earnings, a freedom of information request has revealed.

Almost £2 billion a year is being spent on benefit payments to people of working age living in seaside towns, according to a report from the Centre for Social Justice think tank. The report is based on case studies of five towns – Rhyl, Margate, Clacton, Blackpool and Great Yarmouth.

A policy shift towards preventing 'benefit dependency' is increasingly undermining the capacity of social security systems in Europe to alleviate poverty, according to a discussion paper from researchers at Antwerp University.

Scottish independence – or significant extra devolution of powers – would provide Scotland with a chance to reform the benefits system and reassess some aspects of existing UK-wide policy, says a new briefing from the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

A BBC television programme about the benefits system, presented by John Humphrys, breached the corporation's own rules on impartiality and accuracy, the BBC Trust has ruled in response to a complaint from the Child Poverty Action Group.

A series of problems have been identified in the early implementation of the new universal credit system.

As many as 12 per cent of households are finding it difficult to manage financially, and a further 27 per cent are 'just about getting by', according to the first in a series of five annual reports on financial inclusion from Birmingham University researchers.

Disabled people are having to make increasing use of doorstep loans, according to a survey carried out for the disability charity Scope. The survey found that one in ten disabled people have resorted to the loans, compared with just 3 per cent of the general population. 

The total financial cost to society of child poverty has risen from £25 billion a year in 2008 to £29 billion in 2013, says an updated analysis for the Child Poverty Action Group. The analysis takes into account a range of factors such as extra spending on services and lost tax receipts.

Some of the poorest families in England are at risk from changes to the Social Fund for people in financial crisis, says a report from the Children's Society charity.

Children from economically deprived families are more likely to be socially excluded as adults, finds a study from the Centre for Longitudinal Studies.

Women in Wales are more likely to be adversely affected than men by UK-wide changes in the benefits system, according to a new report. They are also likely to lose more compared with men.

Even a very modest rented home is beyond the reach of low-income households in 33 per cent of all local authority areas, says a new report from the Resolution Foundation think tank. It described the results of its research as 'alarming'.

A new method for measuring multi-dimensional poverty is rigorous, easy to unpack and use for policy, and also flexible enough for different contexts, according to a research centre at Oxford University which has pioneered the approach.

Polling conducted for the coalition government has suggested strong public support for the household benefit cap, under which no household is allowed to receive benefits totalling more than £26,000 each year.

Many families with children receiving the new universal credit will fall short of an adequate standard of living, as measured by the Minimum Income Standard, according to new calculations released by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The so-called 'national roll out' phase of the new universal credit system from October 2013 will consist of adding just a further six Jobcentres to the scheme, the coalition government has announced. That brings the total to ten, or 1.5 per cent of the total.

Income inequality in 2011-12 was at its lowest point since 1986, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The coalition government is scrapping the target of eradicating fuel poverty in England.

Lettershandoney District Development Group

Lettershandoney is a small estate in an otherwise rural area of County Derry. The Lettershandoney and District Development Groups form one of eight community groups taking part in the Communities in Action (CiA) project. The recession and job insecurity has hit this community hard. This article brings their community-produced film and evidence.

The Villages Together

Three rural villages in County Londonderry are participating in the Communities in Action (CiA) collaboration, under the umbrella of the Bready community group, The Villages Together. Social isolation for young people is a big issue, as the community group reports.

Fountain Street Community Development Association

Fountain Street and Springhill Park are two neighbouring communities in the town of Strabane, Co. Tryone. Marginalised young people from both communities are participating in the Communities in Action (CiA) collaboration.

Grace Women's Development Ltd

Ardoyne is a residential area in North Belfast. GRACE Women’s Development Limited is one of eight community groups taking part in the Communities in Action collaboration. Spiralling debt is an over-riding issue here. In this article, the group reports their findings using a video they’ve made and evidence they’ve gathered.

The PSE has linked up with Children North East (CNE) to highlight findings from their community research and action projects with disadvantaged young people across the region. Projects include researching poverty through photography and devising a toolkit to help schools ‘poverty-proof the school day’.

A sensible national minimum wage policy can boost pay without harming unemployment, and without large offsetting declines in working hours or non-wage benefits, according to a new discussion paper from the Resolution Foundation think-tank.

Taghnevan Community Development Association

Taghnevan is a housing estate in County Armagh. Taghnevan Community Development Association is one of eight community groups taking part in the Communities in Action (CiA) collaboration. People here are particularly worried about the future prospects of local young people.

Doury Road Development Group

Doury Road Estate is located on the edge of Ballymena town, North Antrim. Doury Road Development Group is taking part in the Communities in Action (CiA) collaboration. A lack of services and area deprivation are key concerns for this community. Watch the film they made and evidence they have gathered.



Communities in Action and the PSE team members

The Communities in Action (CiA) project identified debt and financial insecurity as a collective problem with profound impacts on family life and people’s health. Here you will find information on what is happening in households across many different communities and how local experiences fit with the wider picture in Northern Ireland.



Donegall Pass Community Forum

Donegall Pass is a small community in inner-city Belfast and Donegall Pass Community Forum is one of eight community groups taking part in the Communities in Action (CiA) collaboration. The community group has identified stress, anxiety and money worries as major issues to emerge from their focus group discussions.

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