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Some 'encouraging' results have been reported from attempts to compare people's exposure to poverty across different European countries, says a paper from Eurostat, the European Commission's statistical body.

Some of the difficulties of measuring poverty at the small-area level have been highlighted in a new paper from the LSE's Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion. The paper's author cautiously suggests a system of proxies based on benefits data as the most promising way forward.

Around 4.3 million working families, including 40 per cent of all those with children, were receiving benefits or tax credits in 2012, according to a new think-tank analysis – contrary to the impression often given that 'making work pay' is the answer to controlling benefit spending.

The kind of neighbourhood where people live has an important impact on their support for policies to tackle inequality, according to a new piece of academic research.

Housing benefits cuts are causing worry and confusion among families with children, according to research published by the housing charity Shelter.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has been rebuked by the official statistics watchdog for claiming the benefits cap is pushing people to find paid work. It said his claim was not supported by the official statistics, and was a breach of the code of practice on their use.

At least 1.3 million families on lower incomes have to spend more than they can reasonably afford on housing, according to a new analysis from the Resolution Foundation think tank.

The number of fuel-poor households in the UK fell to 4.5 million in 2011, from 4.75 million in 2010, according to the latest official annual report.

Gross income inequality in developed countries increased by more in the first three years of the global economic crisis, to the end of 2010, than it had in the previous twelve years, according to a new analysis from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

People are increasingly likely to believe poverty is caused by individuals' characteristics – such as laziness or lack of will power – rather than social factors, according to a new study from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The target for eliminating child poverty by 2020, set by the previous Labour government, has been criticised as 'technocratic', over-centralised and unaffordable by Nick Pearce, director of the influential Institute for Public Policy Research think tank.

A woman who was threatened with the 'bedroom tax' on unoccupied rooms in social housing has committed suicide. Stephanie Bottrill, aged 53, died in the early hours of 4 May after being hit by a lorry on the motorway near her home in Solihull in the west midlands.

Local councils in England are on course to meet the coalition government's target for turning around the lives of 'troubled' families, according to the latest progress report.

Child poverty is set to increase significantly by 2020, according to new forecasts from the Institute for Fiscal Studies – wiping out the gains made under the previous Labour Government. By 2020 nearly one in four children will be living in poverty.

The new universal credit system risks failing to deliver on its key objectives, according to a joint report from the TUC and the Child Poverty Action Group. Nine out of ten families, it estimates, will gain nothing following the new system's introduction.

There is 'tremendous potential' for reducing global poverty in the immediate future, according to researchers at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Author/s:
PSE Team

As many as 2.5 million people may be claiming out-of-work benefits on a long-term basis, according to an analysis by the Department for Work and Pensions. And it added that there are just over a million even when those on incapacity benefits are excluded.

Author/s:
PSE Team

There was a 170 per cent increase in the number of people turning to emergency food banks in 2012-13, according to food bank charity the Trussell Trust. It says almost 350,000 people received at least three days' emergency food during the 12 months to 31 March – nearly 100,000 more than anticipated and close to triple the number helped in the preceding year. Of those helped, 126,889 (nearly 37 per cent) were children.

Working-age households without children have seen their incomes hit harder by the recession than any other group, according to a study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Young single adults have also suffered compared with others.

Independent experts have sounded a series of warnings over the UK's progress on the active inclusion of people most excluded from the labour market. Adequate benefits, they say, are crucial to any active inclusion strategy.

Austerity policies have increased 'idleness' and given rise to the additional problem of disguised underemployment, according to a think-tank report.  The authors call for a fiscal policy designed to promote employment, coupled with a complete redesign of the income tax, national insurance and be

Financial pressures are increasingly spilling over into family life and putting relationships under strain, according to a new report.

There has been 'substantial progress' over the past year in promoting social justice, according to the coalition government's first annual progress report on its social justice strategy.

Over 29 per cent of children aged nine in Ireland suffer from multi-dimensional deprivation, according to a new analysis from University College Dublin. 20 per cent are deprived on grounds of low income.

There is strong evidence showing that inequality levels across countries converged during the period 1980–2005, according to a new academic paper.

Coalition proposals to change the way child poverty is measured risk creating confusion, the independent Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission has warned.

The principle of universalism underlying the welfare state would be abandoned at society's peril, warns a new think-tank report. The authors reject a 'growing acceptance' that selective rather than universal coverage will help to protect the future of public welfare provision.

New 'anti-poverty champions' are being planned in Wales to help the poorest groups in society and protect those most at risk of poverty and social exclusion.

A set of recurring 'myths' often distorts public debate on the benefits system, according to a new briefing from the Centre for Labour and Social Studies in conjunction with Red Pepper Magazine.

There is a 'negative and significant' link between income equality and work incentives, says a new academic study of EU countries.

Author/s:
Stewart Lansley and Joanna Mack

Stewart Lansley and Joanna Mack explore the trends in inequality and poverty pre and post the Thatcher years and find inequality grew sharply in the years after 1979. Add your comments to the debate.

Roll-out of the controversial cap on household benefit payments began in four London boroughs on 15 April 2013.

People in the UK are more likely to feel sympathy for people in poverty than their counterparts in the USA, France or Germany, according to the results of an opinion survey summarised exclusively in the Guardian newspaper.

The national minimum wage for adults will rise by 12p from October 2013 to £6.31 an hour, ministers have announced. This represents a cash increase of 1.9 per cent – but a real-terms cut when compared with current retail price inflation of 3.2 per cent.

The most deprived areas of Great Britain will also be the ones hit hardest by the coalition's policy of cutting benefits and tax credits, according to a new analysis from the Centre for Regional, Economic and Social Research in Sheffield.

Family allowances are less effective than policies such as childcare and parental leave in reducing household income inequality, according to a research study of a range of developed countries.

Over half of parents in lower-income groups cannot afford to organise birthday parties for their children, according to the findings of a new survey.

Company chief executives have increased their pay by a total of 15.8 per cent in the latest year, thanks to large increases in bonus payments.

Tackling child poverty effectively requires a rights-based approach that puts children at the centre of policy-making, according to a report from two European campaign groups.

A more unequal distribution of earnings is not the only factor behind growing household income inequality in recent decades, according to a study from researchers based in France. Income from self-employment and from capital has also played a role in boosting inequality.

Policies under the previous Labour governments 'meaningfully improved' children's opportunities in the UK, says a report summarising research into family life in the UK and USA.

People on low incomes needing emergency financial help are likely to be faced with a 'postcode lottery' of provision following the abolition of the Social Fund, according to a new study.

Policy-makers need to pay closer attention to links between housing and poverty, according to a new study from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation that looks at how housing can mitigate or exacerbate the impact of poverty on people’s lives.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has said it is 'right to question' why the taxpayer was 'subsidising lifestyles' like that of Michael Philpott, the man convicted of manslaughter over the death of six of his children in a fire at his Derby home.

440,000 families are being affected by multiple benefit cuts being introduced by the coalition government, according to an analysis conducted by the New Policy Institute. For each of the families concerned this will mean a total income cut of £16.90 a week.

A series of major changes to the tax and benefits systems came into effect from April 2013, accompanied by disputes over their purpose and likely impact. The Chancellor George Osborne described them as being about backing 'hard working people who want to get on in life'.

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, has said he could manage to live on £53 a week 'if he had to'.

Inflation is hitting the poorest families up to a third harder than the richest ones, due to the soaring cost of essentials such as gas and food, says the charity Barnardo's in a new report. Its conclusions are based on interviews with low-income families and new analysis of economic data.

2.4 million low-income families will pay on average £138 a year more in council tax from 1 April 2013, says a new analysis from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

A stark picture of the levels and extent of deprivation in the UK today is revealed in the Poverty and Social Exclusion (PSE) first report ‘The Impoverishment of the UK’.

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