Over the last thirty years national income has doubled. So has poverty. Where did it all go wrong?
Poverty in Britain is at crisis levels. Food bank queues, poor housing and insecure jobs are on the rise, leaving increasing numbers of people with their most basic needs unmet – and millions of children damaged by a lack of opportunities.
Based on exclusive access to a unique series of surveys conducted in the UK over three decades, Stewart Lansley and Joanna Mack reveal the shocking state of deprivation in Britain today and debunk the myth that poverty is down to a ‘something for nothing’ benefits system. Instead the blame lies with the massive shift in power from the workforce to corporation that has led to an increasingly uneven division of the cake.
Hard-hitting and timely, this book argues that only wholly different political choices will reverse the fall in living standards experienced by so many Britons today.
'Hard-hitting… researched and argued so carefully - and sensitively - that it is difficult to disagree' - Times Literary Supplement
'Tells the stories of those who are voiceless. Stewart Lansley and Joanna Mack forensically dissect poverty... All politicians should be made to read this book' -Independent
'I remember very clearly my sense of elation when I first saw the material that went into Mack and Lansley’s enlightening, but disturbing, study, Poor Britain, The new book, Breadline Britain, is a brilliant continuation of Mack’s deep engagement with the investigation of unacceptable poverty in Britain’s otherwise prosperous economy.' - Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate in Economics
'Inequality is the biggest challenge of our time. This important book exposes the real causes of poverty in modern Britain and makes a powerful case for the radical change we need to build a fairer and more equal society.' - Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee
'Careful and hard hitting. The book leaves our politicians no excuses.' - Richard Wilkinson, co-author of The Spirit Level
'Indispensable. Analytically sophisticated as well as viscerally stirring.' - David Kynaston, author of Austerity Britain, 1945-51
'The big debates about social and economic policy in Western countries are shifting from concerns about poverty to a recognition that growing inequality is our fundamental problem. Stewart Lansley and Joanna Mack, who have been working in this field for a generation, offer a massively convincing analysis of this problem and the policies it calls for.' - David Donnison, Emeritus Professor of Regional and Town Planning, University of Glasgow and former Chair of the Supplementary Benefits Commission
'An impressive attempt to document the scale of mass poverty in contemporary Britain. It follows in the Fabian tradition of rigorous social research on poverty established in the late nineteenth century, painstakingly sifting through empirical data while setting out a practical programme underpinned by a coherent political analysis.' - Journal of Social Policy
Families and Poverty: Everyday life on a low income
By Professor Mary Daly and Dr Grace Kelly, 2015, Policy Press, £24.99
The recent radical cutbacks of the welfare state in the UK have meant that poverty and income management continue to be of great importance for intellectual, public and policy discourse. Written by leading authors in the field, the central interest of this innovative book is the role and significance of family in a context of poverty and low-income.
Based on a micro-level study carried out in 2011 and 2012 with 51 families in Northern Ireland, it offers new empirical evidence and a theorisation of the relationship between family life and poverty. Different chapters explore parenting, the management of money, family support and local engagement.
By revealing the ordinary and extraordinary practices involved in constructing and managing family and relationships in circumstances of low incomes, the book will appeal to a wide readership, including policy makers.
'A most original reflection on the impact of poverty and austerity on families - theoretically driven and empirically grounded. Wonderful work.' - Professor Jonathan Bradshaw, University of York
'This is both a compelling empirical account of how families live with poverty and a thoughtful theoretical analysis of the relationship between family and poverty.' - Professor Jane Millar, University of Bath
'Its emphasis upon relationships and human interaction gives policy makers richer evidence...around concepts of social, material and economic wellbeing.' - Journal of Social Policy
'This work provides a rare and nuanced insight into the several levels at which the 'sense' of family may enable families on low incomes to survive or 'get by'.' - Professor Hartley Dean, London School of Economics
'This book is an excellent introduction to the study of how poverty affects family life and how families seek to negotiate and resist the impact of low income.' - Stephen Crossley, University of Durham
Chapters based on the PSE UK research in other books
Mack J (2017) 'Child Maltreatment and Child Mortality', The Violence of Austerity (Chapter 7), edited by Cooper, V. and Whyte, D. London: Pluto Press (2017). ISBN 978-0-7453-9948-5
Tomlinson, M., Hillyard, P., & Kelly, G. (2014). ‘Child Poverty in Northern Ireland: Results from the Poverty and Social Exclusion Study.’ In Beneath the Surface: Child Poverty in Northern Ireland. (pp. 11-34). [Chapter 2] Belfast: Child Poverty Alliance. Child Poverty in Northern Ireland: Results from the Poverty and Social Exclusion Study. Full text: http://www.ci-ni.org.uk/DatabaseDocs/nav_4786494__beneaththesurface_web.pdf
Fahmy E (forthcoming) 'Youth Poverty in the UK, 1999-2012: Continuity and change'. In R Rogers, S Blackman (Eds.) Where Now for Social Justice? The Marginalisation of young people in the UK. Bristol : The Policy Press.
Fahmy E, Bell K (in press, 2016) 'Using paradata to evaluate survey quality: Behaviour coding the 2012 PSE-UK survey'. In Edward R, Goodwin J, O’Connor H, Phoenix A (Eds.) Working with Paradata, Marginalia and Fieldnotes: The Centrality of By-Products of Social Research. London: Edward Elgar.
Fahmy E, Pemberton S, Sutton E (2015) 'Mixed Methods in Poverty Measurement: Determining the ‘necessities of life’ in the 2012 PSE-UK survey'. In L Camfield, K Roelen (Eds.) Mixed methods in Poverty Research: Advancing the Art. London : Palgrave. ISBN 978-1-137-45250-2.