The PSE UK research team took part in formal consultation exercises on government policy relevant to the research, and the implications of key strategic policy developments under the then Coalition government. These policy working papers aim primarily to contribute to debate in the UK at both a national and devolved level, and in the European Union. They cover UK government proposals on measuring child poverty, social mobility, 'troubled families', fuel poverty and access to services and the Northern Ireland spending review.
The views expressed in these working papers are those of the author(s). The papers are published under the Creative Commons licence and you may copy and distribute them as long as the creative commons licence is retained and attribution given to the original author(s).
Policy response list
Policy series working papers
This policy working paper is a response to the government's consultation paper on Measuring Child Poverty. The working paper argues that the government consultation paper is ‘conceptually completely inept and confused’. In particular, ‘it fails to recognise the fundamental distinction between measures of poverty and the characteristics of poor children and the associations and the consequences of poverty'.
|PSE policy working paper No. 8, Bradshaw, CONSULTATION ON CHILD POVERTY MEASUREMENT.pdf||695.6 KB|
The paper welcomes proposals in the Hills Fuel Poverty Review to measure incomes for fuel poverty purposes after housing costs and adjusted for household size and composition and the call for substantial additional data collection in order to better understand contemporary energy use behaviours and dwelling temperatures. However, the paper argues for a wider range of measures than is proposed in the Hills review and is concerned that the measurement framework will result in low income households living in energy efficient dwellings being classified as not fuel poor.
|PSE policy working paper No. 7, Fahmy, Hills Fuel Poverty Review Consultation.pdf||149.82 KB|
This paper is concerned with the likely impact of the Spending Review on living standards in Northern Ireland and especially the living standards of those with the lowest incomes. The cuts in Treasury funding for Northern Ireland are greater than many assume. By 2014-15 all Departments will have substantially lower current budgets in real terms than in 2010-11. The cuts in public spending are occurring in a context of a stagnant employment rate, rising unemployment and restricted opportunities for younger people.
In this consultation response, the PSE research team welcomes the emphasis on early years in the Field Review’s report, The Foundation Years: Preventing Poor Children becoming Poor Adults, but is critical of key aspects of the report. The response working paper argues that key elements of the proposed strategy are ‘narrow, partial and highly likely to be ineffective’.
|WP Policy Response No. 1 Tackling Child Poverty and Improving Life Chances (Gordon}.pdf||607.23 KB|
In this consultation response, the PSE: UK research team is highly critical of the Coalition government’s social mobility strategy and, in particular, its claim that the best way to tackle intergenerational mobility is to break the ‘the transmission of disadvantage from one generation to the next’. The PSE policy working paper dismisses the idea that poverty is ‘transmitted’ between generations as ‘simply incorrect’ and argues that the best way to tackle intergenerational disadvantage and low social mobility is to eradicate poverty among children and adults.
|WP Policy Response No. 2 Consultation Resp Social Mobility & Child Poverty (Gordon Oct 2011).pdf||575.46 KB|
Current government policy on social justice hinges on the claim that there are 120,000 ‘troubled’ families in Britain. In this paper, Ruth Levitas argues that if we interrogate the research on which this figure is based, it turns out to be a factoid – something that takes the form of a fact, but is not. The claim is used to support policies that in no way follow from the research on which the figure is based. Read a summary.
The paper welcomes the initiative to set out a child poverty strategy, and its recognition that addressing these issues requires a long-term and wide-ranging strategy as well as a commitment to monitor this strategy with targets and indicators. The paper, however, notes a disjunction between the overall universalist aims stated in the strategy and the targeted approach of the strands set out to implement the strategy. The paper also notes that the narrow focus on tackling worklessness is insufficient.
In this consultation response, Professor David Gordon and the PSE: UK research team recommend that a national ‘service deprivation’ measure is produced based on a social survey question module. Subsequently, the value of this measure can be estimated for Local Authorities (and other areas) by combining relevant census/administrative statistics and micro-survey data using small area estimation models.