Child Poverty

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Whether current UK policies on poverty are workable and what is the most feasible policy should apply

1. Introduction 3

2. Main Body
a. Definition and measure of Child Poverty 3 b. Causes of Child Poverty 7 c. Child Poverty Relief and Effects 14 d. Proposed end of Child Poverty 19

3. Conclusion 20


Children are the future of the countries. With the development of economy and society, children should apparently be paid more attention. However, child poverty is a common issue in many countries, including the developed countries. According to the data of Bradshaw (2006), the rate of child poverty rate in the UK had been the third largest out of the 25 developed countries by the mid-1990s, which was only slightly lower than that of the US and Russia and significantly higher than that of other EU partners (Bradshaw, 2006). There are a number of reasons that needs to eliminate child poverty. Firstly, from justice arguments, it is not fair for children living in poverty because children should not be blamed. Secondly, child poverty may lead lower economic development and productivity due to poorer health and lower levels of education. Thirdly, child poverty may lead a lot of social problems, such as crime. Hodgkinson and Weitzmen (2008) stated that high education results in less crime but child poverty may reduce the whole level of education. Finally, child poverty is costly, which reduce GPD by 1 per cent per year. But Elizabeth (2010) argued that higher percentage of crimes may contribute to GDP.

This essay is mainly aimed to explore the factors that cause the child poverty in the UK and evaluate the effectiveness of the policies to tackle the child poverty. Therefore, this essay will firstly identify the definitions of poverty and the causes of them. Secondly, the facts on child poverty and its causes in the UK will be analyzed. The data from many reports will be illustrated to support. Thirdly, there is brief review of the past poverty relief policies and their effects will be discussed. Fourthly, the main part of this essay will analyze the current poverty relief policies and their effects. The aims, efficiency, fairness, and feasibility of the policies will also be discussed. At the same time, the distortion effects of the policies will also be analyzed with details. Finally, there is a conclusion to summarize the findings.

Main Body

Definition and Measure of Child Poverty
As a matter of fact, the poverty is a relative concept, which may be different under different economic backgrounds and in different time period. For example, a number of people in African countries cannot survive due to lack of basic food while people in developed countries can be treated as in poverty if cannot afford computers. Barr (2004) suggested two categories of poverty. One is absolute poverty which can be defined as the people who are in certain circumstances below certain level, and the other is relative poverty which means people are poor if they feel poor, normally it always depends on the circumstances of personal community, friends’ group or/and others’ income level. Makdissi and Wodon (2006) argue that the poverty is not only a multidimensional concept in nature but also proposed a measure of poverty approach. Therefore, the measure of poverty should include a wider consideration such as equal rights and economic dimensions including the headcount measure, the poverty gap and the duration of poverty. However, in practice, income, including money income (such as wages, interests) and...
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