Poverty: the case for a review of benefit levels

By Ruth Lister


It is fashionable to argue that poverty is ‘not only about low income’.  That is true up to a point.  Poverty is also frequently associated with poor housing and neighbourhood conditions, ill-health and reduced educational opportunities.  Organisations that actively involve people in poverty will tell you that poverty is also about lack of security, disrespect, an assault on dignity and self-esteem, voicelessness, powerlessness and diminished citizenship rights.  Nevertheless, it is primarily lack of money together with inadequate living standards that distinguish the state of poverty from that of non-poverty and therefore the question of the adequacy of incomes available to those living in poverty cannot be avoided.

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Topics discussed:

EqualitySocial Security