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UK poverty update

Mike McCartney

25th October 2023

A damning new report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation lifts the lid on the latest UK poverty figures.

Going beyond the narrow confines of the UK element of A Level course here, but it is related to political ideologies. And a bit of a crossover with most 6th Form Economics courses.

Also, I think this issue is one that is always ripe for discussion and would make an excellent focus for a student society talk, and for me it's always a good basis for university mock interviews - see end.

Questions on the video...

1. How many children in the UK experienced destitution last year?
2. What does it mean when a family cannot adequately feed, clothe, or clean their children?
3. According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation study, what has happened to the rates of destitution in the UK in the last 5 years?
4. What are the main factors contributing to the increase in extreme poverty in the UK?
5. What are some of the negative consequences of severe material hardship on children?
6. How many households in the UK were considered destitute at some point last year?
7. What is the average weekly income for half of the destitute households after housing costs?
8. How do destitute adults cope with the lack of resources for basic needs like food and toiletries?
9. Why was the phenomenon of destitution primarily limited to in the past?
10. Who is currently experiencing destitution predominantly in the UK?

I was driven to make this blog entry after watching last night's Change 4 news report. Unfortunately the clips haven't been You Tubed but watch them here from their website as backgrounders.

Channel 4 News clip 1.

Channel 4 News clip 2.


Using the above information and your own knowledge.

Define what is meant by 'poverty in the UK'.

Explain the main causes, and consequences, of poverty in the UK.

Discuss what, if anything, government can do to tackle poverty in the UK.

Mike McCartney

Mike is an experienced A-Level Politics teacher, author and examiner.

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