Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
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Loughborough University

Centre for Research in Social Policy

Publications

  • A minimum income standard for remote rural Scotland: A policy update 2016
    CRSP has followed up its 2013 research on a minimum income standard for remote rural Scotland, with an update of costs and a consideration of what policies can help make llife in this part of the UK more affordable.  The update is published by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

    Hirsch, D. (2016) A minimum income standard for remote rural Scotland: A policy update 2016. Inverness: Highlands and Island Enterprise
  • Child Poverty Map of the UK
    CRSP makes annual estimates of the percentage of children in poverty in constituencies, local authorities and wards throughout the UK, for the End Child Poverty Coalition.  The estimate is based on HMRC and Labour Force Survey data.

    Valadez, L. and Hirsch, D. (2016)  Child Poverty map of the UK November 2016. London: End Child Poverty Coalition.
  • Household income trajectories, PROGRESA-Oportunidades, and child well-being at pre-school age in rural Mexico
    This study examines the extent to which household income around the time of birth and income trajectory, influenced by the conditional cash transfer programme PROGRESA-Oportunidades, are associated with the physiological, cognitive, motor and emotional well-being of pre-school children in rural Mexico.  Results show that improving income trajectories were found to be positively associated with better child development, and PROGRESA-Oportunidades had an indirect positive impact on children the 5- and 4-year old groups by influencing the income trajectories of their households.

    Valadez-Martinez, L. (2016) 'Household income trajectories, PROGRESA-Oportunidades, and child well-being at pre-school age in rural Mexico'.  Journal of Human Development and Capabilities.  Vol. 17 No.4 pp. 516-539.
  • Cost of a Child in 2016
    The latest annual update of calculations of the additional cost of bringing up a child, based on the Minimum Income Standard, show that it costs at least £150,000 to bring up a child.  Low inflation means that many costs have stopped rising, and the cost of food has fallen.  However, other costs such as childcare continue to increase.  More importantly for families with children, prospective cuts in support through benefits and tax credits mean that the number of families unable to cover minimum costs, which has risen by a third since 2008, could continue to increase.

    Hirsch, D. (2016) Cost of a Child in 2016.  London: Child Poverty Action Group.
  • The additional cost of disability: a new measure and its application to sensory impairment
    This journal article draws together findings from CRSP's studies of the additional costs of deaf and visually impaired people, based on what is needed for a minimum acceptable standard of living. It and considers how the MIS method can shed new light on the cost add of disability, and how it relates to previous measurement methods.

    Hirsch, D. and Hill, K. (2016) The additional cost of disability: a new measure and its application to sensory impairment. Disability and Society, Volume 31, Issue 7.
  • Counting the Cost of UK Poverty
    Part of the case for investing in programmes to reduce poverty is that it produces huge costs not just to those who experience it but to taxpayers who foot the bill for some of the consequences of poverty to society.  In areas where poverty is high, public spending on things like health care, children's social services and criminal justice is increased.  Moreover, people who have experienced poverty, especially in childhood, face disadvantages that reduce their chance of being in work and reduce their projected earnings when they do work, which means the Exchequer brings in less in taxes and pays out more in benefits.
    Counting these costs is not easy, but this report gives an estimate to illustrate that poverty costs the Exchequer huge amounts of money - amounting to £78 billion a year, or around four per cent of GDP.

    Bramley, G., Hirsch, D., Littlewood, M. and Watkins, D. (2016) Counting the cost of UK poverty York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • A poverty indicator based on a minimum income standard
    This paper considers how low income indicators can be related to the Minimum Income Standard.  It starts by looking at evidence that having a low income is associated with negative outcomes, and considers below what thresholds relative to MIS households face increased risks.  It finds that while the evidence points to no single threshold, MIS can be used to create two useful types of indicator.  One is to count the number of people in households a certain amount below MIS at which the association between lower income and greater risk of deprivation appears to plateau.  The other is an indicator of the "depth" of low income, in terms of the proportion of people below MIS times the percentage of MIS that they fall short.  The paper describes a method of estimating these indicators for all households, and presents initial results.

    Hirsch, D., Padley, M. and Valadez, L. (2016) A Poverty Indicator Based on a Minimum Income Standard. Loughborough: Centre for Research in Social Policy.
  • A Minimum Income Standard for the UK in 2016
    The annual update of the Minimum Income Standard includes new research on what households consider to comprise an acceptable standard of living, focusing this year on families with children whose minimum budgets have been researched from scratch.  Some costs have fallen, with food and fuel prices lower and some additional economising in light of hard times. Other costs, including childcare and after school activities, have risen as parents put renewed emphasis on having choices that allow children to get a good start in life.

    Davis, A., Hill, K., Hirsch, D. and Padley, M. (2016) A Minimum Income Standard for the UK in 2016.  York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • Falling Short: the Experiences of Families Living Below the Minimum Income Standard
    This qualitative research study of thirty families living between 10 and 50 per cent below the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) considers how well families cope on low income, what factors influence this and how they prioritise spending. It finds that families in this situation often face an unstable or uncertain world, including unstable work and for some the uncertainties of privately rented housing, and that they greatly value stability. It identifies factors that help or hinder family well-being, including health conditions, the availability of extended family support and whether there is a background of debt. In considering how they deploy family budgets that are insufficient to cover all the items agreed as essential in the MIS research, the study found that parents prioritise children’s well-being over their own to a considerable degree. It also identifies ways in which family needs are served differently when resources are limited, such as spending more on recreation within the home when external activities are unaffordable.

    Hill, K., Davis, A., Hirsch, D. and Marshall, L. (2016) Falling Short: the experiences of families living below the Minimum Income Standard . York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • London Weighting and London Costs - a fresh approach?
    London Weighting has become increasingly detached from additional London costs in recent years. This paper traces the history of London Weighting and uses the Minimum Income Standard as a new basis for setting it for low to middle earners

    Hirsch, D. (2016) London Weighting and London Costs - a fresh approach? London: Trust for London.
  • Sight Loss and Minimum Living Standards
    This research by CRSP uses the Minimum Income Standards (MIS) method to calculate the additional costs of living for different groups of people with vision impairment and shows how they increase with severity of impairment and age. The research, funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust, is based on deliberation among groups of people with sight loss about additions that need to be made to the standard MIS household budget because of their vision impairment.  The report outlines how much extra they need to reach a minimum acceptable standard of living.   Working age people who are severely sight impaired face 60% higher costs, and the costs for someone of pension age who is sight impaired can be 41% more than people of the same age who are not vision impaired, both higher than the 25% additional cost identified in a previous study looking at the additional costs of someone of working age who is sight impaired.  The research also highlights the broad range of additional costs that people who are vision impaired face and the similarities and differences in needs and costs when severity of impairment and age are taken into account.

    Hill, K., Marshall, L., Padley, M. and Hirsch, D. (2016) Sight loss and minimum living standards: the additional costs of living for people of working age who are severely sight impaired and for people of pension age with acquired sight impairment. Loughborough: Centre for Research in Social Policy.

    Report
    Sight Loss and Minimum Living Standards Report_Word
    Sight Loss and Minimum Living Standards

    Findings
    Sight Loss and Minimum Living Standards Research Findings_Word
    Sight Loss and Minimum Living Standards Research Findings
  • Households below a Minimum Income Standard: 2008/09 to 2013/14
    This is the latest report in the Minimum Income Standard programme, funded by JRF. It looks at the changes in the adequacy of incomes, as measured by households’ ability to reach the Minimum Income Standard (MIS), between 2008/09 and 2013/14. It is the fourth in an annual series of reports tracking how many people live in households with insufficient income to afford a minimum socially acceptable standard of living according to MIS. As well as monitoring numbers below this threshold, the report also looks at how many are well above and how many well below this standard. 

    Padley, M. and Hirsch, D. (2016) Households below a Minimum Income Standard: 2008/09 to 2013/14.  York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • How much is enough?
    The Minimum Income Standard research carried out regularly by CRSP involves detailed discussion among member of the public about what things are essential for a minimum acceptable standard of living.  This report sets out for the first time the details of how the groups reach consensus and what rationales they use to determine which items are included. Based on analysis of six years of MIS research, the report identifies the common themes that have emerged from the groups’ discussions, ranging from the need to have reasonable choices to the importance of living life in a practical way when time is scarce. For each area of household budgets, it explains how these rationales have guided decisions about what items people need to be able to afford.

    Davis, A., Hirsch, D., Padley, M. and Marshall, L. (2015) How much is enough? Reaching social consensus on minimum household needs Loughborough: Centre for Research in Social Policy.
  • Children in London - the extra cost
    As a follow-up to CRSP research on minimum costs in London and to its calculations of the cost of a child in the UK, this study considers how much more it costs to bring up a child in London. If finds that whereas most costs are very similar to elsewhere and transport is slightly cheaper, large additional housing and childcare costs make the overall cost of a child far more expensive in the capital. A key difficulty is that families that work longer hours to help cover their high housing costs can be hampered from doing so by prohibitively expensive childcare. The report explores how various policies influence the affordability of children in London. 

    Hirsch, D. (2015) Children in London - the extra cost London: Child Poverty Action Group.
  • Will the 2015 summer budget improve living standards in 2020?
    This analysis uses the Minimum Income Standard as a benchmark to project changes in the living standards of households working on a minimum wage or relying on out of work benefits. Such families have been falling further behind MIS in recent years. The report shows that for non-pensioner households out of work this trend will continue, leaving them much less able to meet their needs in 2010 than 2020. For working families, the picture is more mixed. Low-paid workers without children stand to gain substantially from the new National Living Wage. For those with children, couples who are both working full time can also potentially gain, but for other families, especially lone parents, cuts in in-work support will bring losses that are likely to outweigh any increase in earnings. 

    Hirsch, D. (2015) Will the 2015 summer budget improve living standards in 2020? York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • The cost of a child in 2015
    The latest annual update of calculations of the additional cost of bringing up a child, based on the Minimum Income Standard, show that it costs at least £150,000 to bring up a child.  While low inflation means that this cost has stopped rising, many families on low incomes have far too little to afford this minimum cost.  This year’s report shows how life is likely to get tougher for out-of-work and low-earning families over the next few years as a result of recently announced welfare cuts.

    Hirsch, D. (2015) The cost of a child 2015  London: Child Poverty Action Group.

  • Making ends meet in Birmingham: assessing the impact of the living wage and welfare reform 
    A new report by CRSP explores the impact of Birmingham City Council’s adoption of the living wage and looks at some of the key challenges facing those living in the city in a context of austerity and welfare reform.  The report also highlights the challenge posed by child poverty levels in the city as well as looking at how changes in support for housing costs have impacted on the residents of Birmingham. The report has been used extensively in the recently published Birmingham Child Poverty Commission’s Child Poverty Needs Assessment

    Padley, M. and Valadez, L. (2015) Making ends meet in Birmingham: assessing the impact of the living wage and welfare reform. Loughborough: Centre for Research in Social Policy.

  • A Minimum Income Standard for the UK in 2015
    The latest annual Minimum Income Standard (MIS) results show that for the first time since MIS was launched in 2008, the cost of a minimum acceptable standard of living did not rise in 2015.  This year's report looks back over the past seven years, looking in particular at how households on out-of-work benefits and on the National Minimum Wage have faced a widening shortfall between their disposable income and the MIS budgets.

    Hirsch, D. (2015) A Minimum Income Standard for the UK in 2015 York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

  • Inflation and the Minimum Income Standard - past and future measures
    Household budgets used in the Minimum Income Standard are compiled based on the actual prices of items gathered from retailers. Each budget is recosted on this basis every four years. Between these costings, annual estimates of MIS levels are based on inflation-based upratings, using components of the Retail Prices Index. This paper considers the case for using a different index, concluding that there is no perfect way of capturing inflation, but proposing a way forward.

    Hirsch, D. (2015) Inflation and the minimum income standard - past and future measures. Loughborough: Centre for Research in Social Policy.
  • How much does the official measure of child poverty under-estimate its extent by failing to take account of childcare costs
    This report explores the extent to which childcare costs push some households into poverty.  Based on the definition of poverty as having incomes below 60% median after housing costs, the calculations also deduct the costs of childcare to establish a new threshold.  Results suggest that 133,000 children are in families whose childcare costs cause them to be reclassified as in poverty once these are taken into account.  Most people who pay high amounts for childcare are relatively well off; nevertheless, for those paying at least £50 a week, the risk of falling into poverty triples from 8.6 to 23.2 per cent once these costs are taken into account.  These results feed into the debate about the rising costs of childcare and the proposed changes in childcare policy in the UK. 

    Hirsch, D. and Valadez, L. (2015) How much does the official measure of child poverty under-estimate its extent by failing to take account of childcare costs? Loughborough: Centre for Research in Social Policy.

  • Wider payment of the living wage in Scotland – Issues for consideration
    The Scottish Government commissioned this study of the impact of the Living Wage, combining a survey of employers by Ipsos Mori and a review of international evidence by CRSP. The review draws in particular on a wide range of studies on different types of wage floor (Minimum and Living Wages) in the United States, finding that the weight of evidence shows few negative and many positive effects.In particular, there is little sign that employers hire fewer workers as a result of these floors, but a wide range of other outcomes identified by the research, including lower staff turnover, better productivity and small impacts on prices and profits.

    Diffley, M., McLean, C., Ozgul, I., Hockaday, C., Hirsch, D. and Valadez, L. (2015) Wider payment of the living wage in Scotland – Issues for consideration.  Scottish Government Social Research.
  • A Minimum Income Standard for London
    This report, for the first time, looks in details at what households in Inner and Outer London need in order to reach an acceptable standard of living as defined by members of the public.  Based on detailed discussions with groups of Londoners about what goods and services households need to be able to buy, and how this differs from what people require in the rest of the country, the report compares the needs of households living in the capital with those living in urban areas outside of London.The report shows that households in London face different challenges in making ends meet compared to the rest of the UK.  Many additional costs in the capital are a result of higher prices, particularly relating to housing, public transport and childcare, but this is not the only source of extra costs.  The different infrastructure, different ways of living and higher prices in the capital combine to make London a more expensive place to live.  This means that Londoners need more than those living outside of London in order to reach a minimum socially acceptable standard of living.

    Padley, M., Marshall, L., Hirsch, D., Davis, A. and Valadez, L.  (2015) A Minimum Income Standard for London.  London: Trust for London.
  • Minimum budgets for single people sharing accommodation
    This working paper reports on research, based on existing Minimum Income Standard work, looking at a minimum budget for a single person living in a household shared with one or more other non-related adults. The paper explores how much it costs as a minimum to live as a sharer, compared to how much it costs to live independently.

    Hill, K., Hirsch, D. and Padley, M. (2015) Minimum budgets for single people sharing accommodation. CRSP Working Paper 642. Loughborough: Centre for Research in Social Policy.
  • Sophie's Choice. Social attitudes to welfare state retrenchment in bailed-out Portugal
    This article examines social attitudes towards social rights in Portugal. It utilizes original survey data from 2013 to study the distribution of welfare attitudes in a context of economic austerity and welfare retrenchment.  Findings suggest that choice between universalistic or contributory systems is significantly shaped by pre-existing understandings of social rights in Portugal, namely its politically contested character.

    Carreira da Silva, F. and Valadez Martinez, L. (2015). 'Sophie's Choice. Social attitudes to welfare state retrenchment in bailed-out Portugal'. European Societies.  DOI:10.1080/14616696.2015.1035299.
  • Paying the price - Childcare in universal credit and implications for single parents
    Analysis of childcare support under universal credit for gingerbread shows that it will improve single parents' ability to make ends meet, but the failure to update the cap on this support undermines this effect and could be corrected at little or no cost.

    Hirsch, D. (2015) Paying the price - Childcare in universal credit and implications for single parents.  London: Gingerbread.
  • Could a 'citizens income' work?
    There has been increasing public discussion of proposals for a citizen's income - a sum paid unconditionally to everyone in the UK to provide a baseline income.  In this paper, Donald Hirsch examines the fundamental changes that this would imply for our social protection and taxation systems. He demonstrates that we would need to accept not just an end to the conditionality of income support but also much higher tax rates.  While these changes may not be politically feasible at present, the idea of a citizen's income raises interesting questions about the future shape of our social security system.

    Hirsch, D. (2015) Could a 'citizens income' work? York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • Costs and Needs in London Paper
    Households in London face special challenges making ends meet.  Costs such as housing, transport and childcare are different from the rest of the United Kingdom.  This paper considers how the ability of Londoners to meet their minimum needs might differ from that of people living elsewhere in the UK.  People’s ability to meet their needs depends on both the costs of meeting those needs and the financial resources available to them, so each of these are looked at in turn.  Where possible, the paper also examines how the things that Londoners require, and not just their cost, might differ from elsewhere in the UK, but at present there is little evidence about this.  The paper concludes by looking at existing evidence regarding the numbers and experiences of people unable to meet their minimum needs in London.

    Marshall, L. (2015) Costs and Needs in London.  Loughborough: Centre for Research in Social Policy.
  • Tell me your story: starting conversations about poverty in England
    The problem of poverty is seldom out of the UK news.  Reforms to disability benefits, the ‘bedroom tax’, low wages, the rising use of food banks - these are all issues that spark heated debates.  All too often, however, these debates are conducted from entrenched positions and simply reinforce pre-determined opinions or ideologies.  As the general election approaches, we need a constructive conversation about the reality of poverty for the people who experience it and this conversation needs to start with listening to people’s stories.  The real-life stories told in this report show how complex life can be for ordinary people on a low income - the challenging situations they face and the hard decisions that need to be taken in difficult financial circumstances.  Each story highlights a major trend in recent years that has changed the nature of poverty - the growth of in-work poverty, the impact of rising costs on daily life, and the increasing vulnerability of young people.  These stories are an antidote to the idea that poor people are lazy, feckless and responsible for creating their own problems.  They make clear both the very real difficulties people face, and the resourcefulness, agency and creativity they employ in making the most of extremely limited budgets.  

    Eckley, B. and Padley, M. (2015) Tell me your story: starting conversations about poverty in England. London: Church Urban Fund.
  • Disability and minimum living standards: The additional costs of living for people who are sight impaired and people who are Deaf
    For the first time, the methods used to calculate the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) have been applied to the living costs of people with disabilities.  This research, funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust, looked at sight loss and hearing loss and showed clearly that both impairments lead to substantial extra costs if a minimum acceptable standard of living is to be reached. 

    The research is based on detailed deliberation among groups of people with sight and hearing loss about additions that need to be made to a standard MIS household budget for a single person of working age as a result of specific impairments. The examples considered in this study were: someone eligible to be certified as sight impaired, and a Deaf person who uses British Sign Language.  The research demonstrates how this method can help both to quantify the extra costs of disability and to describe where and why they arise.

    Hill, K., Davis, A., Hirsch, D., Padley, M. and Smith, N. (2015) Disability and minimum living standards: The additional costs of living for people who are sight impaired and people who are Deaf. Loughborough: Centre for Research in Social Policy.

    The results are presented in:

    A main report presenting the method and the results in full
    Disability and Minimum Living Standards Report
    Disability and Minimum Living Standards Report - Word

    A summary of findings of the project as a whole
    Findings - For people who are sight impaired and for people who are Deaf
    Findings - For people who are sight impaired and people who are Deaf - Word

    Separate summaries covering sight impaired and Deaf findings

    Findings - Additional costs of living for people who are sight impaired
    Findings - Additional costs of living for people who are sight impaired - Word

    Findings - Additional costs of living for people who are Deaf
    Findings - Additional costs of living for people who are Deaf - Word

    A signed version of the Deaf findings, presented in British Sign Language, can be found by clicking here 

    An interview with one of the authors of the report, Katherine Hill, can be found by clicking here

  • Households below a minimum income standard: 2008/09 to 2012/13
    This is the latest report in the Minimum Income Standard programme, funded by JRF. The report looks at the changes in the adequacy of incomes, as measured by households’ ability to reach the Minimum Income Standard (MIS), between 2008/09 and 2012/13; a period when recession set in and continued to bite while the tightening of benefits and tax credits first kicked in. It is the third in an annual series of reports tracking how many people live in households with insufficient income to afford a minimum socially acceptable standard of living according to MIS. As well as monitoring numbers below this threshold, the report also looks at how many are well above and how many well below this standard. 

    Padley, M., Valadez, L. and Hirsch, D. (2015) Households below a minimum income standard: 2008/09 to 2012/13. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • Making Ends Meet In Leicester
    This research, undertaken on behalf of Leicester City Council, aimed to create a profile of the population of Leicester in terms of demographic data, deprivation indicators and economic data including a profile of its workforce in terms of sectors and earnings. The research is part of a broader ongoing investigation into the assets and vulnerabilities of Leicester’s communities, looking at how welfare reform is experienced by Leicester’s people, places and services and what might be done to support an effective and sustainable response to the erosion in household living standards.
    The report brings together open and local level data to explore the significant challenges facing the city, identifying which kinds of households in Leicester are at greatest risk of not having enough to make ends meet. The analysis identifies key factors – including household composition, pay rates and housing costs – affecting the risk of low income, and examines how categories of deprivation are distributed across the city.

    Hirsch, D., Padley, M. and Valadez, L. (2014) Making ends meet in Leicester. Leicester: Leicester City Council.
  • Comparative analysis of Minimum Income Standards
    This document looks at the similarities and differences in the budgets necessary to achieve a minimum socially acceptable standard of living between Ireland and the United Kingdom.  For each country, the analysis concentrates on the needs of a household composed of two parents, a pre-school child and a primary school child.  Data was obtained in 2012, and includes the costs of goods and services required to meet this household’s needs required for a socially acceptable living standard, priced through retailers that would be easily accessible in each country.

    The comparison reveals that even though the UK budget is larger than the Irish one, their relative composition is broadly similar.  The main difference between the budgets is the inclusion of private health insurance in Ireland but not in the United Kingdom, where it is freely available through the NHS.  Another important difference is related to the quantity and range of items that are specified as necessary to meet a particular need, which in a number of cases are greater in the UK than in Ireland.

    Valadez, L. and Hirsch, D. (2014) Comparative analysis of Minimum Income Standards - Ireland and the United Kingdom. Loughborough: Centre for Research in Social Policy.
  • Means-testing or Universalism 
    This study, reviews the respective roles of means-tested and universally available benefits and services in helping to reduce poverty.  It was produced to inform Joseph Rowntree Foundation's anti-poverty strategy. 
    The study draws on a wide range of evidence from the UK and other countries, considering the effectiveness of different approaches.  It shows that both means-testing and universalism have their roles in different contexts, and suggests criteria for choosing between (or combining) the two.  In particular, it shows how universal support can make most sense in relation to redistribution across the life course and in establishing access to certain services, but that in times when public resources are coming up against absolute limits, there are other cases where means-testing needs to be accepted since the alternative could be serious shortfalls in access to required resources for lower income groups.

    Gugushvili, D. and Hirsch, D. (2014) Means-testing or Universalism: what strategies best address poverty? Loughborough: Centre for Research in Social Policy.

    Working Paper:  Gugushvili, D. and Hirsch, D. (2014) Means-tested and universal approaches to poverty: international evidence and how the UK compares. CRSP Working paper 640. Loughborough: Centre for Research in Social Policy.
  • The cost of a child in 2014
    The latest annual update of calculations of the additional cost of bringing up a child, based on the Minimum Income Standard, show that it now costs £154,000 to bring up a child, up 8 per cent since 2012.  The cost of childcare and other expenses have been rising more rapidly than family incomes.  As a consequence, families both in low-paid jobs and out of work are falling short of affording a minimum living standard, by a growing amount.  The cap on uprating benefits and tax credits is systematically increasing this shortfall.

    Hirsch, D (2014) The cost of a child in 2014 London: Child Poverty Action Group.
  • A Minimum Income Standard for the UK in 2014
    The annual update of the Minimum Income Standard includes new research on what households consider to comprise an acceptable standard of living.  The economic downturn appeared to have encouraged some more thrifty attitudes, but has not fundamentally altered what is considered to be a minimum.

    Davis, A., Hirsch, D and Padley, M. (2014) A Minimum Income Standard for the UK in 2014 York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • Wages, taxes and top-ups
    This paper looks at the changing influences of pay, benefits and taxes in allowing working families to reach minimum living standards from the late 1990s to the most recent recession.  It outlines and evaluates ways to help more low-earning families achieve an adequate income and assesses how the three main political parties’ tax policies would affect families on lower incomes.

    Hirsch, D. and Valadez, L. (2014) Wages, taxes and top-ups: The changing role of the state in helping working families ends meet. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • Households below a Minimum Income Standard: 2008/9 to 2011/12
    The report looks at the changes in the adequacy of incomes, as measured by households’ ability to reach the Minimum Income Standard (MIS), between 2008/9 and 2011/12; a period when recession set in and continued to bite while the tightening of benefits and tax credits first kicked in. It is the second in an annual series of reports tracking how many people live in households with insufficient income to afford a minimum socially acceptable standard of living according to MIS. As well as monitoring numbers below this threshold, the report also looks at how many are well above and how many well below this standard.

    Padley, M. and Hirsch, D. (2014) Households below a Minimum Income Standard: 2008/9 to 2011/12. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • Minimum Acceptable Place Standards
    This report sets out the findings of research, undertaken by CRSP and the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York, examining the possibility of reaching public consensus about the minimum acceptable standard that places should meet. It outlines the methodology that was used to explore the idea of acceptable place standards, and sets out the framework of a Minimum Acceptable Place Standard (MAPS) that was developed through the research. The report also explores how this work may be taken forward and developed as a tool for assessing the adequacy of places at both a local and national level.

    Padley, M., Bevan, M., Tunstall, B. and Hirsch, D. (2013) Minimum Acceptable Place Standards. Loughborough: Loughborough University.
  • Household Costs and Foster Care 
    This report presents the findings of a project undertaken for the Fostering Network to develop robust information about the needs of foster families and the cost implications that these needs have for households. The different and additional needs in fostering households mean that the cost of providing a minimum socially acceptable standard of living for a foster child is higher than that of providing the same standard of living for a birth child of the same age.

    Davis, A. and Padley, M. (2013) Household Costs and Foster Care. Loughborough: Loughborough University.
  • The Cost of a Child in 2013
    It now costs £148,000 to bring up a child, up 4 per cent since 2012. The cost of childcare and other expenses have been rising more rapidly than family incomes. As a consequence, families both in low-paid jobs and out of work are falling short of affording a minimum living standard, by a growing amount. The cap on uprating benefits and tax credits is systematically increasing this shortfall.

    Hirsch, D. (2013) The Cost of a Child in 2013. London: CPAG.
  • Comparing the Minimum Income Standard in the UK and Japan: Methodology and Outcome
    This article discusses the differences and similarities between the UK and Japanese Minimum Income Standard (MIS). It looks at the challenges of applying the innovative MIS methodology in a very different setting and compares the results of the research in the UK and in Japan. Although there are notable differences in the lists of goods and services that comprise the budgets, there are also some striking similarities. This research suggests that the MIS methodology offers an approach that can be used in different countries to inform discussions on contemporary living standards and societal norms, and to enable international comparisons to be drawn.

    Davis, A., Hirsch, D., Iwanaga, R., Iwata, M., Shigekawa, J., Uzuki, Y. and Yamada, A. (2013) 'Comparing the Minimum Income Standard in the UK and Japan: Methodology and Outcome', Social Policy and Society Firstview Article, Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 doi:10.1017/S147474641300033X.
  • Does universal credit enable households to reach a minimum income standard?
    The Universal Credit is being introduced from 2013 to help people on low incomes to make ends meet, and to help make work pay. But how well does it achieve these objectives? This report looks in detail at the disposable income that households can obtain by working various hours on different wages, with the help of Universal Credit. It finds that UC helps make working households better off than those out of work. However, in many cases it traps people on low wages on incomes that are much lower than what they need as a  minimum, and with little or no more disposable income if they work full time than part time.

    Hirsch, D. and Hartfree, Y. (2013) Does universal credit enable households to reach a minimum income standard?. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • A minimum income standard for remote rural Scotland
    Our MIS team went to some of the most isolated parts of the UK to research minimum budget requirements in island and mainland areas of remote parts of Scotland.  This report sets out additional costs there, arising from factors such as additional travel needs, higher heating costs and more expensive households goods and food. The project was commissioned by a coalition of public and third-sector organisations in the region, who are using the results to help develop practical solutions in efforts to create sustainable communities. 

    Hirsch, D., Bryan, A., Davis, A., Smith, N., Ellen, J. and Padley, M. (2013) A minimum income standard for remote rural Scotland. Inverness: Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
  • A minimum income standard for the UK in 2013
    The annual update of the Minimum Income Standard.  While this year’s update contains no new research on what people need,  inflation combined with tax credit cuts has once again increased the amount families need to earn in order to make ends meet. These effects have outweighed the impact of a record increase in tax allowances. 

    Hirsch, D. (2013) A minimum income standard for the UK in 2013. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • Addressing the poverty premium: approaches to regulation 
    This report, based on research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, is about how people on low incomes pay more for essential goods and services and what can be done about it. It is widely believed that consumers will best be served by encouraging competition on the basis that this drives efficiency and delivers innovation. However, competition does not always work this way and it is consumers on low income that often lose out, but so do others who are vulnerable for reasons other than low income. The fact that ‘the poor pay more’ is not news. This report updates the picture and shows that paying higher prices for utilities and credit can raise the cost of a minimum household budget by around 10 per cent – a ‘poverty premium’. The cost of many essentials such as energy and water are likely to rise and while we hope for a tide of economic growth which will lift all, poverty and vulnerability is not going to go away and indeed many people who are not seen as ‘poor’ will struggle to meet household bills. 

    Hirsch, D. (2013) Addressing the poverty premium: approaches to regulation. London: Consumer Futures.
  • An estimate of the cost of child poverty in 2013 
    This report updates the 2008 estimate that child poverty costs the country £25 billion a year because of extra spending on children growing up in poverty and the cost to the economy of the long-term effects on their productivity/employablility. It estimates that the high levels of child poverty in the UK are currently costing the country at least £29 billion a year – or £1,098 per household. The estimate includes the costs of policy interventions required in childhood to correct for the effects of poverty, as well as the longer term losses to the economy which result from poor children’s reduced productivity, lower educational attainment and poorer physical and mental health. 

    Hirsch, D. (2013) An estimate of the cost of child poverty in 2013. London: Child Poverty Action Group.
  • Paying for Children: The State's Changing Role and Income Adequacy 
    This article notes the increasing role the state has taken, in many countries, in helping low income families with and without work to make ends meet. It uses evidence from the Minimum Income Standard for the United Kingdom to assess the extent to which such help covers the additional cost of children. It finds that in many cases it provides most of such costs, but that support is now falling – highlighting the vulnerability of dependence by working families on state help rather than adequate wages in order to meet essential needs. 

    Hirsch, D. (2013) 'Paying for Children: The State's Changing Role and Income Adequacy', Journal of Social Policy, 42, pp 495-512 Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 DOI: 10.1017/S0047279413000238.
  • Households below a Minimum Income Standard: 2008/09 to 2010/11 
    This paper examines the changes in the adequacy of household incomes in the early part of the recession, as measured by households’ ability to reach the Minimum Income Standard (MIS). 

    Padley, M. and Hirsch, D. (2013) Households below a Minimum Income Standard: 2008/09 to 2010/11. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • Delivering Localism: The Critical Role of Trust and Collaboration 
    This article considers the view of localism articulated in current government policy and argues that attempts to deliver the current localist vision should focus on the critical role played by social trust. The article explores collaboration and co-production as a means of strengthening social networks and delivering the promises of localism.

    Padley, M. (2013) 'Delivering Localism: The Critical Role of Trust and Collaboration', Social Policy and Society, 12, pp 343-354 Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 DOI: 10.1017/S1474746413000134.
  • Child Poverty Map of the UK 
    CRSP makes annual estimates of the percentage of children in poverty in constituencies, local authorities and wards throughout the UK, for the End Child Poverty Coalition.  The estimate is based on HMRC and Labour Force Survey data.

    Padley, M. and Hirsch, D. (2013) Child Poverty Map of the UK. London: End Child Poverty.
  • Minimum income standards and older pensioners’ needs 
    This research explored whether different needs among older pensioners significantly altered the income they need to reach a minimum acceptable standard of living.  The research included: consultation with experts, a review of the literature and focus groups with older pensioners.

    Hartfree, Y., Hirsch, D., and Sutton, L. (2013) Minimum income standards and older pensioners’ needs. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • A minimum income standard for the UK in 2012. Keeping up in hard times 
    The annual update of the Minimum Income Standard includes new research on what households consider to comprise an acceptable standard of living.  The recession appears to have encouraged some more thrifty attitudes, but has not fundamentally altered what is considered to be a minimum.

    Davis, A., Hirsch, D., Smith, N., Beckhelling, J. and Padley, M. (2012) A Minimum Income Standard for the UK in 2012. Keeping up in hard times. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • Child Poverty Map of the UK 
    CRSP makes annual estimates of the percentage of children in poverty in constituencies, local authorities and wards throughout the UK, for the End Child Poverty Coalition.  The estimate is based on HMRC and Labour Force Survey data.

    Hirsch, D. and Beckhelling, J. (2012) Child Poverty Map of the UK. London: End Child Poverty.
  • Does the tax and benefit system create a 'couple penalty'?  
    A careful analysis compared the benefit entitlements of families living as couples and separately with their relative needs as measured by government equivalence scales and by the Minimum Income Standard.  It found that contrary to common assertion, there is no ‘penalty’ for living as a couple for those dependent on out of work benefits.  For low income families in work, there is in some cases a ‘couple penalty’ and in others a ‘separation penalty’, but no consistent incentive for couples to split up.

    Hirsch, D. (2012) Does the tax and benefit system create a 'couple penalty'? York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • Evaluation of the Implementation of the Equality Act 2010
    This research was designed to investigate organisations’ understanding of and responses to the Equality Act 2010. It was based on a telephone survey of organisations throughout Great Britain. The series of three reports forms a key early stage of the Government Equalities Office (GEO) evaluation of the Equality Act 2010, which was primarily implemented in October of that year. The first report investigates workplace equality structures and variations in organisations’ ethos regarding equality. The second focuses on awareness of the Act and its impact on practice. The third outlines the structures that organisations had in place for addressing employee claims of discriminatory or unequal treatment. It also explores the basis for recent disputes as well as outcomes.

    Perren, K., Roberts, S., Stafford, B. & Hirsch, D. (2012) Evaluation of the Implementation of the Equality Act 2010: Report 1 - Organisational Approaches to Equality. London: Government Equalities Office.

    Perren, K., Roberts, S., Stafford, B. & Hirsch, D. (2012) Evaluation of the Implementation of the Equality Act 2010: Report 2 - Awareness and Impact of the Equality Act. London: Government Equalities Office.

    Perren, K., Roberts, S., Stafford, B., Hirsch, D. & Padley, M. (2012) Evaluation of the Implementation of the Equality Act 2010: Report 3 – Disputes and Challenges. London: Government Equalities Office.
  • Mediating the risk of fuel poverty in pensioner households 
    This report explores the risks of fuel poverty in pensioner households; the factors that affect it, how it is experienced and what can help to reduce its effects - all from the perspective of older people. It draws on research conducted by CRSP that highlighted the experiences of older people living on a low income. The study consisted of 25 individual in-depth interviews and 5 focus groups across different areas of Britain with older people aged 65-87.

    Sutton, L. and Hill, K. (2012) Mediating the Risk of Fuel Poverty in Pensioner Households. Loughborough University: CRSP.
  • Struggling to make ends meet. Single parents and income adequacy under universal credit
    Modelling the impact of the Universal Credit on single parents under a range of scenarios shows that work incentives will typically be good up to about nine or ten hours a week, but much weaker beyond that.  Those with high housing or childcare costs will find it hard to get above the poverty line, and harder still to reach an ‘adequate’ income threshold representing a minimum socially acceptable standard of living.

    Hirsch, D. (2012) Struggling to make ends meet. Single parents and income adequacy under universal credit. London: Gingerbread.
  • Sustaining Debt Repayments. Experiences of people in informal repayment arrangements
    Funded by the Money Advice Trust, this study collected both quantitative and qualitative data on people’s experiences of setting up and managing debt repayment arrangements.  The research sought to understand the key influences on the outcomes of repayment arrangements and the reasons why debt repayment arrangements succeeded or failed.

    Hartfree, Y., Padley, M., Perren, K. and Signoretta, P. (2012) Sustaining Debt Repayments. Experiences of people in informal repayment arrangements. London: Money Advice Trust.
  • The cost of a child in the twenty-first century
    This study drew together evidence on children’s costs, and identified a new, robust method for estimating the minimum cost of a child, based on the Minimum Income Standard.  It found that costs are presently rising faster than public support, and established a method that will monitor these costs and the adequacy of children’s benefits annually.

    Hirsch, D., Sutton, L. and Beckhelling, J. (2012) The cost of a child in the twenty-first century. London: Child Poverty Action Group.

 

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