Our publications - 2022
Cost of a Child in Scotland in 2022 - An update A new report commissioned by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland CRSP has found a widening gap between the cost of raising a child in Scotland and actual family incomes, despite the significant impact of Scottish government policies and lower childcare costs. Hirsch, D. and Stone, J. (2022) The Cost of a Child in Scotland 2022 - An update. Glasgow: Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland
Cost of a Child in 2022 This is the latest report in the Cost of a Child series produced by CRSP for Child Poverty Action Group. The 2022 analysis found that even couple parents who are both working full-time on the national living wage can’t reach a minimum, socially acceptable living standard this year. Whereas last year these families could cover their minimum costs – helped by the temporary £20 universal credit uplift - this year, below-inflation uprating of benefits has left them £34 per week short of the minimum income standard. This is the biggest annual deterioration in living standards since The Cost of a Child reports began in 2012. Overall, the analysis estimates that raising a child up until their 18th birthday requires approximately £160,000 for couples and £200,000 for lone parents to allow a minimum socially acceptable standard of living. Hirsch, D. and Stone, J. (2022) The cost of a child in 2022. London: Child Poverty Action Group
A Minimum Income Standard for the UK in 2022 The latest Minimum Income Standard (MIS) 2022 report sets out the updated minimum budgets for pensioners and working age households without children, which have been recalculated from scratch, and the budgets for households with children, which have been reviewed and uprated based on inflation. The core of the basket of goods and services that people identify as necessary for a minimum socially acceptable standard of living remains stable, but the cost of many of these essentials has increased dramatically over the past year. The report analyses the incomes of households on out of work benefits and working on the National Living Wage relative to MIS in this period of rapidly increasing costs, as well as looking at the impact of the governments cost of living support package. Davis, A., Stone, J., Blackwell, C., Padley, M., Shepherd, C. and Hirsch, D. (2022) A Minimum Income Standard in the UK for 2022. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Bringing up a family and making ends meet: before and during the coronavirus crisis This chapter looks longitudinally at the role of the financial circumstances of families with children who were on low incomes before COVID-19, and the influence this had on their experiences during the pandemic. It draws on qualitative longitudinal data from a study comprising three waves of interviews conducted between 2015 and 2020 with families. The chapter highlights the way that factors including work (in)security and income stability, support networks, and physical and mental health intersected to shape the extent to which families managed to make ends meet both before and during the pandemic when faced with additional challenges and costs. Hill, K. and Webber, R. (2022) ‘Bringing up a family and making ends meet: before and during the coronavirus crisis’ in Garthwaite, K., Patrick, R., Power, M., Tarrant, A and Warnock, R. (eds.) COVID-19 Collaborations Researching Poverty and Low-Income Family Life during the Pandemic. Bristol: Policy Press
A Minimum London Weighting - a revised and updated approach This report, funded by Trust for London and produced by CRSP, proposes an updated basis for calculating a minimum London Weighting using ongoing research on a Minimum Income Standard (MIS) for the capital. Combining calculated London Weightings for different household types and areas, the analysis shows a minimum London Weighting of £9,600 in Inner London and £6,549 in Outer London is needed. Padley, M. (2022) A minimum London weighting - a revised and updated approach. London: Trust for London Padley, M. (2022) A technical report on the calculation of a minimum London Weighting. London: Trust for London
Richness, insecurity and the welfare state Across many countries, increases in inequality driven by rising top incomes and wealth have not been accompanied by growing popular concern. In fact, citizens in unequal societies are less concerned than those in more egalitarian societies. Understanding how the general public perceive richness is an essential step towards resolving this paradox. We discuss findings from focus group research in London, UK, a profoundly and visibly unequal city, which sought to explore public perceptions of richness and the rich. Hecht, K., Burchardt, T. and Davis, A. (2022) Richness, insecurity and the welfare state. Journal of Social Policy, 1-22. doi:10.1017/S0047279422000617
More affordable justice: proposals to reform the legal aid means tests and implications for living standards This report analyses the extent to which the Ministry of Justice's review of the legal aid means test improves the extent to which low income households are able to afford access to justice without having to sacrifice minimum living standards. Commissioned by the Law Society, it informs their response to the review. The report finds that the proposals greatly improve access to justice by raising the income thresholds at which legal aid is available. However, it identifies two significant problems that could undermine this progress, and makes recommendations about how to remedy them. The most important difficulty is that, just at the time inflation has increased to 40-year highs, the proposals fail to uprate regularly the living allowances used in the means test to ensure that they keep up with living costs. Without such upratings, the benefits of the proposed reforms will quickly be lost. The second problem is that the relative income needs of lone parent families are being underestimated by the proposed system, but a simple adjustment in weightings for lone parent families would make the new system far more equitable. Hirsch, D. (2022) More affordable justice: proposals to reform the legal aid means tests and implications for living standards Loughborough: Centre for Research in Social Policy
Poverty at the end of life in the UK This report, based on research commissioned by charity Marie Curie, investigates the prevalence of poverty among people at the end of life in the UK. The research reveals that in 2019, an estimated 90,000 people died I poverty. The finding show that the situation is particularly bleak for people of working age who are in the last 12 months of life, with more than 1 in 4 (28%) of this group dying in poverty. This makes those who die at working age more than twice as likely to die in poverty than compared to those who live past pension age. The risk rises steeply for parents with dependent children, with two out of three facing poverty toward the end of their lives if they die before retirement age. Stone, J. and Hirsch, D. (2022) Poverty at the end of life in the UK. London: Marie Curie
From pandemic to cost of living crisis: low-income families in challenging times This report looks at the experiences of a group of low-income families during the second half of the Covid pandemic, and how they have faced a changing and increasingly uncertain world with ongoing implications across finances, work environment, health and well being, education and accessing services and support. It highlights how existing financial instability continued with insecurity around work and earnings and the removal of the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift which has now been compounded by spiralling costs. The research shows how, emerging from the pandemic but heading into a cost of living crisis, families need greater stability and support to help them to meet their needs. Hill, K. and Webber, R. (2022) From pandemic to cost of living crisis: low-income families in challenging times. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation
The Cost of a Child in Scotland 2022 This report commissioned by the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland from the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University analyses the impact Scottish government policies and lower childcare costs have on the cost of bringing up a child. The report builds on calculations which find that the minimum cost of bringing up a child in the UK, excluding childcare costs, is around £76,000 in a couple family and £103,000 in a lone parent family. The new Scottish analysis includes the impact of Scottish policies such as the Scottish child payment, minimum school clothing grants, best start payments and free bus travel. Hirsch, D. (2022) The cost of a child in Scotland 2022. Glasgow: Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland
Households below a Minimum Income Standard: 2008/09 to 2019/20 The latest report in the Households below a Minimum Income Standard series looks at the period from 2008/9 to 2019/20, prior to the period in which incomes are likely to have been impacted by Covid-19. The analysis, funded by JRF, looks at what has happened to the adequacy of incomes, measured by individuals’ ability to reach the Minimum Income Standard (MIS). The report shows that children remain the group most likely to be living below MIS, with 40% living in households with inadequate income. While pensioners are the least likely to be in a household below MIS, they have seen a sharp increase in risk since 2008/9, with the proportion below MIS increasing from 12% to 18% in 2019/20. The report also highlights the continuing challenge of in-work ‘poverty’: among people with inadequate income for a socially acceptable standard of living, 49% are in households where there is some work, and one in five are in households where all adults are in full-time work. Income inadequacy for those in work is particularly prevalent among single parents – 43% of lone parents in full-time work do not have the income they need for a minimum standard of living. Padley, M. and Stone, J. (2022) Households below a Minimum Income Standard: 2008/09 to 2019/20. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.