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What is poverty nowadays?

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What is poverty nowadays?

Old 17th Jul 2019, 16:13
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What is poverty nowadays?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42223497

Growing up in the 60s, when I was at school, poverty meant not having enough food, unable to afford to have adequate clothing fit for purpose etc. My MIL was from a family so poor in the 30s that her mother sent one of the children to a neighbour to ask if they could lend them a loaf of bread.

Working in education as an adult, I’ve seen a lot of so called ‘poor’ families on free school meals with large flat screen TVs, latest phones, PlayStations etc. I would love a 65” QLED LG tv and could buy one if I wished but I don’t believe it’s a life necessity and have different priorities - especially if I didn’t have enough food for my kids over the summer holidays.

I certainly wouldn't want to see a return to the days when there were grubby and smelly children in schools that no one wanted to sit with, but how exactly is poverty defined as in the U.K. today?
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 16:24
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I went to a 'council' primary school, and we had the full spectrum of children though it was the days before tellies and mobile 'phones (or fancy trainers), so what you saw was what you got - hand-me down clothing that was worn out.
I don't remember if there were free school meals.

The 'poorer' children didn't make it to grammar school - it was the secondary modern for them.
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 16:32
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I can recall my mum mixing flour, water and dried herbs to fry as fritters for lunch.
she cried when I said I didn't like them. That was around 1979.
We also had clothes that were handed down through five siblings. As the only boy I got a raw deal.
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 16:35
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You almost sound nostalgic for the bad old days. I suppose that's the way politics and society is lurching to the right these days.

The easiest way to spot poorer people is that the kids are more likely to be overweight. Supposedly no one goes hungry anymore yet the foodbanks are over subscribed.

There are lots of of poor people out there but they are sustained by benefits these days. So you won't see any ragged barefoot urchins begging for scraps like in the good old days.
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 16:59
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Originally Posted by Steepclimb View Post
You almost sound nostalgic for the bad old days. I suppose that's the way politics and society is lurching to the right these days.

The easiest way to spot poorer people is that the kids are more likely to be overweight. Supposedly no one goes hungry anymore yet the foodbanks are over subscribed.

There are lots of of poor people out there but they are sustained by benefits these days. So you won't see any ragged barefoot urchins begging for scraps like in the good old days.
Not nostalgic at all - just genuinely curious - hence my question.

If the kids are overweight, they’re clearly not hungry although their nutrition quality is suspect. Benefits are to ensure that everyone gets a decent standard of living ie enough food, clothing, means to heat themselves and live in comfort, and rightly so. But, if those benefits are subsidising the purchase of the latest tech, were those receiving them truly living in poverty?
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 17:50
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Originally Posted by Steepclimb View Post
Supposedly no one goes hungry anymore yet the foodbanks are over subscribed.
Try running an after-school art (or whatever) class for local kiddies, and provide food.

See how many teenage boys turn up - and end up actually showing an interest in playing with the art! - primarily because they don't get enough to eat at home.

Having said which, I did wonder slightly at the couple who turned up at a food bank in an open top sports car. But of course they might have been helping out a neighbour.
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 17:53
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Originally Posted by Gertrude the Wombat View Post
Try running an after-school art (or whatever) class for local kiddies, and provide food.

See how many teenage boys turn up - and end up actually showing an interest in playing with the art! - primarily because they don't get enough to eat at home.

Having said which, I did wonder slightly at the couple who turned up at a food bank in an open top sports car. But of course they might have been helping out a neighbour.
But are they hungry because they are poor, or are they hungry because their parents prioritise 'phones, TVs, beer, ciggies etc over food?
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 18:03
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There is no poverty in Britain. Unless you are one of those who has not been elsewhere in the world and seen what real poverty is, then you might be misguided into thinking that there is poverty in Britain.

VP959's question is extremely valid.
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 18:10
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The question posed is for a precise definition of poverty in the UK today. This requires a process of measurement and am sure for the purposes of our social security benefits system there must be one. Accordingly there being a state aid and assistance system in operation, poverty in its true meaning does not exist in the UK. However that does exist now is an underclass, one which but for the benefit system would render that particular class poor within the meaning of the word. Unfortunately the social issues that are raised by this underclass are one which do not arise as a result of poverty. They arise as a result of the benefit system which funds their depravities. Such as alcohol, drugs,gambling and crime. The various methods tried by many governments over many decades to re distribute wealth, through taxation of various methods has not succeeded to bring about a state of fair balance between the socio-economic groups of this country. That all are equal and deserve their fair share of the cake. That there should be no poor and hence no poverty. Nothing may exist without its exact opposite. On that premise the definition of poor is precisely its opposite, rich. Which then results in the paradox that as there is no poverty in the UK there is also no wealth. Perhaps that is true, that the wealth we claim is merely illusionary, as it lies in the mortgaged houses we live in. Not in the factories, mills and industrial factories and plants where once our working classes found mass employment in.
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 18:35
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
But are they hungry because they are poor, or are they hungry because their parents prioritise 'phones, TVs, beer, ciggies etc over food?
Or are they ravenous because they are active teenage boys?

Our grandson turned 13 in June. He is 6ft 1in and thin as a lat. We went for a pizza for lunch. He had his favorite starter of dough balls, enough for an adult main course, then a large pizza before demolishing a pudding. When we feed him when he stays over after tea he will have an early supper, ice cream to follow and a large helping of cereal before bed.

In the 50s and 60s he would have been smaller.
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 19:13
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
But are they hungry because they are poor, or are they hungry because their parents prioritise 'phones, TVs, beer, ciggies etc over food?
Can't answer that one. Suspect it's because they were poor: the community worker running that show was in and out of people's houses and she wasn't dim (her other job was being a law student), she'd have said if they were taking the piss.
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 19:15
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
Or are they ravenous because they are active teenage boys?
Sure. But most teenage boys of non-poor households would just go home and eat a loaf of bread[#] or raid the fridge, they don't go to art classes just to get something to eat.

[#] We reckoned to get through one loaf per day per teenage boy, alongside all the normal meals.
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 20:47
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The word poverty conjures up in my mind Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim et al.
Times have changed however and the term is now relative to income but it seems that the more income goes up, the more people are in poverty?


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Povert...United_Kingdom

extract...

The most common measure for poverty, as used in the Child Poverty Act 2010, is ‘household income below 60 percent of median income’. The median is such an income that exactly a half of households earn more than that and the other half earns less.[101]


Income distribution (before housing costs) for the UK total population (2014/15). In 2014/5, the median income in the UK was £473 per week (£24,596 a year). Those earning 60% of this figure (£284 a week / £14,758 a year) were considered to be in the low income bracket.In 2014/5, the median income in the UK was £473 per week (£24,596 a year). Those earning 60% of this figure (£284 a week / £14,758 a year) were considered to be in the low income bracket.

This is the definition that is used by the UK government's Department of Work and Pensions in its yearly survey Households below average income.[102] However, their reports expressly avoid using the word poverty, using low income instead. Reports from others agencies, such as the Institute of Fiscal Studies Living Standards, Poverty and Inequality in the UK, use the same methodology, but specifically use the word poverty.[37][103]

This measure can be further divided.

Those who live in absolute poverty have a ‘household income below 60 percent of median income' as compared to a rate fixed in 2010/11 and that only changes in line with inflation.Those who live in relative poverty have a ‘household income below 60 percent of median income' as compared to all other incomes in the same year.
Absolute poverty is better at judging poverty in the short term, whereas relative poverty is better at seeing long-term trends. This is because general concepts of poverty change with time, and relative poverty reflects this better.[37]

Reports on poverty also tend to take housing costs in to account, distinguishing between before housing costs (BHC, where housing costs such as rent and mortgage interest payments have not been deducted) and after housing costs (AHC). Different social groups in the UK tend to have vastly different costs for housing, affecting available income.[37]

Relative poverty was used before its formal adoption now. In the early 1980s, Tony Byrne and Colin F. Padfield defined relative poverty in Britain as a situation in which people are able to survive adequately, but they are either less well off than they used to be (such as when they retire from paid employment) or that they are at a serious disadvantage "in their ability to experience or enjoy the standard of life of most other people – for example, not being able to afford an annual holiday."[12]

In 2011, there was some discussion of the measurement for poverty being changed (from households earning less than 60% of median income) to a broader analysis of poverty.[104]
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 21:27
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To establish whether someone is living in relative poverty, the government looks at the median income - that is the midpoint where half of the working population earn more than that amount and half earn less. Then they take 60% of this middle amount and anyone who earns less than this is considered to be living in relative poverty.

According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) charity, that's an income less than:

£248 a week for a couple with no children
£144 a week for a single person with no children
£401 a week for a couple with two children aged between five and 14
£297 a week for single parent with two children aged between five and 14
When government talks about absolute poverty, it does the same calculation but uses the median income in 2010-11 to give a constant measure over time.

While relative poverty tells you about the gap between low and middle-income households, absolute poverty is a good measure of how much the living standards of low-income households have changed over time.
You can also look at these measures either before or after housing costs.
The JRF says it favours the relative measure after housing costs since rising rents and property prices are a growing contributor to poverty.
Absolute poverty, both before and after housing costs, has halved over the past 20 years.

In 2016, the university's Centre for Research in Social Policy said single people needed to earn at least £17,100 a year (£329 a week) before tax, and couples with two children at least £18,900 (£363 a week) each to achieve the minimum income standard.
From:- https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42223497
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 21:52
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Originally Posted by Tashengurt View Post
I can recall my mum mixing flour, water and dried herbs to fry as fritters for lunch.
she cried when I said I didn't like them. That was around 1979.
We also had clothes that were handed down through five siblings. As the only boy I got a raw deal.
These days you would be getting "special" treatment for wearing your sister's clothes.
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 22:24
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When international institutions such as the World Bank talk about poverty in Africa and parts of Asia they use an absolute measure, such as income per person less than (say) $1.65 per day (adjusted for inflation from a base year etc, etc). Almost all the poverty numbers I have seen for the UK and elsewhere in Europe are relative poverty measures (such as less than 60% of median income).

The relative measures are really more about inequality rather then poverty. If you have high growth in average real incomes of say 3% a year, then in a generation average real income will have doubled, and if the overall distribution is unchanged, then 60% of the median(i.e. poverty line) will be twice as much in real terms. No wonder poverty nowadays is not associated with being barefoot or smelly or malnourished like in previous generations.

One view is that lower taxes and benefits which increase income inequality, might lead to higher economic growth. In that case absolute poverty could decline but relative poverty increase. Classic Left versus Right political disagreement.
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 22:28
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All I know is that amongst the pensioners of today there are many slippery, selfish disingenuous, self righteous individuals. The true "Thatcher" generation, Some of the worst kind pontificate on here, it obviously makes them feel a bit clever and smart. making up perhaps for real definciences in their professional lives.
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 22:34
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Poverty is one thing in life that money can't buy.
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 22:45
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Originally Posted by PinkusDickus View Post
Poverty is one thing in life that money can't buy.
Proves my point exactly, thankyou sir, The simple selfish self righteous baby boomer generation.
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Old 17th Jul 2019, 23:48
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Originally Posted by NoelEvans View Post
There is no poverty in Britain. Unless you are one of those who has not been elsewhere in the world and seen what real poverty is, then you might be misguided into thinking that there is poverty in Britain.

VP959's question is extremely valid.
Several years ago, shortly after returning from a trip to Indonesia, some co-workers (who apparently had been having a debate among themselves) came to me and asked "are the poor people in Indonesia as poor as the poor people here?" I just stood there for several seconds - I wasn't sure if the question was serious - so I literally said "Seriously?". After they responded to the affirmative - I started out with 'you have no idea'. In America, poor people have TVs, cell phones, and many are obese. Most would be 'middle class' in Indonesia. In Indonesia, poor people don't have TVs or phones and none of them are obese - or even overweight. If they are lucky, they might have a simple roof to protect themselves from the rain, but no walls, and many not only are hungry, they may not even know when they'll eat again. That's poverty in most of the world.
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