September
17
2018
Author
Natalie Williams
New poverty measure

A new measure of poverty for the UK has today been proposed by the Social Metrics Commission (SMC). The previous measure, which defined relative poverty as those households with less than 60% of the median income, was scrapped by the Government in 2015. A new measure has yet to be adopted, but the one proposed today by the SMC takes into account more than income – factoring in the cost of living.

The full details of the proposal have been released only today, with the official launch due to take place in London tomorrow. But from what Jubilee+ has seen so far, the proposed measure looks like a positive development. The crucial question is whether or not it will end up receiving cross-party support and being adopted as an official new measure of poverty in the UK. If this happens, it will move us on from debating how we measure poverty to, hopefully, debates about how we more effectively tackle it.

Jubilee+ will be at the official launch tomorrow, where we'll be hoping to find out more about the proposed measure. We're keen for any new measure to take into account whether or not people are able to live viably in our society. We also believe it is vital that the voices of those experiencing poverty are heard.

The IFS predicts that the number of children in poverty will rise to a record 5.2 million over the next five years, so it's absolutely vital that we don't just set a new measure for poverty, but that we work hard both to alleviate poverty in our communities and to address the root causes of poverty.

You can hear our initial thoughts on the new measure by tuning into TWR UK tonight at 10pm.