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Socio economic inquality and financial security - planning effective strategies

Text of Clps summer school workshop

  • 1. Socio-economic Inequality, Poverty & Financial Insecurity Planning Effective Strategies Sanjoy K. Nayak Edge Hill University

2. Poverty and Inequality in UK

  • Poverty is not only deprivation of economic or material resources but a violation of human dignity too. The UN (2001) provides a broader definition of poverty:
  • a human condition characterised by the sustained or chronic deprivation of the resources, capabilities, choices, security and power necessary for the enjoyment of an adequate standard of living and other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.

3. Human Rights Approach to Poverty

  • The UN definition brings together two important and related themes in contemporary understandings of poverty: the human rights and the capability approach of Nobel-prize winning economist Amartya Sen.
  • The capability approach addresses poverty as the deprivation of basic capabilities rather than merely as lowness of incomes. (Sen, 1999)
  • Suggested basic capabilities for a life with human dignity include the capability to live a human life of normal length, to ensure ones bodily health and integrity, to be treated as someone whose worth is equal to that of others, to have control over ones political and material environment.

4. Relative Poverty: %age and number of individuals in households with incomes below 60% of median AHC income (IFS 2007) 5. Income Distribution in UK (2005-06) 6. Real Income Growth by Quintile Group, 2004-05 to 2005-06 (GB) 7. Financial Insecurity

  • Over 10.5 million people live in financial insecurity: they cant afford to save, insure their house contents, or spend even small amounts on themselves.
  • About 9.5 million cant afford adequate housing heated, free from damp, and in a decent state of decoration. The crucial factor about these findings is that they are based on a survey of what the general population sees as necessities.

8. The North-South Divide

  • Office of National Statistics (9th June 2010):
  • the North-South divide is still very much in evidence, with Londoners earning more than 50% more on average per week than their North East counterparts.
  • those in London and the south of England also enjoy above average health, while residents in the North East, North West and Yorkshire and The Humber have lower life expectancy and higher mortality rates from cancer, respiratory & circulatory diseases, compared with the England average.

9. Public spending compared to poverty before and after housing costs (100=public spending in line with need) 2005-6 10. The impact of poverty

  • Poverty makes peoples lives shorter and more brutal than they need to be. Poverty is not simply about being on a low income and going without it is also about being denied power, respect, good health, education and housing, basic self-esteem and the ability to participate in social activities.
  • Poverty has costs to society as well as the individual. By limiting childrens educational attainment it reduces the skills available to employers, and impedes economic growth. For example a study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that child poverty costs Britain at least 25 billion a year.

11. Impact on Education

  • On average poorer children score less well on a range of educational measures such as reading tests and GCSE results.
  • Pupils in England who score at or above level 2 for reading at Key Stage 1:
    • Poorest tenth of areas 73% of pupils
    • Richest tenth 93% of pupils
  • Children who get 5 GCSEs at A*-C grade:
    • Children eligible for free school meals 35.5%
    • Children not eligible for free school meals 62.9%

12. Impact on Health

  • Life expectancy at birth varies significantly according to social class, with professional men expecting to live to around 80 years and unskilled manual men to 72.7 years. For women, the figures are 85.1 and 78.1 years.
  • Poorer children on average experience poorer health during their childhoods and the effects of this last throughout their lives. Three year olds in households with incomes below about 10,000 are 2.5 times more likely to suffer chronic illness than children in households with incomes above 52,000.
  • The risk of infant mortality is higher for poor children. In the lower social group (routine and manual occupations) infant mortality is 5.9 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. This is 20% higher than the average 4.9 per 1,000.

13. Life expectancy at birth (men) Sources: World Health Report 2006 &Let Glasgow Flourish Hanlon et al 2006 Glasgow (deprived) 54 Bangladesh 61 Philippines 65 Korea 65 Lithuania 66 Poland 71 Mexico 72 Cuba 75 US 75 UK 76 Greater Glasgow (affluent) 82 14. Impact on Social Participation

  • Poverty isolates people, reducing their ability to engage in social and community life. In a study comparing the poorest and richest fifth of households, poorer children had fewer opportunities for activities and entertaining friends.

15. Impact on Equality & Diversity

  • For all family work statuses, people from ethnic minorities are, on average, more likely to live in low-income households than White people. Whilst these differences are relatively small for workless families, they are proportionally much bigger for working families. In particular, part-working families from ethnic minorities are twice as likely to be in low income than part-working White British families: two-fifths compared to one-fifth.
  • Among those in working families, around 60% of Bangladeshis, 40% of Pakistanis and 30% of Black Africans are in low income. These rates are much higher than the 10-15% for White British, White other and Indians.(Joseph Rowntree Foundation)

16. Public Policy-making

  • Reflections and Discussion
  • Best practices from your own work context

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