Weekly Round up 13/01/2012

News in Brief

Welfare reform

The publication of the ‘Spartacus Report’, written, funded and researched by disability rights campaigners their friends and families, and the subsequent defeat of the government in the House of Lords on issues relating to ESA received widespread press coverage this week, including articles in The Telegraph and The Guardian. There was also a lot of comment in other areas as well: Liam Byrne wrote attacking the government; the Guardian letters page again provided a range of views; Iain Duncan Smith issued a form of apology over some of the political language used relating to benefit fraud; Nick Clegg spoke about the need to continue with welfare reform; and Sonia Poulton wrote two articles in the Daily Mail attacking the presentation and substance of the reforms

Elsewhere, but still related to welfare reform, the Children’s Commissioner suggested that the impact of welfare reform could adversely affect children, after carrying out a Children’s Rights Impact Assessment on it and, on Friday morning it was reported that David Cameron might be hinting at re-looking at the intention to withdraw child benefit from higher rate taxpayers. This position has understandably been contrasted with the government’s desire to pursue their welfare reforms which will see people on lower incomes potentially end up with even less money.

Child Poverty Map

End Child Poverty released their Child Poverty Map of the UK this week and it recevied widespread coverage including The Guardian, The Huffington Post and on BBC Radio Newcastle, where John Veit-Wilson spoke on the breakfast show. (available until 17/01/12) 


The Children’s Society released a report looking at ‘good childhoods’ in the UK and which things were important to children in making them feel happy and secure. The issue most picked up on in press coverage was the figure of 500,000 children who were unhappy, at any one point in their lives , although The Daily Mail lamented the fact that the role of marriage wasn’t given a higher profile. (Stability of relationships was prioritised over structure)


A number of campigns around poverty and inequality related themes have received press coverage this week. The British Youth Council asked young people to contact their MP’s to make ending child poverty their New Years Resolution. In The Journal, a number of influential people in the North East wrote a letter urging a ‘January Declaration’ to tackling inequality in the region and it was a good week for The Living Wage as Ed Miliband suggested he would like to work with Labour Councils to ensure as many of them as possible paid a Living Wage, and a report in The Independent highlighted the business benefits to paying a Living Wage

General comment

4Thought TV have been running a series of short programme on child poverty from the perspective of children this week and a report from Greece suggested that some parents were ‘giving up’ their children as they could not longer afford to look after them.

Signpost(s) of the week

A report on an ‘asset based approach’ to tackling poverty from the Poverty Alliance in Scotland

A very interesting article on the success (in terms of international comparative studies) of the Finnish education system which is set up to ensure equity rather than excellence


This week’s blog was a bit rushed (and next week’s may be similar) but hope you still find/found it useful

Kind regards,



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