Tough truth on poverty

December 19, 1997

IF IT IS true that we do not need 54 professors of social policy to tell us that the poor would be better off if they had more money (THES, December 12), it is perhaps equally true that we do not need a Social Exclusion Unit to tell us why the poor are poor: because they have systematically had resources taken away from them.

David Walker's article is unhelpful in polarising academic opinion into two apparently irreconcilable camps. Most of us have also been arguing for years that the long-term answer to the poverty of millions of adults is good quality, useful, secure and well-paid work and that poverty requires dynamic explanations rather than simplistic snapshots.

In the short term, however, the desperate poverty of many people, including lone parents, the sick and disabled and their children, has also to be addressed politically by reversing the redistribution of resources away from the poor which characterised the policies of the last government.

As it happens, this could also be done without undermining the government's manifesto pledge on expenditure.

Gary Craig Professor of social policy University of Humberside

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns