Sutherland, Holly
July 2007
Social Policy Journal of New Zealand;Jul2007, Issue 31, p1
Academic Journal
Reducing levels of child poverty (as well as poverty in general) in a way that can be sustained over time requires not only policy measures that create opportunities and future capabilities. It also depends on having a social protection system that keeps pace with economic and social change and is appropriate across all communities, and which does not itself preclude individual risk-taking and initiative. Some conflict is inevitable between the goal of providing adequate social protection for those unable to support themselves and that of maintaining incentives to work and to save for those who have the potential to do so. Nevertheless, there are aspects of the design and evolution of cash benefits (and associated policies) that can improve the terms of the trade-off between the two goals. This paper draws on the experience of the United Kingdom's child poverty agenda over the last eight years, and on assessments of the prospects for a sustained reduction in child poverty in the future, to explore what these features might be. It also considers evidence from international comparisons of poverty and social protection systems.


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