Poverty is defined in two different ways: Absolute poverty is not having the very basics to live such as food, shelter and clothing. Relative poverty is that in richer countries like the UK and USA there will be a higher minimum standard that is set that no one should fall under. These standard change based on if the country becomes richer or poorer. (Palmer. G, 2002)
Poverty affects society all over the world, however children can be the most affected. Growing up in poverty means experiencing deprivation, rejection, and being vulnerable. This leads to various life-long difficulties. Poverty creates various issues throughout a child’s life such as health issues, lack of education and prospects, falling into a life of crime and teenage pregnancies amongst others. However there are many policies in place to help alleviate these problems such as Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits and Income Support amongst many others.
The UK was ranked as having one of the highest rates of child poverty in the UK in the 1980’s and 1990’s amongst OECD countries. (cesi.org.uk). It was during this time that Tony Blair announced in March 1999 to eradicate child poverty in the UK by 2020, and to halve it by 2010. Unfortunately this target was not met although progress was made in various areas. “Britain is still divided into haves and have-nots. We still face the shame for ending the 20th century with people sleeping on the streets of our great cities, children being born into poverty.” (Presidents and Prime Ministers, Nov/Dec 1999)
The longer people are in poverty the longer it will take to break this cycle. “For many people, the closing decades of the twentieth century have seen their world turned upside down. What were once certainties in their lives have crumbled to dust before their eyes. Their aspirations about their own neighbourhoods, their workplaces, a notion that governments had some sort of responsibility to ensure that they didn’t end up in destitution on the...