Winner of the 2011 Webb Memorial Trust essay competition: Anil Prashar on the Poverty Index

Posted on 27 Mar 2012   Categories: Publications Related Tags:  

If Beatrice Webb were alive today and wanted to compile an index of poverty in the UK, what factors would be included, how would they be measured, and how would each factor be weighted? Also how would you use such an index to promote the issue of poverty in the public and political consciousness?

Over one hundred years ago Beatrice Webb headed the group that published the Minority Report. Webb claimed that the purpose of the report was ‘to secure a national minimum of civilised life open to all alike, of both sexes and all classes’, by which she meant ‘sufficient nourishment and training when young, a living wage when able‐bodied, treatment when sick, and modest but secure livelihood when disabled or aged’1. The report represented one of the first attempts to determine and tackle the root causes of poverty. Unfortunately Webb’s innovative claims went widely ignored at the time of their publication. The majority consensus remained that poverty was due to a weakness of individual character. Webb was a strong believer in the claim that poverty is a result of systemic factors. She believed that if the systemic factors were addressed then poverty could be ended.  Time has allowed for major reforms and today Webb’s ideas raise some important questions about what constitutes poverty and how it can be measured within the UK.

Poverty Index By Anil Prashar

If Beatrice Webb were alive today and wanted to compile an index of poverty in the UK, what factors would be included, how would they be measured, and how would each factor be weighted?” Also how would you use such an index to promote the issue of poverty in the public and political consciousness?

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Posted on 27 Mar 2012   Categories: Publications Related Tags:  

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