Real poverty matters


I'm not a fan of relative income-based poverty measures. The simple fact that poverty rates have decreased because median income has decreased is enough to cause real scepticism.

There are more than a few social metrics that can be used that indicate genuine poverty - and of course family income that can be spent on children is one measure.

As Barnado's chief Anne Marie Carrie says: "Children growing up in low-income households are more likely to suffer from chronic illness, do less well in education, and struggle to find work on leaving school."

John Freeman is a consultant and a former director of children's services

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