From the TUC

Poverty Index Essay Competition

15 Aug 2011, By Guest

Generally on a Sunday I try to steer clear of news or programmes related to the news, for so many reasons, but partly because I see so much of what’s going on related to the demise of collective bargaining and it’s nice to have a day to rest.

But, there was so much to get through on our player that I had to forgo that general rule and ended up watching a snippet of ITV’s Tonight report on the respossession of homes.  In the opening credit a contributor mentions the squeeze on incomes due to stagnating wages.  As I’ve mentioned before, Chris and I have regular talks about the impact of the decline in collective bargaining and the challenges that poses for unions and Carl has blogged about where we stand at the moment for coverage.  Stagnating wages is evident in low collective bargaining.

I was really interested to hear that the New Statesmen have recently advertised the Webb Trust Essay Competition for 18-25 year olds to write an essay on the measure of poverty in the UK. 

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?  How would you use such an index to promote the issue of poverty in the public and political consciousness?


I’d be really keen to see the winning submissions, and wonder whether, espeically given this demographic, whether the role of unions and collective bargaining will play a part?


One Response to Poverty Index Essay Competition

  1. Alex
    Aug 15th 2011, 9:16 am

    In terms of actually measuring poverty, would going into detail on unions be relevant?

    It seems to me that post-Thatcher the consensus has been that as long as most people get richer, that’s fine. Even if this means a low-paid worker gets 5% wealthier, whilst a top city banker gets 100% better off. Which seems ridiculous, given all the societal problems that come with such startling inequality.

    Relative rather than absolute poverty, perhaps, but still an embarrassing situation for the United Kingdom in this day and age.