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Social policy review 27Analysis and debate in social policy, 2015$
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Zoë Irving, Zoë Irving, Menno Fenger, and John Hudson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447322771

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447322771.001.0001

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Social security policy and low wages in austere times

Social security policy and low wages in austere times

(p.33) Two Social security policy and low wages in austere times
Social policy review 27

Chris Grover

Policy Press

In-work poverty has been a problem in the UK for many years. Since wage supplements were condemned in the 19th century, various approaches have been taken to deal with the seemingly intractable problem that wages under capitalism cannot always deliver an above poverty income for many working people and families. Placing the analysis in this historical context, the chapter focuses upon contemporary developments in, and debates about, policies to address in-work poverty. The chapter focuses upon the development of Universal Credit and how it can be understood in long-term concerns with in-work poverty. The chapter also discusses contemporary debates about the living wage as a means of addressing in-work poverty. The chapter argues that in-work poverty is likely to remain a problem as governments continue to seek to constrain public spending and developments regarding the living wage remain constrained by political and orthodox economic concerns.

Keywords:   capitalism, in-work poverty, living wage, Universal Credit, wage supplements, social security

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