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Social Policy Review 25Analysis and debate in social policy, 2013$
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Gaby Ramia, Kevin Farnsworth, and Zoe Irving

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447312741

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447312741.001.0001

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The Earned Income Tax Credit as an anti-poverty programme: palliative or cure?

The Earned Income Tax Credit as an anti-poverty programme: palliative or cure?

(p.149) Eight The Earned Income Tax Credit as an anti-poverty programme: palliative or cure?
Social Policy Review 25

Phyllis Jeroslow

Policy Press

One of the questions raised by the competition state thesis is what the consequences are for citizens of governments who are shifting social policies closer towards the needs of employers and the wider economy. Phyllis Jeroslow's chapter deals with related questions in examining the impact of in-work tax credits on poverty in the US. Jeroslow focuses specifically on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in the US, but many of the lessons she highlights could apply anywhere. She illustrates the failings of the EITC as an anti-poverty strategy, indicating that, as a policy, its benefits are just as valuable to employers as they are to the poor. Indeed, the EITC appears just as likely to lock the poor into low-wage jobs and long-term poverty as it is to alleviate poverty, a fact brought home to the reader by Jeroslow's reminder of the 35-year pedigree of such policies in the US.

Keywords:   Earned Income Tax Credit, In-work tax credits, Poverty, US, Anti-poverty strategy, Low-wage jobs, Competition state thesis

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