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Bright Blue, the independent think tank for liberal conservatism and home of Conservative modernisers, urges the Government to supplement but not abandon the current relative poverty measure.

David Kirkby, Senior Research Fellow at Bright Blue, said:

“The Government is right to broaden the definition and measures of poverty. The causes of poverty are multiple. In fact, there are more than the ones this Government have identified: it can also stem from poor education, low pay and loneliness.

But money matters. If people struggle to afford items deemed essential to partake in society – to pay for activities for their children or afford a proper, nutritious meal – then they are without doubt impoverished. So, the relative measurement of poverty – internationally respected and employed – should stay, but be supplemented by a wider set of poverty targets.

The latest figures show that the proportion of children living in poverty has flatlined. However, the scale of the proposed cuts to tax credits, which are primarily claimed by working households, could push more children into poverty. Reductions in welfare expenditure should be more evenly distributed across the whole population.”