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Becoming troubled

It does occur to me that, under the government’s proposals, it will be possible for a child to be “troubled” by poverty but not actually made poor by it.

This is how it works.

The government consultation on measuring child poverty proposes that some kind of combined measure be created to measure poverty, using indicators not related to money.  The eight indicators suggested, of which just three might be said to be directly income-related, are:

Income and material deprivation


Unmanagable debt

Poor housing

Parental skill level

Access to quality education

Family stability

Parental health

Yet the existing definition of a “troubled family” is of a family with five or more of the seven characteristics (of which three are also directly income-related):

No parent in the family is in work

The family lives in poor quality or overcrowded housing

No parent has any qualifications

Mother has mental health problems

At least one parent has a longstanding limiting illness, disability or infirmity

The family has low income (below 60% of the median)

The family cannot afford a number of food and clothing items

Sp depending on how child poverty measure ends up being calculated, it is perfectly conceivable that children who are poor in the obvious sense will be reclassified as “troubled”.  Anyone else see what’s going on here?

Categories: General Politics
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