Jonathan Bradshaw, University of York: ‘Child poverty: Europe moving backwards’
Abstract: From the mid 1990s to the start of the recession the UK had the biggest reduction in child poverty of any (LIS) country. Most countries in the EU had increases in child poverty and this trend has continued since the recession. One reason for this is that many countries including the UK cut, or did not increase in line with inflation, the social transfers available to families with children. In most countries they became less effective in reducing poverty rates and closing child poverty gaps. This is the opposite of the ambition of the EU 2020 Poverty and Social Exclusion strategy. It was not inevitable – countries made choices to focus cuts on children and protect pensioners. In most countries social protection arrangements for pensioners became more effective and pensioner poverty rates fell. The keynote will elaborate and support these arguments with mainly comparative data.
Professor Tracy Shildrick, University of Leeds: ‘Youth disadvantage and the new politics of poverty’
Abstract: Youth poverty occupies something of a blind spot in both research and policy discussions. Yet research shows that poverty amongst young people is increasing and transitions to adulthood are becoming more precarious and risky as the traditional key markers of adulthood – particularly in respect of employment and housing – become more difficult for many young people to achieve. It has also been argued that the current younger generation are facing serious disadvantage in comparison to earlier generations, particularly their parent generation. In a period of heightened economic and political turmoil these issues come into ever more sharp relief. This paper draws had three main aims: firstly it outlines some of the key challenges facing young people in the current period; secondly it draws on research data to illustrate the lived experience of growing up in disadvantaged neighbourhoods; and finally the paper draws attention to the some key questions about both inter-generational and intra-generational inequality in a rapidly changing political and economic context.