Where is the poverty line and how do you know when you are below it???

(9 Posts)
Doubletroublemummy2 Tue 15-Oct-13 16:45:56

I have just returned from a Uni lecture and as part it ths little quandry caused heated debate amoung students of various ages, gender and backgrounds

A man called townsend did a study in 1979 and decided that poverty can be indicated by the following factors:

A week’s holiday away from home
For adults not having a friend or relative to home to eat in the last 4 weeks
For adults not going out or visiting a friend of relative in the last 4 weeks
For children not having a friend to play in the last 4 weeks
For children not having a party on their last birthday
Not going out for entertainment in the last 2 weeks
Not having fresh meat at least 4 times a week
Not having a cooked meal one day in a fortnight
Not having a cooked breakfast most days of the week
Not having a house with a refrigerator
Where the household does not usually have a Sunday joint
Where the household lacks the sole use of four key amenities, flush w/c, sink/washbasin, fixed bath/shower, gas/electric cooker

I would love to know if Mumsnetters think any of these would apply today, would they have 2013 equivalent or was he being generous in his markers or stingy??

Doubletroublemummy2 Tue 15-Oct-13 19:24:33

I think I can see it but not sure if I'm looking from above or below??

Kafri Thu 31-Oct-13 15:56:39

We've just looked at this in terms of crime numbers and strereotypes of criminals.

It's all outdated twoddle now!

stuckindamiddle Sun 09-Mar-14 08:17:19

Joseph Rowntree Foundation calculates a minimum income standard. Look it up. It's based on decent criteria IMO.

There is (or at least was under the last government) a child poverty measure. Should be online somewhere.

NightLark Sun 09-Mar-14 08:22:44

Townsend is very seriously outdated, ditto Jarman (similar vintage). The IMD is opaque to the nth degree but more valid these days. Second looking at the JRF.

There's always loads of debate on here about the validity of relative poverty versus absolute poverty.

The deprivation indices are all about association not causation. They listed stuff that statistically correlates with life outcomes such as poor health, they don't necessarily imply direct causal links between the components and outcomes.

bakingaddict Sun 09-Mar-14 08:24:34

Being on or below the poverty line means things like having to choose heating over food or vice versa.

Having no surplus money for family activities

Constant juggling of money and resorting to payday loans for things like birthdays and Christmases

hootloop Sun 09-Mar-14 08:30:39

I disagree about the JRF being accurate, as I filled in their where are you regarding the poverty line thing and it told us we were below the poverty line.
That is obviously nonsense as we have a lot of the things thought of as luxuries.
I think the actual poverty line is as someone else said having to choose between heating and eating or paying rent and eating. In other words not being able to meet basic needs.

hootloop Sun 09-Mar-14 08:37:46

I have just done the minimum income standard thing again and it tells me we have £111 less a a week than we need for a minimum standard of living.
Looking at its breakdown it allows far too much for food, travel and personal costs. I stand by my comment of it not being accurate.

stuckindamiddle Sun 09-Mar-14 10:36:16

Hoot - it's been a few years
since I looked at the JRF stuff tbh. I was working in anti-poverty sector at the time. But without having looked at the current actual figures I'd say that travel costs can be pretty high in rural areas and even public transport is pricey esp outside of London. Travel costs often mean that gains from working or working more are eroded. I'd hope that minimum food costs are calculated in an aspirational way that includes fresh and healthy options. We know you can live relatively healthy for less - Jack Munroe etc - but that's not what the minimum we should aim for should be, not least because it's not sustainable long term.

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