Regional Diversity and Child Poverty: The Case of Child Benefit in the United Kingdom and the Need for Joined Up Thinking

By Carlo Morelli and Paul Seaman.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

With a focus upon Child Benefit we examine the potential impact of the introduction of regionally specific rates of Child Benefit on levels of inequality for households with children in the United Kingdom. Using data from the most recently available British Household Panel Study (BHPS) we demonstrate that the current system for Child Benefit, with differences in payments based upon family composition, acts as a regressive system of welfare. Moving towards a flat rate payment for all children is more progressive for all regions of the UK and for Wales and Northern Ireland a progressive system of higher payments for second and subsequent children is shown to have a still more progressive outcome. Further, we demonstrate that the Child Benefit system can provide an effective and flexible redistributive mechanism for addressing child poverty in a way that is currently not understood.

Keywords: Child Benefit, BHPS, Gini Coefficient, Child Poverty, Household Income, Welfare

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.113-124. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 693.551KB).

Dr. Carlo Morelli

Lecturer, Economics, Social Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK

I am currently a Lecturer in Economics. My recent research interests are in two areas of multidisciplinary research utilising geography and economics. Thus my research is focused upon contemporary public policy with particular reference to food policy, inequality and income distribution. My publications include work on child poverty, regional devolution and globalisation. The second area of multidisciplinary research examines international business strategy particularly linked to retailing organisation, the growth of multiple retailing and the emergence of large scale international retailing organisations. Here my publications examine the growth of large-scale retailing and the political economy of the food industry.

Dr. Paul Seaman

University of Dundee, Dundee, UK


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