Tackling poverty from the DWP

Julia Unwin

This briefing sets out priority areas for the new Secretary of State to focus on for a sustained reduction in UK poverty levels.

Two things can be done to substantially reduce poverty levels in the UK: either the resources available to individuals and households need to increase or the costs of meeting their needs must be brought down.

The state’s role is important, particularly the tax and benefit system, but fiscal policy alone will not reduce poverty. A more comprehensive approach is needed. In this briefing, we set out a number of areas where we think the Secretary of State has scope, either through his direct commissioning and spending powers or via influence with Cabinet colleagues, local government and employers, to make a positive difference.

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