CAP responses to the DWP's consultation on developing a new poverty measure


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is developing a new measure of poverty and opened an analytical consultation to help with this process. 

With more than 25 years’ experience supporting people in debt and poverty, CAP sees the impacts of financial difficulty and the importance of accurately measuring and publishing insights into the realities of poverty in the UK. As a result, CAP feed into this consultation to help in the process of developing a new poverty measure.

Key points:

  • CAP welcomes a holistic approach to measuring poverty. But CAP wishes to emphasise the multifaceted nature of people’s lives, cautions against assuming singular correlations between financial difficulty and factors like relationship breakdown, disability, and health,instead encouraging a deeper understanding of the complex interplay between these factors and poverty.

  • CAP sees significant value in developing a richer analysis of poverty beyond current measures but wish to highlight the caution needed to prevent politicization of the data.

  • Regularly publishing poverty measures enables informed policy decisions within government and supports the charity sector in service development by providing a richer understanding of poverty trends, facilitating planning, and measuring progress.

  • CAP recommends further analysis of the varying impacts of poverty on different groups, including factors such as gender, ethnicity, geography, and household composition.

  • CAP would encourage the integration of factors surrounding debt repayment to be considered in poverty analysis to understand its impact on household incomes and its role in perpetuating financial difficulties.

  • CAP encourages the DWP to continue developing its work on persistent poverty, and the long-lasting effects it can have on physical and mental health.

  • CAP would encourage the DWP to engage with those with lived experience of poverty in further development of this measure.