The UK child poverty rate for large families is among the highest in the OECD. This study investigates the prevalence and characteristics of poor children in large families in the UK and how we compare with other countries. It also explores how the tax and benefit system has varied by family size over recent years and how this in turn compares with other countries. Given the UK government's commitment to the abolition of child poverty by 2020, the report discusses how the tax and benefit system might be adapted in favour of large families so that this target might be achieved.
The work is based on the secondary analysis of national and international data. The national data sets included the Family Resources Survey, The Millennium Cohort Study and the Family and Child Survey. The international data was drawn from the European Community Household Panel and the Luxembourg Income Study. The study also drew on national and international data on how the tax benefit system impacts on model families.
Jonathan Bradshaw is Professor of Social Policy and Head of the Department of Social Policy and Social Work, Naomi Finch and Emese Meyhew are Research Fellows in the Social Policy Research Unit and Christine Skinner is a lecturer in Social Policy, all at the University of York. Veli-Matti Ritakallio is Professor of Social Policy at the University of Turku, Finland.
Introduction; An historical perspective; Child poverty in large families; The characteristics of poor children in large families; International comparisons; The treatment of family size in the Child Benefit package: comparisons with other countries; Modelling policy changes for large families; Conclusion.