Incomes and poverty

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on incomes and poverty. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

04.02.2015Poverty in the UK: statistics
This note sets out information on the levels and rates of poverty in the UK, including historical trends and forecasts for future years.
23.09.2014Pensions and pensioners' incomes: Social Indicators page
A summary of trends in pensioners' incomes.
04.07.2014Child Poverty Act 2010: a short guide
The Child Poverty Act 2010, which received Royal Assent on 25 March 2010, fulfilled the Labour Government's commitment made in September 2008 to enshrine in legislation the target of 'eradicating' child poverty by 2020
10.04.2014Food Banks and Food Poverty
The number of food banks in the UK has increased substantially in recent years. This note explains how food banks work, examines their growth and discusses possible contributing factors and policy developments.
14.01.2014Agricultural incomes and subsidies: Social Indicators page
Agricultural incomes and subsidies: Social Indicators page. By Oliver Hawkins and Rachael Harker. SN/SG/2613.

Research Papers

04.01.2013Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill
26.07.2012Olympic Britain
Olympic Britain tells the story of the profound economic and social change in the UK since the two previous London Olympics, in 1908 and 1948, using statistics and expert analysis. The book can also be browsed using the Parliament website at
18.11.2010Savings Account and Health in Pregnancy Grant Bill: Committee Stage Report
The Bill gives effect to decisions made as part of the initial review of public expenditure undertaken soon after the 2010 General Election. This Paper summarises proceedings in the Commons Committee Stage of the Bill. Several amendments proposed but none were successful. The paper complements Research Paper 10/66, which was prepared for the Second Reading of the Bill.
24.02.2010Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill [Bill 21 of 2009-10]
The Bill seeks to amend the 2007 Act by setting a deadline for the Secretary of State to initiate the next round of proposals for enhancing the sustainability of local communities from local authorities under the Act. It provides for regulations to be made specifying the rules for this process. These are also to cover parish council involvement and the role of local petitioning. There is also provision for greater flexibility in decision-making on proposals.
03.12.2009Child Poverty Bill: Committee Stage Report. Bill 10 2009-10.
The Bill fulfils the Government's commitment made in September 2008 to enshrine the 2020 child poverty target in legislation. It establishes four separate child poverty targets to be met by 2020/21, requires the UK Government to publish a regular UK child poverty strategy, requires the Scottish and Northern Irish Ministers to publish child poverty strategies, establishes a Child Poverty Commission to provide advice, requires the UK Government to publish annual progress reports, and places new duties on local authorities and other 'delivery partners'' in England to work together to tackle child poverty.

Select Committee Reports

27.01.2010Enforcement of the national minimum wage in Scotland.
Government response. Scotland Office; Scottish Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
15.12.2009Top pay in the public sector.
Public Administration Select Committee report [Commons]
10.11.2009Legislative scrutiny: Child Poverty Bill.
Human Rights Joint Select Committee report [Commons and Lords]
14.10.2009Enforcement of the national minimum wage in Scotland.
Scottish Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
08.10.2009Energy efficiency and fuel poverty.
Government response. Department of Energy and Climate Change report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House recognises the serious problem of fuel poverty in the UK, especially amongst older people; acknowledges the adverse impact that rising fuel bills are likely to have ...
That this House notes the findings of the Equality Trust that societies with smaller income differences between rich and poor have fewer health and social problems, such as teenage ...
That this House notes that the Royal Family currently receive 30 million annually from the public purse, in part for the cleaning of the occupied Royal Palaces which include Buckingham ...
That this House notes with concern the analysis by the Institute of Fiscal Studies that shows the Government's fiscal plans will increase poverty among children and working age adults ...
That this House welcomes a new report by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, The Cost of Living with Muscle Disease, which highlights the extreme financial hardship faced by many families ...

Lords Library Notes

03.11.2014Women Facing Homelessness, Domestic Violence and Social Exclusion
On 6 November 2014, the House of Lords is scheduled to debate the following motion: 'that this House takes note of women facing homelessness, domestic violence and social exclusion'.
06.02.2013Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill (HL Bill 78 of 2012-13)
The Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill implements an announcement by the Chancellor in the 2012 Autumn Statement that increases in certain working-age welfare benefits and tax credits would be limited to 1 percent, rather than increasing them in line with inflation. This Library Note is intended to provide background information in advance of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords on 11 February 2013.

POST Papers

17.09.2012Measuring National Wellbeing
This POSTnote summarises the latest research on measuring national wellbeing, its components and causes, and examines some policy implications.
01.03.2009Delaying gratification, March 2009
This POSTnote looks at the influence of time in decision making, and looks at the implications for policy domains such as pensions, health and consumer affairs.


  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses