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.

Commons Briefing Papers

06.11.2015Poverty 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.
26.10.2015Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015-16 Committee Stage Report
This Commons Library Briefing Paper summarises debate and amendments to the Bill during its committee stage in the House of Commons.
09.10.2015Deprivation in English constituencies, 2015
This paper looks at relative levels of deprivation across constituencies in England, including which constituencies have become more deprived or less deprived relative to other areas. An online tool maps the variation in deprivation levels within individual constituencies.
16.07.2015Welfare Reform and Work Bill [Bill 51 of 2015-16]
This House of Commons Briefing Paper provides background to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill's provisions; summarises the key measures; and includes relevant comment. The Bill is scheduled to receive its Second Reading on 20 July 2015.
15.07.2015School funding: Pupil Premium
This Note details the Pupil Premium policy that was introduced in 2011-12, and sets out how the policy has evolved year-by-year.
10.07.2015Summer Budget 2015: A summary
This note presents a summary of the Summer Budget 2015. This note provides an overview of the main Budget measures (see below), along with analysis of the forecasts, changes to the fiscal rules, changes to welfare, the National Living Wage, and public spending.
12.06.2015The Living Wage
The living wage is an hourly rate of pay set annually by reference to the basic cost of living in the UK and London. The current living wage is 7.85 per hour outside London and 9.15 per hour in London.
19.05.2015Key Issues for the 2015 Parliament
This book examines the key issues facing the House of Commons over the course of the 2015 Parliament - from the public finances to the UK's membership of the EU and from school places for children to climate change.
10.03.2015Sources of Statistics: Constituency Statistics
This introductory guide provides sources of statistics on constituency level statistics.
23.09.2014Pensions and pensioners' incomes: Social Indicators page
A summary of trends in pensioners' incomes.

Lords Library Notes

16.07.2015Debate on the Budget Statement
This Library Note provides background information on the Budget Statement which was delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, on 8 July 2015. The Note provides a brief overview of some of the key Budget measures, before outlining the immediate reaction to the statement as expressed by members of the House of Commons and by a selection of organisations and commentators. It has been written to support the debate in the House of Lords on this subject scheduled to take place on 21 July 2015.
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.


30.03.2015Measuring Living Standards
This POSTnote outlines different approaches to setting and measuring thresholds and their strengths and limitations. It also summarises research on recent trends in living standards and the key factors that influence them.
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.

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 ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses