Anti-poverty advocates face an uphill climb in the United Kingdom. Poverty is on the rise in the island nation in the wake of the global recession and subsequent austerity measures to cut spending on social services and increase sanctions on benefit recipients. The post-Brexit political climate has increased stigmatization and exclusion of the least privileged members of society. And tabloid newspapers, “reality” television programs and other media portray people in poverty as “benefit scroungers” and undeserving “others.”
The FrameWorks Institute, in partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, is studying ways to counter this corrosive public narrative. It aims to develop communications tools and strategies that foster an understanding of how systems and structures in the United Kingdom produce poverty; shift how the public thinks about people in poverty; and increase demand for policies and programs that support people in need and reduce poverty.
This multi-year reframing initiative builds on earlier studies FrameWorks conducted in the United States around issues related to equity, housing, human services, race and gender, and more.
Talking about Poverty: How Experts and the Public Understand Poverty in the United Kingdom (2016). This Map the Gaps report compares expert and public views of the causes and consequences of poverty in the United Kingdom and solutions to it. It also offers recommendations advocates can use to align public views with expert thinking.