John Veit-Wilson: Publications and Notes

For personal details see John Veit-Wilson's profile at Newcastle University.

This website contains some of John Veit-Wilson's publications and other papers about various aspects of poverty, including:

Documents are provided in Portable Document Format (PDF), which requires Adobe Reader. John Veit-Wilson's other publications on understanding and measuring poverty not shown here can be obtained from him.

Income adequacy and rights

2008 "What do we mean by 'adequate' benefits?"
Chapter 14 in J Strelitz and R Lister [eds], Why Money Matters. Family income, poverty and children's lives. Save the Children, London, pp 125-132.
1999 "Poverty and the adequacy of social security."
Chapter 4 in J Ditch (ed), Introduction to Social Security. Policies, benefit and poverty. Routledge, London, pp 78-109.
2007 "Some social policy implications of a right to social security."
Chapter in J Van Langendonck [ed], The Right to Social Security, Intersentia, Antwerp, pp 57-83.
2006 "No rights without remedies: necessary conditions for abolishing child poverty."
European Journal of Social Security, 8/3, September 2006, pp 317-337.
2009 "Who sets the conditions? Conditionality, reciprocity, human rights and inclusion in society." Global Social Policy, 9.2. (GSP Forum), pp 171-174.
2002 "Researching Poverty and the Poor." [Review Article]
Journal of Social Policy, 31/3, pp 537-544. [Reprinted with permission]
2004 "Poverty, incomes and resources – concepts and measures."
Chapter in N Manning and N Tikhonova [eds], Poverty and Social Exclusion in the New Russia, Ashgate, Aldershot, pp 37-62.
2004 "Human dignity, social indicators and social inclusion"
Discussion paper for ESPAnet European Social Policy Conference, University of Oxford, September 2004.

Minimum Income Standards and policies; welfare states


Setting adequacy standards: How governments define minimum incomes.
Policy Press, Bristol. (Copyright © Policy Press)
ISBN: 1 86134 072 9 [out of print]

As the UK government currently has no Minimum Income Standards (MIS) to assess the adequacy of minimum wages, tax thresholds or social security benefits, Setting adequacy standards reports how the governments of ten countries world-wide set their MIS. The report suggests how MIS can be used among other strategies to combat poverty.

This is the first study:

  • of the methods which the governments of ten countries used in setting minimum standards of adequacy for their income maintenance systems and the ideas they were based on;
  • to distinguish between the scientific activity of discovering poverty lines, and the political activity of setting governmental MIS;
  • to report on the disparate ways in which poverty is officially perceived in different countries and their implications for cross-national studies and policy making.

Setting adequacy standards concludes by showing how the UK government should go about setting a MIS which is publicly acceptable, methodologically defensible and administratively feasible.

2011 "No inclusive society without minimum income standards."
Chapter 2 in Barry Knight (ed), A Minority View: what Beatrice Webb would say now, London: Alliance Publishing Trust, pp 21-31.
2011 "Active Inclusion and minimum incomes — implications for policy at a time of crisis?"
Rediteia 44, Revista de Politica Social, 2011, pp 31-38, (EAPN, Portugal).
1987 "Consensual Approaches to Poverty Lines and Social Security Scales"
Journal of Social Policy, 16/2, pp 183-211.
2001 "Triangulation of Data from Existing Sources as a Basis for a Governmental Minimum Income Standard."
In: House of Commons Social Security Committee, [eds], Integrated Child Credit, HC 72, The Stationery Office, London, pp 109-126. Available with minutes of oral evidence from the Parliament website.
2000 "Horses for Discourses: poverty, purpose and closure in minimum income standards policy."
[Original version of] Chapter 7 in: D Gordon and P Townsend [eds], Breadline Europe:The Measurement of Poverty. Policy Press, Bristol, pp 141-164. NB: published version introduced editorial changes to the meaning. Readers are advised to use the author’s intended text.
2000 "States of Welfare: A Conceptual Challenge." [Note: what is a welfare state?]
Social Policy and Administration, 34/1, pp 1-25.
2002 "States of Welfare: A Response to Charles Atherton."
Social Policy and Administration, 36/3, pp 312-317.

Myths about poverty abolition and the feasibility of minimum incomes

2005 "Can poverty be abolished?"
Church Action on Poverty News, Autumn 2005, p 9.
2013 "Can relative poverty be abolished?"
Poverty and Social Exclusion website.
2007 "Minimum Income - Myths and Realities."
In: European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) Campaign for Adequate Minimum Incomes, "Adequate minimum income: everybody deserves a decent life".
2009 "Myths and Realities 2 - Adequate Minimum Income"
In: European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) Active Inclusion Strategy, Work specifically on Minimum Income: A paper by Prof John Veit-Wilson offering strong arguments in favour of the idea of an adequate minimum income for a decent and dignified level of living for all.

Encyclopaedia definitions and discussion of meanings


Published in Routledge International Encyclopaedia of Social Policy:

Minimum Income Standards
Income Maintenance
Marginal Tax Rate


Published in Routledge Encyclopaedia of Social Theory:



“What we talk about when we talk about poverty.”
Adults Learning [NIACE], Extra Spring 2014, pp 6-9.

Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree: correcting mistakes and misunderstandings.

1986a "Paradigms of Poverty: a Rehabilitation of B S Rowntree."
Journal of Social Policy, 15/1, pp 69-99.
NB: misprints to be corrected: [1] p 84, para 3 line 3. (quoted in Briggs 1961 p 37 note 46); [2] p 89, table 2, line 4. "People living below 'minimum standard'" insert (∑P); [3] p 90, 4th paragraph, "unvarying poverty"; [4] p 96, table 3: National Assistance and Supplementary Benefit should have capitals; [5] p 96, line 12 from foot: sentence should read "...the income scales of the Beveridge Report, National Assistance and Supplementary Benefit" without italics; [6] p 99, R M Titmuss reference: page numbers 34-55.
1986b "Paradigms of Poverty: A Reply to Peter Townsend and Hugh McLachlan."
Journal of Social Policy, 15/4, pp 503-507.

The Beveridge Committee's choice of benefit levels

1992 "Muddle or Mendacity? The Beveridge Committee and the Poverty Line."
Journal of Social Policy, 21/3, pp 269-301 [Reprinted with permission.] NB: misprints to be corrected: [1] p 291, table 1, line 'Beveridge 1942 Child' total should read 7/- not 17/-; [2] p 292 second paragraph, second sentence, should read "Not only Rowntree but also Bowley [T230 ... " In the acknowledgements DHSS should have been noted as Social Security not Services.

The unique UK government study of benefit (in)adequacy

1999 "The National Assistance Board and the 'Rediscovery' of Poverty"
Chaper 7 in: H Fawcett and R Lowe [eds], Welfare Policy in Britain. The Road from 1945. Macmillan, Basingstoke, in association with Institute of Contemporary British History. [Reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan.]

NB: this chapter is about the Windsor Report (1965), the only UK Government in-house study of adequacy ever carried out, and which therefore contradicts all subsequent Government assertions that such studies are impossible.

The basis of the income tax threshold [personal allowance]

1999 "The Tax Threshold: Policy, Principles and Poverty."
Twentieth Century British History, 10/2, 218-234.

Parliamentary committees and government consultations

2001 "Triangulation of Data from Existing Sources as a Basis for a Governmental Minimum Income Standard."
In: House of Commons Social Security Committee, [eds], Integrated Child Credit, HC 72, The Stationery Office, London, pp 109-126. Available with minutes of oral evidence from the Parliament website.
2004 "Memorandum on measuring child poverty"
In: House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee [eds], Child Poverty in the UK: Second report of Session 2003-04; vol 2: Written Evidence, HC85-III, The Stationery Office, London, pp 146-164. Available from the Parliament website.
2003 "Measuring child poverty: the government's consultation."
Benefits, no 36, 11/1, pp 51-55.
2006 "Response to DWP consultation paper, Cm 6730 dated January 2006, A new deal for welfare: empowering people to work"
Unpublished paper sent to DWP, April 2006
2007 "Memorandum on Simplification"
In: House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee (eds), Benefits Simplification: Seventh Report of Session 2006-07. HC 463-II, The Stationery Office, London, pp. 217-224. Available from the Parliament website.
2007 "Memorandum on 'what is poverty?' and Minimum Income Standards", together with further Memorandum and Oral Evidence.
In: House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee (eds), Poverty in Scotland: Second Report of Session 2007-08, Volume II, 11 December 2007, pp Ev 47-52 [written evidence] and Ev 53-Ev 69 [oral evidence]. HC 128-II, The Stationery Office, London. Available from the Parliament website.
2011 "Playing a political game? Civil servants and the adequacy of National Assistance."
Language of Public Administration and Qualitative Research, 2/2, December 2011, pp 3-39. (Korean journal).
2012 "Heading back to the Poor Law?"
Poverty and Social Exclusion website.
2013 "The measurement of poverty: a sham consultation."
(With Stephen Crossley). Poverty and Social Exclusion website.
2013 "Measuring Child Poverty: a response to the consultation".
North East Child Poverty Commission website.
2013 "On Measuring Child Poverty."
(With Paul Allin). Poverty and Social Exclusion website.

Book reviews on poverty and social policy topics


European Journal of Social Security, 4/1, 77-82. Book reviews of:

Matti Heikkilä and Elsa Keskitalo (eds.), Social Assistance in Europe: A comparative study on minimum income in seven European countries. Synthesis Report, Helsinki, STAKES National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health, 2001.

Yuri Kazepov and Stefania Sabatinelli, How Generous Social Assistance Schemes are? A Comparative Analysis of Benefit Levels, Helsinki, STAKES National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health, 2001.


European Journal of Social Security, 5/3, 269-271. Book review of:

Christina Behrendt, At the Margins of the Welfare State: Social assistance and the alleviation of poverty in Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom, Ashgate, Aldershot, 2002.

2004 "My book of the year", SPA News, March, p 23.

Journal of Social Policy, 33/2, pp 340-342. Book review of:

Ian Gazeley, Poverty in Britain, 1900-1965, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2003.


Benefits, no 43, vol 13, issue 2, pp 165-166. Book review in Benefits of:

Didier Fouarge, Poverty and Subsidiarity in Europe: Minimum Protection from an Economic Perspective, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2004.


Journal of Social Policy, vol 34 no 4 October 2005, pp 683-685. Book reviews of:

Howard Glennerster, John Hills, David Piachaud and Jo Webb, One hundred years of poverty and policy, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, York, 2004.

Lucinda Platt, Discovering child poverty. The creation of a policy agenda from 1800 to the present, The Policy Press, Bristol, 2005.


International Journal of Social Welfare, vol 15 no 4, October 2006, pp 363-365. Book review of:

Chak Kwan Chan and Graham Bowpitt, Human Dignity and Welfare Systems, The Policy Press, Bristol, 2005.


Journal of Social Policy, vol 36 no 4, October 2007, pp 671-672. Book review of:

Polly Vizard, Poverty and Human Rights, OUP 2006.


Benefits, vol 16 no 1, pp 113-115. Book review in Benefits of:

Paul Spicker, The Idea of Poverty, The Policy Press, Bristol, 2007.


European Journal of Social Security, vol 12 no 4, December 2010, pp 384-386. Book review of:

Stella Hoff, Arjan Soede, Cok Vrooman, Corinne van Galen, Albert Luten and Sanne Lamers. The minimum agreed upon. Consensual budget standards for the Netherlands. The Hague: Netherlands Institute for Social Research.


Journal of Social Policy, vol 40 no 4, October 2011, pp 857-858. Book review of:

Kristian Niemietz (2011), A New Understanding of Poverty: Poverty Measurement and Policy Implications. London: The Institute of Economic Affairs.

Other notes on social policy topics


Problems of translating social policy: "Translator’s preface."
In F-X Kaufmann, European Foundations of the Welfare State, Berghahn Books, Oxford, pp xii-xiv.

John Veit-Wilson: Publications and Notes
Web site created by Andrew Quilley
Last Updated: 6 September, 2014