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Despite their significant dedication to the remarkable economic growth, the poverty rate of older adults in Korea remains the highest among developed economies. This study utilises the Shapley decomposition to analyse the effects of socio-economic changes and recently developed welfare system on poverty heterogeneity between older old and younger old. The findings indicate that the poverty rate for younger old improved from 47.9 per cent in 2003 to 32.3 per cent in 2020, whereas the rate for older old increased from 49.8 per cent to 60.1 per cent. Specifically, the contribution-based public pension presented smaller anti-poverty effects on older old than younger old, because it was implemented later, therefore, older old could not accumulate adequate contribution periods. In addition, means-tested benefits had limited effects in reducing the poverty risk for the two old groups, as they are not well-targeted and provide insufficient benefits. Furthermore, older Korean adults are compelled to participate in the labour market to make ends meet, and earned income significantly mitigated the poverty risk of younger old. Based on these findings, this article argues that the government needs to implement more inclusive fiscal measures to alleviate the poverty threat of older old.

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This article presents the development of a measure to assess the prevalence and patterning of multidimensional child poverty in South Korea. The first goal of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to reduce poverty in all its dimensions, and countries are increasingly developing their own measures of multidimensional poverty. This flourishing of different measures presents challenges for international comparisons. The article applies an internationally-validated method of assessing multidimensional poverty to demonstrate its suitability for use in a high-income Asian economy. Multidimensional child poverty is assessed by combining data on child material deprivation with their household income. Using data from the 2018 Korean National Children Survey, we show that child material deprivation is higher (15%) than income poverty (12%). When measured using a combined measure of material deprivation and income, around one in every three children in Korea were found to be either poor or vulnerable to poverty. These findings show that the official monetary poverty measure on its own may understate the percentage of children unable to afford necessities in Korea, as envisioned by international targets like the SDGs. In terms of policy, analysis of individual deprivations suggests that a combination of in-kind benefits such as vouchers for leisure activities or education and asset-building programmes as well as cash transfers are needed for tackling child poverty.

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This article examines the past, present and future of income maintenance schemes in Korea. Historically, income security schemes have been built on the idea of work-centred social insurance supplemented by social assistance. This approach was based on the premise of full employment. While current schemes have achieved institutional completeness and have contributed to alleviating poverty and inequality, they have exhibited limitations in responding to the qualitative shifts of capitalism, leading to welfare blind spots. Various alternatives have been proposed, such as universal basic income (UBI), which aims for equality, and residual Safety Income (SI), which aims for efficiency. The objective of this study is to validate the effects of basic income proposals and SI as alternative income maintenance schemes emerging in Korea. We simulated and compared the poverty alleviation and income redistribution effects of the two alternatives using data from the Survey of Household Finances and Living Conditions (2019~2021). The effects of poverty alleviation and income distribution were determined by analysing the hypothetical changes in absolute and relative poverty rates, as well as the Gini coefficient. The efficiency of benefits was assessed as the ratio of the amount used to reduce the poverty gap out of the total benefit amount. The study found that while SI appeared cost-effective in addressing absolute poverty, UBI was also effective in addressing relative poverty and income inequality.

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Public awareness of social welfare policies, along with their increasing political influence, has led to growing interest in welfare attitudes. However, there has been insufficient consideration of the effects of different cohorts and social exclusion groups on attitudes to welfare in Korean society, as well as the dynamics of these effects. This article specifically examines changes in attitudes to welfare in South Korea with a focus on cohort and social exclusion perspectives. First, the study found that recent attitudes towards redistribution highlight generational perspectives on intergenerational conflict rather than a focus on social exclusion. Second, cohorts associated with democratisation and the information age displayed reluctance towards tax increases but held favourable views regarding redistributive policies and universal welfare. Third, socially excluded groups tended to favour selective welfare and tax increases. Finally, the current elderly generation, represented by the War-industrialisation cohort, exhibited relatively negative attitudes towards the welfare system compared to subsequent generations. These findings underscore the necessity for expanding government policies to enhance welfare understanding and experiences among the post-war generation and socially excluded groups. Additionally, it is crucial to address generational distributional justice and to broaden discussions on solidarity.

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People seeking asylum often have a range of complex social, emotional and economic needs that may be exacerbated by the hostile reception that they often receive. These needs and the stress of navigating asylum systems leave asylum seekers vulnerable to crisis, with refused asylum seekers particularly vulnerable. Even after receiving settled status of some form, barriers to accessing employment or housing and other services remain, as do the impacts of trauma, abuse, and loss sustained in the country of origin, during flight, or during the wait to receive settled status, again leaving refugees vulnerable to crisis. Early action can both have benefits for the individual asylum seeker and reduce the need for costly crisis interventions. This scoping review explores best practice in early action in the voluntary sector, while identifying gaps in the evidence base.

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This article reflects on the recent ‘turn to lived experience’ within academia and the third sector in the UK and discusses some issues arising. It then focuses on ways in which these issues might be addressed – including through a methodology employed by ATD Fourth World, an international human rights-based anti-poverty organisation founded after the Second World War that works in partnership with people affected by poverty. ATD developed the ‘merging of knowledge and practice’ to bring together different kinds of expertise, including that acquired from lived experience, to create a richer form of knowledge and better-informed practice. The article discusses this method and suggests various ways in which the lived experience of poverty can be embedded in public debate, policy and practice. People with experience of poverty can be involved in examining and conveying the many dimensions of that experience; providing training for officials dealing with people in poverty; and designing and evaluating relevant policies.

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In 2018, British Columbia (BC), Canada’s third most populous province, announced the creation of an Expert Panel to explore the feasibility of introducing a basic income in BC. The Expert Panel on Basic Income prepared the policy report, Covering All the Basics: Reforms for a More Just Society, that responded to this task. Our research applies a critical policy studies approach to explore the ideologies, discursive strategies, and discourses embedded in and emanating from the report. In so doing, we find that the report reproduces problematic discourses about self-sufficiency, welfare dependency, and (poor) choice(s). Rather than discarding a basic income for the working-age population based on flawed assumptions and problematic beliefs, we invite policymakers to consider a more transformative vision that recognises the systemic roots of financial hardship, and embraces a basic income as a key building block of income security for BC and all of Canada.

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The voluntary and charitable sector is responsible for much food support in the UK, in the absence of direct government action. A rise in food insecurity (FI) places additional importance on the work of unpaid volunteers, instrumental in food support schemes. Their perceptions, views and experiences are essential contributors to maintaining and enhancing such provision. Semi-structured interviews were held with 51 volunteers at two food support schemes in neighbouring London boroughs. Most volunteers were white and middle-aged and almost half were in paid work. Generally high levels of empathy towards clients were expressed, although some were concerned about possible abuse of the support. Contradictory views were expressed in relation to both personal responsibility for FI and the pay-as-you-feel model; training on both is needed. Major motivators for involvement in volunteering were the perceived value of the work and alignment of projects with personal interests, skills and beliefs. Benefits were viewed as wider than solely nutritional. Ethical difficulties described included the appropriateness of using surplus food to address FI, allowing supermarkets to effectively ‘greenwash’ and failing to address underlying drivers of both FI and food overproduction. Volunteers were also concerned that their involvement allowed the government to abdicate responsibility.

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Basic income has garnered a great deal of attention in recent years. This surge in interest stems from growing income disparities, the failures of existing minimum income programmes, shifts in labour market dynamics and numerous global basic income pilot initiatives. Yet realising the successful implementation of a basic income requires a sustained and comprehensive effort. This research contributes to this imperative by presenting an unprecedented microsimulation analysis of the economic viability of introducing a basic income in the Basque Country. The study introduces two economically sustainable and coherent basic income models that not only effectively eliminate poverty but also generate redistributive effects. These outcomes would position the Basque Country as a region with lower income inequality than any European Union (EU) member state. This article underscores the transformative potential of basic income in the Basque Country and offers valuable insights for policy makers contemplating similar initiatives in other regions or nations.

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