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No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility asks to be judged on increasing social inclusion through employment and on continued falls in child poverty. Yet with both the numbers of children in poverty and the number of households below the poverty line rising over the last two years, Oxfam believes that a purely work-focused approach is not sufficient. The approach outlined does not take a holistic view of people’s livelihoods, and fails adequately to tackle the sustainability of those livelihoods. We argue for a broader, more holistic approach to the problem of poverty than the narrow focus on labour market exclusion. Our key recommendation, therefore, is for a change of approach to government thinking on benefits and poverty in their broadest sense.

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