Social Security and Wage Poverty

Historical and Policy Aspects of Supplementing Wages in Britain and Beyond

  • Chris Grover

About this book


Social Security and Wage Poverty is the first book to comprehensively examine debates about, and the practice of, the state supplementing wages. Chris Grover charts the historical development of such policies from prohibition in the 1830s and how opposition to it was overcome in the 1970s, thereby allowing the increasing supplementation of the wages of poorly paid working people. He draws upon original archival research to show that over time wage supplements have been seen as both deeply problematic for, and of great benefit to, the economy, and to the moral and social life of wage workers. In analyzing the political economy of wage supplements, Grover also deals with gendered assumptions about the role of women in wage work and 'the family', which have framed the use and critique of wage supplements. He focuses on Britain, but also examines wage supplements in New Zealand and the USA.


Capitalism capital accumulation child poverty employment gender roles in-work poverty living wage minimum wage need patriarchy politics political economy poor relief social security state unemployment wage poverty wage supplement wage subsidy wage work gender poverty

Authors and affiliations

  • Chris Grover
    • 1
  1. 1.Lancaster UniversityUK

Bibliographic information