In answering this question Ifirstly have to define what poverty is and I will also discuss a number of need definitions. Definitions of need and poverty are ones of controversial content. Both are hard to define as of the many concepts and factors involved. I will also write briefly about the welfare system and how the social security system was introduced and why including the benefits involved. I will then analyse using up to date information and figures whether the social security system meets the needs of the poor.
A clear definition of poverty is arguable as within society many are considered poor. The elderly, the homeless and lone parents are just a number of groups within society that are considered poor but all with very contrasting needs and levels of poverty between each group and also within the groups themselves. The government defines poverty by using the average income.
"The poverty line is 60 per cent of median income level – where the median is the level of income after direct taxes and benefits, adjusted for household size, such that half the population is above the level and half below it. This definition is a standard that changes as median income levels change; it is a measure of relative poverty." (www.jrf,org.uk)
Poverty can also be defined within two concepts; absolute and relative poverty. Absolute poverty is when an individual lacks resources necessary for survival like water and shelter, relative poverty is when an individual lacks resources compared to those within their society. Many sociologists favour relative poverty when defining individual's needs in the context of individuals in advanced industrial societies. ( Marshall:1998)
Defining need is just as controversial as defining poverty. A clear definition of human need is very vast and diverse as it depends on many factors individuals face within society. What is a need for an individual in one part of society may be a …