The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Professor John Veit-Wilson

Guest Member



Member of first national UK survey of poverty research team in 1964 and founder member of Child Poverty Action Group 1965. Active in poverty research and policy field since then. Before that, management training and services in CDC, FBI and CEGB, 1959-1964.


MA Cantab;
Dip. Soc. Sci., University of Stockholm;
Emeritus Professor of Social Policy of Northumbria University.

Previous Positions

Head of sociology at Newcastle Polytechnic [Northumbria University]1974-87. Taught social policy there 1967-92.


Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.
Social Policy Association.
Previously office holder in many professional and voluntary sector organisations.

Honours and Awards

Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, 2007.
Honorary Fellow, Joint University Council, 2003.
Special Recognition Award, Social Policy Association 2014.


German; Swedish.


Research Interests

Poverty, adequacy, inequality, deprivation, social exclusion, minimum income standards.

Poverty and deprivation concepts, standards, measures and research methods. Governmental minimum income standards in the UK and other countries. Standards and methods for establishing income adequacy for minimum wage rates and social security.

Other Expertise

Social policy, income maintenance, social security.

Social policy theory; concepts of income maintenance and social security and the history of social policy making in these fields.

Current Work

Income adequacy in the fight against poverty: how much is enough? Poverty measurement methods in the UK. Human rights to an adequate income according to human rights conventions and charters, sufficient for human dignity, decency and full social participation. The meaning of income adequacy in this human rights context. The juridification and justiciability of adequate incomes by governments to meet convention and charter obligations and responsibilities.

Postgraduate Supervision

I no longer supervise students but am keen to discuss issues around poverty and adequacy with any enquirers.

Esteem Indicators

Since 2000 [many before that] --
Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, 2007.
Honorary Fellow of the Joint University Council, 2003.
Social Policy Association Special Recognition Award 2014.

Research Fellowship at the Hanse Institute for Advanced Studies and University of Bremen, Germany 2008-09.
Visiting Professor, Eötvös Lorand University ELTE, Budapest, Hungary, 2000.
Consultant to Joseph Rowntree Foundation research programme on Money Matters, 2012-15.
Consultant to Technical University of Lisbon Institute of Social and Political Sciences, research programme, 'Minimum Income Standard for Portugal: a consensual approach', 2011--
Member, Advisory Group for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Research Project into Minimum Income Standards for the UK [as originator of the concept of minimum income standards], ongoing since 2006.
Member, Advisory Group for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Research Project into Transmitting Deprivation: Media, Poverty and Public Opinion in the UK, 2007-2008.
Vice-Chair 2010-13 and Trustee, Child Poverty Action Group [founder member, 1965, and elected trustee for many years since then, with one gap]. Retired 2013 but 2019] continuing co-opted member of Policy Committee.

Member of Advisory Board, 'Social Cohesion and Development' (biannual journal published by Dionicos, Athens, Greece, 2006--.
Member of Advisory Board, 'Journal of the Seoul Association for Public Administration' (SAPA, Korea), 2010--

Often consulted on income adequacy questions by Parliamentary Committees, government departments and a range of NGOs/voluntary organisations in the UK and Europe; also on international development [DfID: poverty measurement and statistics in Republic of Georgia, 2001]. Publications have been translated into German, Greek, Polish and Russian. Invited translator of two sociological theory/social policy books from German [1996-97; 2008-2010].


Research funding at various times since 1976 from SSRC [now ESRC], the Nuffield Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Millfield House Foundation and the British Council.

Research Fellowship at the Hanse Institute for Advanced Studies and University of Bremen 2008-09.

Industrial Relevance

The scope of minimum wage issues, e g what is a living wage.


Postgraduate Teaching

I no longer supervise dissertations or theses but am keen to discuss issues surrounding the subjects of poverty, adequacy,  deprivation, exclusion, income maintenance, social security, social assistance, and the social policies applicable to them..