Chris Johnes

Director, UK Poverty Programme

Chris Johnes

Chris Johnes has been Director of Oxfam's UK Poverty Programme since November 2011. Before that he was head of Oxfam Cymru, leading both Oxfam's international campaigning and anti poverty work in Wales, developing a programme of work that has allowed Oxfam to enter the key debates on poverty and worklessness in Wales.

Prior to moving to Oxfam Chris led the (Welsh) Communities First Support Network, a collation of eight organisations, as its national coordinator, supporting local community develop initiatives helping them to build relationships with and service providers. This has given him a deep understanding of the diverse factors driving poverty and the challenges public agencies face in responding to them. During that period he was also a regular advisor to the Welsh Government on matters around community development and anti poverty policy.

For most of the 1990s Chris worked on a range of development projects in southern Africa. These included teaching in a township school outside Durban during the Inkatha/ANC conflict, three years as the first development officer for Link Community Development supporting education projects in South Africa, Lesotho and Namibia and work as a trainer and policy officer for a civic organisation in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

All posts by Chris Johnes

Tax policies that sound good but don’t work

Tax reforms and other policy changes that help people on the lowest incomes have been in the spotlight in the last couple of weeks. But are these policies really aimed at helping the poorest, asks...

Fighting inequality starts with housing

As housing costs in the UK spiral out of control, Chris Johnes thinks the time has come for tougher rules to prevent the wealthiest from making housing unaffordable for the majority of people.  ...

UK housing strategy will let the poor fall through the cracks

From April this year, the UK government will cap overall spending on welfare. Chris Johnes hoped this would encourage government departments to invest in long-term programmes tackling poverty to...

Autumn Statement: the poorest pay twice

Following yesterday's Autumn Statement, Chris Johnes, Oxfam's Director for UK Poverty, reacts to the Chancellor's announcements and their impact on those struggling to get by in the UK....

Bashing the poor is losing its appeal

For years, it has been axiomatic that the majority of the British public regarded benefit recipients as "skivers" who could get a job if they wanted. This perception seems to have survived...

Comprehensive Spending Review: crudely capping costs will undermine livelihoods

Before today's Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) statement, George Osborne announced that he wouldn't be making any further immediate cuts in the welfare bill, in his bid to find £11 billion...

Why is HMRC in the dock?

Chris Johnes argues that as services disappear and the economy stagnates, we could all be paying the price for keeping big UK businesses sweet. ...

For once, the media showed they understand poverty in the UK

Since Iain Duncan Smith rashly joined a long list of politicians trying to "experience poverty" by declaring that he could live on £53 a week (the level of income a market trader said he...