CPAG Blog

Broken promises: What has happened to support for low-income working families under universal credit

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Today’s Guardian covered new analysis by CPAG and IPPR on the impact of cuts to universal credit. This analysis shows that universal credit cuts will hit families with children hardest, and will be poverty-producing to the tune of around a million children (comparing universal credit as originally designed with its current form).

A lot can happen in 6 weeks

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If you didn't have any money coming in for six weeks, could you and your family cope? Would you be able to pay the rent, the supermarket trip, the school meals?

Damning proof that the government has no evidence benefits sanctions work

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The National Audit Office says the government has failed to measure whether sanctioning benefit claimants represents value for money.

A ‘tax’ on work?

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Universal Credit, the new benefit for families on low incomes, was claimed to have huge potential to reduce child poverty, incentivise work and make life easier for struggling families.

Widening the net and twisting the knife: the benefit cap gets worse

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Today sees the benefit cap – the limit on total benefits which households can receive if no-one works at least 16 hours a week – fall from £26,000 a year to £20,000, or £23,000 in London. The 20,000 or so families currently capped will see their housing benefit reduced overnight by £500 or £250 a month, starting from today. That’s a huge amount to expect people to find from their other income, but most will have to do that or risk losing their home. For new households, the cap will be introduced in phases starting with local authorities with the fewest affected households and finishing with those with the most (such as Birmingham) in February 2017.

Out today - what will it take to improve children's life chances?

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CPAG's new book, out today, focusing on the government social policy frame of 'life chances'. What do lifechances mean? How can they be tackled? And where does poverty and income fit into all of this?

The cost of a child: Theresa May must reverse cuts to family benefits

This blog by Donald Hirsch, author of our annual 'Cost of a child' report, first appeared on politics.co.uk.

Unfinished business: where next for extended schools?

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It’s a public policy reform that has the potential to help the Government to solve two major policy headaches – improving access to affordable childcare for working parents and helping schools cut the attainment gap between richer and poorer children – but the number of extended schools remains inadequate. 

Catch us at the party conferences

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This year, we'll again be at the Lib Dem, Labour and Conservative party conferences, holding fringe events to stimulate discussion of child poverty and it's solutions in the parties. The events will debate what reforms are needed to stop the projected 50% increase in child poverty by the next election in 2020. Is universal credit still fit for purpose? What would a robust life chances strategy look like? And an effective childcare strategy? How can we ensure that social security protects the vulnerable while enabling parents to get better off by earning more?

"It’s like a game of chess" – interview with our Legal Officer Mike Spencer

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Our Legal Officer Mike Spencer has headed off to a secondment at the Supreme Court, so we caught up with him before he went on the highs and lows of fighting CPAG’s legal battles on behalf of children in poverty.