At Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), we’ve had longstanding concerns about the use of sanctions, which are basically cuts to benefit payments of up to 100% for up to 3 years, and the obvious knock-on impacts on child poverty. And as the letter in today's Times that we and others have signed shows, we’re not alone in having profound concerns with how sanctions are working.
Until now, there’s been little authoritative evidence of how sanctions are being applied, rightly or wrongly, beyond data suggesting a huge increase in their application in recent years.
"I'm not going to flannel you, I'm going to give it to you straight. I like the child benefit, I wouldn't change child benefit, I wouldn't means-test it, I don't think that is a good idea."
So said David Cameron in March 2010. But the Prime Minister is being urged to drop this read-my-lips pledge when his party draws up its manifesto in the coming months.
On Tuesday 15 July, the Geek Show Off (ticket £5.00 plus £0.50 booking fee) a comedy night raising money for Child Poverty Action Group is being held at the Star of Kings pub in central London.
Recently, I was talked into doing something I’ve been dreading. On Tuesday 15th July, with several others, I have to stand on stage in front of a crowd of people in a dark room in Camden, and for 9 minutes, make them laugh.
People often lament how the world of politics has very little to do with the ordinary lives of real people. For some parents, at least, that’s about to change.
From September, all infant school children will be entitled to a free school meal. Across the country, children from all backgrounds will sit down together to a nutritious, healthy free lunch, fuelling concentration and learning.
Next week sees the publication of probably the last set of official child poverty figures - for 2012-13 - before the 2015 general election.
Here’s a quick guide to what we should expect and what it all means.
WHAT, WHERE & WHEN?
Speech to the Human Rights Lawyers' Association 26 June 2014
It’s hardly surprising that politicians tend not to like having the lawfulness of their decisions questioned by the Courts. Like any frustrated litigant, when a Minister loses a judicial review case he or she is more likely to blame the judge than their own decision-making, whereas when they win, they’re quick to criticise the Claimant for bringing the case in the first place.
This blog was originally published by Richard Exell and Lindsay Judge on Touchstone.
Universal credit (UC) may be much-maligned but like it or not, it’s coming our way. Given this, how can it best deliver on its dual promise to make work pay and reduce poverty? The TUC and Child Poverty Action Group have been exploring this question in recent months, ably assisted by Howard Reed of Landman Economics. Here, we offer a sneak preview of our results.
London’s housing crisis is well publicised and well discussed. We're used to reading about extortionate rents being charged for box properties or a generation that is likely to be priced out of buying.
But there is another side to this crisis which is getting discussed less. Our new report, Families on the Brink, shows a London becoming unaffordable for people on housing benefit, leaving families at risk of being forced out of their communities and London at risk of losing its social mix.
The government’s child poverty strategy needs to be more child-focused, more poverty-focused, and more strategic
This week, the official consultation closed on, potentially, the Coalition’s most important social policy objective– the new child poverty strategy.
Running from 2014-17, the draft strategy covers the critical period during which we’d expect to see a big push to meet the statutory target to end child poverty by 2020 – especially given Iain Duncan Smith’s recent reaffirmation that he both remains committed to the target, and expects it to be met.