CPAG Blog

How has the coalition done on child poverty?


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This blog first appeared on The Staggers, on the New Statesman website.

When George Osborne claimed in last month’s Budget to have reduced child poverty, I’m sure mine weren’t the only raised eyebrows. Michael Gove made a similar claim yesterday, that the government has ‘been able to save £21bn in the welfare budget and at the same time reduce inequality and reduce child poverty in this country’. Important analysis published today by the New Policy Institute (NPI) hones in on the subtle flaw in this piece of political alchemy: it isn’t true.

Tax-free childcare - what's in it for low-income families?

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By Mark Willis, Welfare Rights Adviser at CPAG in Scotland

The government has been busy promoting its new tax-free childcare scheme, with its own Twitter hashtag, infographics on Flickr, and even a Facebook photo album. These proudly boast that a working family with two children can save up to £4,000 a year. The ‘top ten things to know about tax-free childcare’ announces the scheme will be simpler, fairer, and available to families earning over £52 a week and not more than £150,000 per year. However, low income families need to know that tax-free childcare offers them nothing - and could even leave them significantly worse off if they apply for it.

The first 100 days - what should a progressive government implement?


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CLASS - The First 100 DaysWe contributed an essay to a new publication by the Centre for Labour and Social Studies: The first 100 days - what should a progressive government implement? 

Welfare reform in the 2015 election

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With the 2015 General Election fast approaching, we’re hearing lots of the usual promises from all of the parties about what they’ll do if they make it into government post May 7. From the standard commitments to the NHS, through the enduring promises of sorting out the economy, down to pledges to deal with immigration and look after the elderly, the party manifestos and messages contain many common themes.

The DWP's new solution to the problem of low pay? Blame working families


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This article was first published on the Newstatesman blog.

How many hours should low-paid parents be expected to work? Universal credit (UC) pilots launched today provide an insight into government thinking on this question.

How the rising cost of essentials has tightened the squeeze on family incomes


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"New research suggests that benefit cuts, harsher benefit rules and the rising costs of essentials are all hitting poor families in the UK at the same time. This can only serve to reinforce the urgency of making sure people on low incomes are protected." 

Our programme for the 2015 government

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Whoever wins on May 7 will be confronted by a child poverty crisis. That’s why CPAG today publishes its Programme for Government, a document setting out what the next Government must do to put the UK on track to end child poverty.

Read CPAG’s Programme for Government.

Supreme Court splits the baby over the benefit cap

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This blog was first posted on the UK Human Rights Blog.

The Supreme Court was sharply divided yesterday over whether the benefit cap breaches the Human Rights Act. The controversial cap limits the total amount of benefits an out-of-work family can receive, including housing benefit and benefits for children, to £500 per week. It is applied regardless of family size or circumstances such as rental costs. As a result, lone parents with children in large families are disproportionately affected, both because they are more likely to be hit by the cap and because they are less likely to be able to avoid its effects.

What was missing from the 2015 Budget? Anything to do with child poverty


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'This was a "see no poverty, hear no poverty" budget from a government in denial.

The Chancellor made claim to a truly national recovery throughout his speech but this is a ‘See no poverty, Hear no poverty’ Budget which continues to leave children and the low paid behind.

Poor children are invisible in this election


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Back in the early 2000s, ‘child poverty’ was the term on every politician’s lips. The lead up to the Child Poverty Act in 2010 achieved cross-party consensus on the necessity of eradicating child poverty by 2020. These days, enthusiasm to give children in poverty the attention they deserve seems more muted.