Our impact | CPAG

Our impact

Since 1965 we have been leading work to prevent and end child poverty in the UK. Backed by many supporters and donors, we have been able to make real positive change for many children and families affected by or at risk of poverty.

Here are some highlights for the 2018/19 financial year from our annual report

  • Following sustained pressure from CPAG and others before the 2018 Budget, the Chancellor increased universal credit work allowances for families with children by £1,000 a year starting in April. That will mean up to £630 a year (just over £50 a month) in the pockets of these families.
  • We led a collaborative campaign with other charities and MPs to improve the way the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) approached managed migration in universal credit (the way people move from the existing social security system to universal credit) and succeeded in achieving significant positive change.
  • We won our legal challenge on employment and support allowance underpayments for those who were moved over from incapacity benefit. This means 70,000 people with disabilities will receive money (in some cases thousands of pounds) they should have had all along – money that will help support them and their families.
  • Our High Court case challenging the two-child limit (which limits tax credits and universal credit to two children in a family in many circumstances) partly succeeded, and now kinship carers and adoptive parents are exempt from the limit in all circumstances. We also contributed to campaigning that led to the two-child limit not being applied retrospectively. Our legal case continues, as does our coalition campaigning to lift the whole policy.
  • Our campaign on school clothing led to all local authorities in Scotland making uniform grants to eligible families of at least £100.
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Progress in Scotland

We persuaded the Scottish government to adopt many of the principles and provisions we put forward in the new child poverty and social security legislation, including clear targets towards ending child poverty and duties to produce national delivery plans. We also led calls for the Scottish government to use their new devolved social security powers to introduce an ‘income supplement’, and they've now announced the Scottish Child Payment. Our campaign on school clothing grants also led to the announcement of a minimum £100 school clothing grant across Scotland.
Rutherford family

Legal victories

We have been successful in many legal cases challenging injustice. We won our 'bedroom tax' case at the Supreme Court - the Court found the policy discriminated against disabled children needing overnight care. Our ongoing legal challenge to the two-child limit led to all kinship carers and adoptive parents being exempt from the policy. We won our case on ESA arrears, helping 70,000 disabled people. And in our test case on universal credit assessment periods, the High Court found that the way the DWP has been assessing income from employment is unlawful.

Universal credit campaigning

We have been campaigning to make universal credit fit for families, resulting in some additional money being put into the system and some improvements to its design. The government partially restored work allowances in 2018, and our campaigning also contributed to the two-child limit not being applied retrospectively. We also got additional safeguards added to help claimants in the plans for ‘managed migration’ on to universal credit. And we briefed hundreds of politicians to ensure they can support their constituents with the new benefit.
welfare rights books

Social security

We pioneered the welfare rights movement, providing practical advice, training and publications to help people manage the social security system. Through our advice service for advisers, we help thousands of families each year.

Spotlight on: judicial review

Since beginning in 2019, our judicial review project has been having an impact on those it's supporting.

A history of campaigning

We've been tackling child poverty since 1965, campaigning successfully for universal child benefit, the national living wage and free school meals.

You can make a difference

We need your help to make sure those in positions of power act on our recommendations to tackle the root causes of poverty. 

We provide trusted and expert information, training and advice to frontline workers to help families get the financial support they need.

We need donations to run our vital services. £3.90 a month over a year could fund an hour of our valued advice service so families in poverty get the support they need.

Where will my donation be spent?

a month over a year could fund an hour of our valued advice services so families in poverty get the support they need
a month could ensure 1,500 people hear about our vital campaigns and take action
could fund one of our legal team to represent vulnerable people in the courts

90% of your donations are spent on helping people

We put your money towards work that makes a positive and lasting difference. For every £1.00 you donate, 90p helps find solutions to poverty.