Your work your way

28 November 2023
Potential second earners in couple families, usually mothers, face high barriers to employment. Mothers typically face more barriers to work than fathers in couples, particularly because of issues relating to childcare and time spent out of the labour market due to caring responsibilities. To evaluate barriers to work faced by this group and identify solutions to these barriers, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) designed and delivered the Your Work Your Way (YWYW) project – an employment support scheme that worked with 70 potential second earners in couples.

Autumn Statement - no help for capped families 

23 November 2023
The Chancellor’s decisions to uprate benefits in line with inflation and to restore local housing allowance rates to the 30th percentile of rents were welcome, despite coming wrapped in punitive rhetoric, and accompanied by yet another ramping up of benefit sanctions. Increasing benefit rates and support with rent costs will make a difference to many families continuing to struggle with rising prices, who approach this winter terrified about how they will get by. But, sadly, these changes will provide absolutely no help to the over 85,000 households affected by the benefit cap, who will receive not one penny more.

CPAG’s response to the Autumn Statement announcements

23 November 2023
The chancellor has done the bare minimum that is needed to prevent faster rises in child poverty. There are 4.2 million children living in poverty in the UK today. Ensuring benefits catch up with inflation, and increasing local housing allowance (LHA), will come as welcome news to the millions of families on the lowest incomes who have been left worried sick as speculation about benefit cuts and freezes played out in the news. Increasing these benefits should never have been in doubt, and we urge the government to ensure benefit uprating is placed on a statutory footing to avoid this process being repeated in future years.

Autumn Statement: families were left worried sick to give government a rabbit-in-the-hat moment

22 November 2023
It’s right that benefits are uprated as usual but this should never have been in doubt and legislation mandating inflationary increases is needed as a basic protection for living standards.   Struggling families have been worrying themselves sick for months about whether an unmanageable income cut was coming in order to provide the government with a rabbit-out-of-the-hat moment.  


17 November 2023
Ahead of the Autumn Statement, organisations representing children’s doctors, school leaders and social workers have joined Child Poverty Action Group in calling on the Chancellor to uprate benefits from April at least in line with September’s inflation rate as usual.

The limits of test and learn

14 November 2023
Today the DWP published the latest data on the outcomes of tax credit claimants who have been sent their ‘migration notice’. This is a letter informing people that they have three months to make a claim for universal credit (UC), at which point their tax credit payments will be terminated. The data reveals that 16,000 people sent a migration notice did not make the transition to UC and had their legacy benefits terminated. This equates to 27 per cent of those who have been sent a migration notice and reached their deadline (based on those sent a migration notice in the first half of 2023).

Domestic abuse survivor wins universal credit appeal case that will help destitute EU citizens and families residing in the UK live with dignity  

08 November 2023
A landmark ruling in the Court of Appeal has held that the government is required to consider the fundamental rights of EU citizens and their families residing in the UK, including their right to live in dignified conditions, before refusing universal credit support.

Destitute EU nationals with PSS can rely on EU Charter of Fundamental Rights to obtain Universal Credit

SSWP v AT (AIRE Centre and IMA Intervening) [2022] UKUT 330 (AAC); SSWP v AT [2023] EWCA Civ 1307
Judgment of the Upper Tribunal three judge panel dismissing the Secretary of State’s appeal against the decision of the First-tier Tribunal was given on 12 December 2022. The Secretary of State appealed to the Court of Appeal The case was heard in the Court of Appeal from 8 - 10 March 2023. A further hearing took place on 10 October 2023. The judgment of the Court of Appeal is due to be handed down on 8 November 2023.

Pre-Autumn Statement briefing for MPs

08 November 2023
In his Autumn Statement, the chancellor should invest in children by increasing social security benefits – reducing child poverty immediately and leading to higher long-term economic growth, as well as improved education and health outcomes, including life expectancy.  

No requirement to request backdating before a claim to universal credit determined

AM v SSWP (UC) [2022] UKUT 242 (AAC); Abdul Miah (by his litigation friend Mashuq Miah) (Respondent) v SSWP
The Upper Tribunal judgment in this case holds that a claimant who does not ask for backdating when they initially make their claim of universal credit ("UC") and does not amend their claim before it is decided, can nonetheless obtain backdating by later requesting a revision of the decision which only awarded UC from the day on which the claim was submitted. There is therefore no need for a claimant to have made a request for backdating at the claim stage in order for it to be considered. SSWP appealed to the Court of Appeal and the appeal was heard on 7 November 2023. The judgment of the Court of Appeal is awaited.