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'We honestly didn’t know how to survive'

18 September 2020
My name is David. I'm married with three children. I have worked several minimum wage jobs from care worker roles to handyman of a restaurant chain (I am now furloughed). I’ve had ongoing mental health problems and although I'm still medicating I feel I have beaten depression largely and my anxiety is more manageable. I am right now affected by the two-child limit and benefit cap - this alongside a stressful transition to universal credit has caused much stress to both my wife and me, putting a strain on our relationship, generally leaving us wondering how we are going to survive at times. 

London children board a Routemaster bus to Westminster to stop scrapping of free travel

18 September 2020
Young Londoners are travelling to Westminster today on an open-topped Routemaster bus to oppose the suspension of free travel in the city for 11-17 year olds – as a survey from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) shows the suspension will force some families to cut back on daily living expenses – including food – while restricting children’s access to family, friends and out-of-school activities (see Notes to Editors for filming info/timings).

Free school meals briefing

17 September 2020
We believe free school meals should be a universal part of the school experience. As well as preventing and reducing child poverty, the provision of school meals to all pupils has a number of other well-document benefits.

Don't Zap the Zip Day of Action - Friday 18 September

17 September 2020
On Friday 18 September, Child Poverty Action Group is holding a Day of Action as part of its Don’t Zap the Zip campaign, which aims to stop the proposed suspension of free travel for under 18s in London. Find out more and how to get involved.

Universal Credit for 19 year olds in full-time, non-advanced education

MH v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (SC944/19/01408)
CPAG represented the appellant in a challenge to the universal credit (UC) rules that prevent certain 19 year olds who are in full-time, non-advanced education from being included in their parents’ UC claim, while they are also prevented from claiming UC in their own right, on the basis that the provisions are discriminatory and irrational. The appeal was heard by the First-tier Tribunal on 24th November 2020 and was dismissed.

Learning after lockdown: school bells herald extra costs

03 September 2020
This week, schools in England will open their doors to their full school community for the first time in almost six months. We know that families with children have been hardest hit by the economic effects of the pandemic, with 2 in 5 facing financial difficulty, and that the lowest paid have been most badly affected. In this perfect storm of a difficult lockdown and worsening household finances, there needs to be much more focus on family income as children return to school.  

Low-income parents relying on child benefit for household basics

31 August 2020
As many families prepare this week for a uniquely expensive return to school after lockdown, new research shows that in recent years parents have increasingly had to use their child benefit to cover utility bills and other bottom-line household costs.

Algorithms in social security: cause for concern?

28 August 2020
Two weeks ago pupils, parents and schools were up in arms when the news broke that 40 per cent of teacher-assessed A level results had been downgraded by at least one grade. The culprit? A computer, or to be precise, an algorithm. This episode clearly shows the chaos that can be caused to people’s lives when the technology that so many parts of public services now rely on goes wrong.

Poverty in the pandemic: The impact of coronavirus on low-income families and children

25 August 2020
Coronavirus has turned the lives of families with children upside down. Many parents have lost jobs or been furloughed and many schools and childcare facilities have largely been closed, leaving those still in work facing the impossible task of balancing work with childcare and home schooling. These challenges are particularly acute for low-income families. This new report from CPAG and the Church of England offers an important insight into the day-to-day struggles that families have been dealing with, as well as their strength and resilience in managing such an array of challenges on a limited income.

NEW SURVEY: the toll of lockdown on low-income families

25 August 2020
Coronavirus has left low-income families struggling with a significant deterioration in living standards and high stress levels a new report from Child Poverty Action Group and the Church of England finds. Families who responded in July and early August were even less optimistic about their financial situation than those who responded in May or June.