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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).

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.

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.

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.

Mind the Gaps: Social security during the pandemic

21 August 2020
We have seen a significant government response to the financial hit many have faced because of the coronavirus – from the job retention scheme and self-employed income support scheme to the increase in universal credit (UC) and tax credits. While many families will have benefited from the stability and certainty these welcome interventions have given them, they have not been comprehensive. We are always most worried about the people who fall through the gaps.

Don’t Zap the Zip: campaign update

10 August 2020
The government has announced that it is pushing back the ‘temporary’ suspension of free travel for under 18s in London to after the October half term holidays, instead of bringing it in at the start of the academic year in September, as originally planned. Find out what CPAG thinks about this announcement.

Covid-capped

06 August 2020
Number of households hit by benefit cap doubles since Covid-19 - many families hit by wage drops and loss of benefits.