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Increasing child benefit: five tests, five ticks?

14 May 2020
Now is the time for some clear thinking about our systems of social security and social protection. With millions of people claiming support through universal credit, the importance of a functioning and adequate social security system is obvious. Getting support to people as quickly as possible has understandably been a priority. But we should also be looking to the future, to ensure that we build a resilient system with popular support.

Families hit harder because nothing for children in Covid-19 response

12 May 2020
Covid-19 has clearly had a massive impact on household incomes in the UK. Millions of people have lost their job and millions more have been furloughed. It will take a while to understand the complete effect of Covid on household incomes but some initial quantitative findings can help shed light on the effect of the pandemic on families.

Supporting children through the pandemic: why we need a Coronavirus Emergency Income Support Scheme

01 May 2020
Another day, another set of appalling statistics to quantify the hardship people are suffering. This time they’re stats from the Trussell Trust and show an 81 per cent increase in people needing support from food banks at the end of March, compared with the same time last year, and a 120 per cent rise in parcels given to children.

Mind the gaps – reporting on families’ incomes during the pandemic

09 April 2020
The government has taken some giant leaps in recent weeks to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. We have seen the announcement of the Jobs Retention Scheme, support for self-employed people, and increases to certain benefits. But there is still more to be done.

Poor children need a Coronavirus bonus

26 March 2020
The increase to the universal credit (UC) standard allowance and the working tax credit basic element by £20 per week as part of the government’s response to the Coronavirus is welcome. According to the Resolution Foundation[1] “Having recently fallen to their lowest real-terms value since the early 1990s, the main adult rate of unemployment benefits is now at its highest ever level, as the chart below shows. Relative to average earnings, it is at its highest level since 1998-99

Income security for families with children

01 November 2019
Low-income families are faced with ongoing challenges in budgeting and balancing the regular costs of living with meeting the need for more occasional and one-off items. But it is not just expenditure that is ‘lumpy’ in this way. Income can also come into households at different times and in different amounts. Research with families looking in depth at money management highlights something of a paradox in the juggling of low income.

Costs and spending on decent childhoods

04 September 2019
The new school year is underway after the long summer break. This can be an expensive time for families. Most parents will have faced significant costs in recent weeks, from holiday childcare to new school uniforms. But to what extent are different families able to meet those costs? Every year for the past eight years, we have published research on what it costs to raise children from birth to age 18. This year the research coincides with the Spending Review, and puts a spotlight on how the government does support, and how it should support, families with the extra costs of children.

New £10 Scottish Child Payment a game-changer – and a pointer to what’s needed across the UK

04 July 2019
The new £10 a week Scottish Child Payment for each child in low income families, announced by the Scottish Government last week, is a game-changer in the fight to end child poverty in Scotland - and a pointer to what is possible, and so badly needed, at UK level. It’s also an inspiring reminder of what can be achieved when child poverty campaigners bring together partners across civic society at the same time where there is a political will, and a government with a statutory obligation, to end child poverty.

All Kids Count – stories from families affected by the two-child limit

26 June 2019
This week we heard directly from some of the very many families affected by the two-child limit. Reading their stories has been profoundly moving. These are families trying to ensure their children thrive, hampered by an arbitrary policy that denies them the support they need from our social security system when they experience tough times.

Children still out in the cold

28 March 2019
The benefits freeze has left families out in the cold – but just £20 per month for families would help restore children’s benefits and keep 100,000 out of poverty.