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New research: the Cost of a Child in 2020 shows need to keep ‘Covid-19 bonus’ in universal credit and tax credits

29 October 2020
The Covid-19 temporary £20 per week increase in universal credit and working tax credits has enabled some low-paid working families with full-time jobs to get close to – or even just above – a minimum acceptable standard of living (or MIS, a no-frills, but adequate standard of living ), new research for Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) shows.

'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. 

The two-child limit now affects almost one million children – and it is being implemented when poverty is rising for larger families

16 July 2020
This week, the UK Government published its annual statistics on the number of households affected by the two-child limit policy, which restricts support through tax credits and universal credit to the first two children in a family. Its reach is growing steadily over time. The new figures show that 911,000 children now live in affected households. The majority (59 per cent) of those households contain three children.

Thousands of families tipped on to universal credit by Covid-19 getting no support for infants – call to suspend two-child limit

05 May 2020
Around sixty thousand families forced to claim universal credit since mid-March because of Covid-19 will discover that they will not get the support their family needs because of the controversial 'two-child policy' a new report estimates.

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.

Coronavirus: Child Poverty Action Group calls for emergency child payment for families hit by school closures

16 March 2020
Child Poverty Action Group is urging the Government to increase payments for children if schools close because of Coronavirus, to protect children in low-income families facing extra financial pressure and the loss of free school meals. Ideally the payments could be made through a £10 per week uplift in child benefit for the duration of the pandemic.

Budget 2020: families need more support in health and in sickness

11 March 2020
Commenting on today’s Budget, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, Alison Garnham said: "New Corona virus emergency measures on Statutory Sickness Pay, employment support allowance and universal credit are welcome but low-income families need support in health and in sickness. When it comes to the nation’s longer-term priorities, action on poverty must trump potholes and pubs. We need to properly re-invest in our social infrastructure."

Legal update

10 February 2020
Our legal team has had a busy start to the new year. Last week we learned we had been successful in our High Court case challenging the fact that the higher rate of bereavement support payment for families with children is currently only paid if a spouse or civil partner dies, and not when the couple were not married or in a civil partnership. This follows a similar challenge to the previous widowed parent’s allowance – the Supreme Court found in favour of a mother and her four children in that case, but, although the law is not compatible with human rights law, the government has still not resolved the issue.

A package to restore benefits for children could lift more than 700,000 children out of poverty

05 June 2019
Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is calling for re-investment in social security support for the UK’s children in a new report detailing the costs of restoring a catalogue of cuts to social security - including sub-inflationary uprating since 2013/14 - and providing a blueprint for making universal credit fit for families.

Universal credit: a new era?

11 January 2019
Universal credit needs fixing. That’s certainly not the first time we’ve said that, but today the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Amber Rudd MP seemed to agree. At a Jobcentre in south London we got our first glimpse of what changes she has planned to make the benefit work better for everyone. Meanwhile, a couple of miles away the High Court announced that we had won our universal credit assessment period case. What do these two things mean for people claiming universal credit?