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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. 

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.

Black children’s lives matter

19 June 2020
Black lives matter, particularly the lives of children. Poor children are more likely to be behind in school than their wealthier peers, have reported lower sense of well-being, have poorer health outcomes and even employment difficulties in adulthood. But we don’t talk enough about the fact that some children in black and minority ethnic (BME) families are more likely to experience poverty.

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.

Why 2020 is a fitting year to start research into the impact of benefit changes on larger families

07 February 2020
Over twenty years ago, in 1999, then Prime Minister Tony Blair made the historic commitment to abolish child poverty by 2020. This ambitious pledge changed the nature of the debate on poverty, leading to an apparent cross-party consensus on the issue: in 2006 David Cameron promised that his (more compassionate) Conservative Party would recognise and act on relative poverty. 2020 has suddenly arrived, and the policy context feels markedly different.

Is food the right response to child hunger?

13 January 2020
A Mori poll for the Trussell Trust, published on 16 October in the Daily Mirror, showed more than half the British public think food banks are an embarrassment to this country and 7 in 10 think they should not exist in a modern society. They think it’s the government’s responsibility to deal with it. They are right. More people than ever, 21%, say ‘poverty and inequality’ is the most important issue facing Britain - the highest rate since 1997.

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.

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?

Rising child poverty and rising concern

25 October 2018
The number of children living in poverty in the UK is now at 4.1 million and will reach over 5 million by 2021, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. And children who are in poverty are now living, on average, further below the poverty line than they did 10 years ago.