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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.

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.

Unemployment support post Covid: learning from the job retention scheme

13 May 2020
Yesterday, the Chancellor announced that the job retention scheme will continue until October. This will be a huge relief to the 7.5 million workers who rely on support from the scheme, and will avert a huge second surge in unemployment as a result of the crisis, which is already set to rise to it’s highest level for 25 years. This extension is welcome, but there is no reason why more generous unemployment benefits couldn’t exist in the UK permanently.

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.

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.

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."

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.

Upfront for families? Childcare costs in universal credit

29 October 2019
For many families upfront childcare costs are a significant barrier to work. Under tax credits, parents can get financial support for upfront childcare costs. However, under universal credit any help with childcare is paid retrospectively. This is a big problem as the majority of childcare requires parents to pay for a month/term in advance.

Working lone parents face drastic and growing income shortfalls

04 September 2019
Working lone parents on reasonable pay cannot reach a minimum acceptable living standard – as defined by the public - even if they work full time, new research for Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) shows.

The Cost of a Child in 2019

04 September 2019
The latest report in our annual Cost of a Child series finds that the overall cost of a child up to age 18 (including rent and childcare) is £185,000 for lone parents (up 19% since 2012) and £151,000 for couples (up 5.5% since 2012). The gap between lone parents’ actual income and what they need to meet family needs has grown sharply.