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Has the government forgotten children during Covid-19?

21 May 2020
The government’s economic response to Covid-19 has, in many ways, been expansive, but there has been a surprising blind spot in relation to the burdens faced by families with children.

Households worse off on universal credit win Court of Appeal test case

12 May 2020
Two disabled households who were left worse off after they were forced to move to universal credit (UC) because their existing benefits were wrongly stopped by the DWP today won a breakthrough case in the Court of Appeal. The result means that depending on what remedy the DWP chooses, the two households – and potentially thousands like them subject to wrongful decisions by the DWP – will be able to return to their previous benefits or have their UC awards topped up to the level of their previous benefits.

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.

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.

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.

The Benefit Cap: a legal stock take

02 July 2019
Latest DWP figures show a consistent picture since the benefit cap was lowered back in November 2016: almost 75% of all capped households are headed up by a lone parent; a majority of all capped households (56%) are lone parent families with a youngest child under 5 years old; the benefit cap can be avoided by working a certain amount, but the rate at which this happens hovers around the 40% mark; almost 80% of capped households would not have been capped under the original cap.