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A UC sink hole – the minimum income floor returns

30 July 2021
Last October, Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis tweeted a warning about the ‘huge sink hole awaiting many self-employed’ people when the suspension of universal credit’s minimum income floor ended. While the government extended the suspension, it now ends this week. Self-employed workers up and down the country will start to be affected (with some possible concessions) after 31 July, and may face huge financial difficulties as a result.   

Universal credit and work: the reality

21 July 2021
In attempting to justify the unjustifiable, namely the cut to universal credit that is due in October, secretary of state for work and pensions Thérèse Coffey said the government was: ‘shift[ing] the focus strongly on to getting people into work.’ But this is a cut that will affect millions of working families. The government has subjected our social security system to so many cuts and freezes that families desperately needed the £20 increase and it must stay, but universal credit’s very design still makes it hard for parents to escape poverty through work.

New blog series: insights from Cost of the School Day frontline practitioners

20 July 2021
Since January 2020, we’ve been working with our project partners, Children North East, to poverty proof schools in parts of England, Scotland and Wales. Our team of skilled practitioners have spoken with over 7,500 pupils across Coventry, Greenwich, Kensington and Chelsea, Moray and Rhondda Cynon Taf. Our new blog series aims to share some of the practitioners' insights.

“An effortless, non-threatening vehicle for scrutinizing poverty within schools”

20 July 2021
This is the fourth of a series of five blogs about why listening to pupils is key to tackling the cost of the school day. Rhian Reynolds, who delivers the project in South Wales, describes how valuable schools have found hearing from pupils and what they plan to do as a result of the Cost of the School Day project.

“Children and young people are the experts in their school experience”

20 July 2021
This is the third of a series of five blogs about why listening to pupils is key to tackling the cost of the school day. Richard Barrie, who works as a Cost of the School Day Practitioner in Coventry, shares some examples of what pupils have told us about school costs.

“I have been surprised sometimes at the candour of pupils”

20 July 2021
This is the second of a series of five blogs about why listening to pupils is key to tackling the cost of the school day. Kirsty Campbell, our Cost of the School Day Practitioner in Moray, describes how eye-opening it is to speak to pupils about school costs and money, and how willing pupils are to share their views.

“A compelling picture of pupils’ school days through their eyes, their hearts and their minds”

20 July 2021
This is the first of a series of five blogs about why listening to pupils is key to tackling the cost of the school day. Kirsty Severn, one of our Cost of the School Day practitioners in Coventry, tells us about the process we use to draw out pupils’ views, experiences and ideas about the school day.

“We feel like we're slowly sinking.”

15 July 2021
Families affected by the two-child limit, who now number 318,000, are struggling to get by. Some have told us they are having to cut back on essentials such as the quality and quantity of food, and replacing worn out clothing and shoes. This policy, which restricts support in universal credit and tax credits to two children, is driving up child poverty, and harming childhoods and life chances. 1.1 million children are now affected.

Response to Scottish Affairs Committee's report on welfare policy in Scotland

25 June 2021
CPAG in Scotland’s Kirsty McKechnie responds to the Scottish Affairs Committee’s report on welfare policy in Scotland

Not getting by: the increasing impact of the benefit cap

22 June 2021
Figures just released by the Department for Work and Pensions show that in February 2021, soon after the start of the third lockdown, 200,000 households were subject to the benefit cap. Behind this statistic are families having to get by on less than their assessed need because of the government’s decision to limit the amount of income any ‘non-working’ household can receive in social security. The pandemic has seen the number of capped households drastically increase, with the latest figures an increase of 153 per cent since February 2020, when 79,000 households were subject to the cap.