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Bringing a motion at the Youth Parliament

08 August 2019
Ben Lomas is the Member of Youth Parliament for St Helens. He lives in St Helens, and will begin year ten at Rainford High in September. Earlier this month, Ben brought a motion on child poverty to the Annual Conference of the Youth Parliament. We asked him about his experience.

The art of ignoring ‘the poor’

01 August 2019
I was recently asked to speak to the theme of ‘the art of ignoring the poor’ at an OECD/ATD Fourth World conference to launch the report of a cross-national study of the hidden dimensions of poverty. ATD’s work to enable the voices of people in poverty to be heard has helped me understand the importance of the psycho-social and the relational in understanding how poverty is experienced. That is not to understate the importance of the material – the lack of resources sufficient to participate fully in society, which is what defines poverty, and the economic insecurity or precarité and powerlessness typically associated with it. But the material has psychological effects and poverty is given meaning through relationships with others at both the interpersonal and societal level (including through interactions with professionals and officials). 

The ‘Other Britain’

12 July 2019
A little over a century ago, the cry among social reformers concerned about the plight of the poor was for a safety net to be stitched together by the state, to catch any of our fellow citizens who were falling into the clutches of destitution. Had those same reformers witnessed what we have picked up during the past six months – from visits to food banks in Poplar, Waterloo, Leicester, Morecambe, Chester, and Glasgow – they would be appalled by the extent of hunger, homelessness, and insecurity afflicting so many families and vulnerable individuals in our country.

Three points to bear in mind when you talk about preventing poverty

05 July 2019
CPAG was founded more than fifty years ago to bring the facts of family poverty to government and public knowledge and to press for reform. The devastating report (2018) by Professor Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, shows how government withdrawal of responsibility and resources during the past decade has led to more families being pushed into poverty, and relief work by NGOs to alleviate poverty is not enough to compensate sufficiently.

New £10 Scottish Child Payment a game-changer – and a pointer to what’s needed across the UK

04 July 2019
The new £10 a week Scottish Child Payment for each child in low income families, announced by the Scottish Government last week, is a game-changer in the fight to end child poverty in Scotland - and a pointer to what is possible, and so badly needed, at UK level.It’s also an inspiring reminder of what can be achieved when child poverty campaigners bring together partners across civic society at the same time where there is a political will, and a government with a statutory obligation, to end child poverty.

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.

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.

Hearing from people with lived experience of poverty

23 May 2019
Yesterday the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights shared his final report on poverty in the UK with the UK Government. While it paints a very bleak picture of poverty in the UK – something it says is ‘obvious to anyone who opens their eyes’ – the silver lining is that ‘many of the problems could readily be solved if the Government were to listen to people experiencing poverty, the voluntary sector and local authorities.’

Computer says 'no!' - how good is information provision in universal credit?

01 May 2019
“It’s a fundamental principle in a democracy that governmental bodies must have reasons for their decisions… that they should be able to explain what those reasons are… [and any] decision should be open to review or appeal.” So begins our latest report, Computer says ‘No!’

CPAG judicial review project – early successes

26 April 2019
As our Early Warning System has found increasingly in recent months, people are facing problems with how decisions are being made about their benefits. It’s vital that people have the right of appeal, and that decision-making is clear and fair, and we know this is not always the case.