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Improving relationships with the DWP: Aurora's experience

17 June 2022
I have found this whole cost of living subject a difficult one for us in particular. It is topical at the moment and is a constant weight on my mind. There's no escape, everywhere I turn, it’s all around me. The TV, the news and social media. I’m tired of it and the continuous daily struggle. I feel we’ve been experiencing and have been living this for some time.

The cost of living response: why it's time to focus more squarely on need

06 June 2022
Last month, chancellor Rishi Sunak stood before the dispatch box and delivered his third and most significant budgetary response to the current cost of living crisis. As he announced the measures, he pledged: 'We need to make sure that for those whom the struggle is too hard…and for whom the risks are too great…they are supported… We will make sure the most vulnerable and the least well off get the support they need at this time of difficulty.'

Does it meet the need? A response to the chancellor’s statement

26 May 2022
‘This government will not sit idly by whilst there is a risk that some in our country might be set so far back they might never recover’, said chancellor Rishi Sunak in the opening remarks to his statement this afternoon. But does this ring true? Did his announcements offer a sign of hope for families?

Breaking point

11 February 2022
Parents up and down the country are desperately trying to figure out how to cope with rising energy bills but the government’s response has been insufficient. And energy prices are not the only costs surging for families. What’s needed urgently is comprehensive help from the government with across-the-board price rises – starting with an increase to benefits by at least 6 per cent.

Making a difference together: five key lessons from Covid Realities

24 January 2022
The cost of living crunch is rightly attracting lots of attention, with millions fearful of how they’ll get by as costs rise yet further. There is an urgent need to provide families with more support through our social security system: a system that has become unfit for purpose following cut after cut, with successive governments seemingly unwilling to recognise that social security is an investment in us all.

The problem with the ‘grace period’

21 September 2021
The number of families affected by the government’s benefit cap stood at 187,000 in May 2021. These families are living on less than what they need because they are not in work or not considered to be working enough. On average, they are losing out on £238 per month.

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.

‘Other people don’t have to think about which kid they love the most that month’: the realities of everyday life on the benefit cap and two child limit

11 June 2021
Since April we’ve been interviewing larger families who are subject to the two child limit and/or benefit cap as part of the Benefit Changes and Larger Families project. We’ll be interviewing many more families over the next 18 months, but already after 11 interviews it is striking how much common ground there is in larger families’ experiences of negotiating life on a low-income.

Hitting home: the benefit cap and child homelessness

31 May 2021
Since 2013, the benefit cap has meant that many families don’t have enough money to pay their rent. This isn’t a matter of opinion, it’s explicit in the way that benefits are calculated.

Does the cap fit? Researching the benefit cap’s effect on paid work

30 March 2021
Official statistics released today show that the number of households subject to the benefit cap has increased again. 180,000 households were capped in November 2020, up from 170,000 in August 2020.