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Costs and spending on decent childhoods

04 September 2019
The new school year is underway after the long summer break. This can be an expensive time for families. Most parents will have faced significant costs in recent weeks, from holiday childcare to new school uniforms. But to what extent are different families able to meet those costs? Every year for the past eight years, we have published research on what it costs to raise children from birth to age 18. This year the research coincides with the Spending Review, and puts a spotlight on how the government does support, and how it should support, families with the extra costs of children.

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.

Why food is not the answer to hunger in the UK

05 April 2019
In a week when CPAG has published the brilliant new book Living hand to mouth – children and food in low income families by Rebecca O’Connell, Abigail Knight and Julia Brannen, it might seem strange to suggest that food is not the solution to hunger.

Children still out in the cold

28 March 2019
The benefits freeze has left families out in the cold – but just £20 per month for families would help restore children’s benefits and keep 100,000 out of poverty.

The new face of child poverty

28 March 2019
Every March the government releases raw data on poverty – called Households Below Average Income. Presented without government spin, we can look at the numerous tables and work out what these numbers – which look so benign on a spreadsheet – mean for actual children. Children growing up worried about money, missing out on things other kids take for granted, and taking the effects of poverty with them into adulthood. What can we learn from the stats this year?

A widening gap: trends in three social security benefits 2009-2018

20 March 2019
This blog shows what has happened to the value of three important social security benefits since 2009 up to last year 2018.

What does the Budget mean for universal credit (and how much will families benefit - or not)?

30 October 2018
In yesterday’s Budget the Chancellor waited till the last minute to announce new money being put into universal credit (UC). That’s a sign of the political importance this issue now has, and tells us that years of campaigning are starting to cut through.

Rising child poverty and rising concern

25 October 2018
The number of children living in poverty in the UK is now at 4.1 million and will reach over 5 million by 2021, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. And children who are in poverty are now living, on average, further below the poverty line than they did 10 years ago.

Universal credit: who gains, who loses, and how does transitional protection really work?

12 October 2018
There is a lot of discussion in the media this week about the immediate and long-term impact of Universal Credit (UC), whether people will be better or worse off, and whether the ‘losers’ will have their incomes protected when they first move over to UC. This blog seeks to clarify the story.

We can all agree: children deserve our support

20 August 2018
Politicians are always concerned about public opinion, and they often seek to shape it. But, despite their efforts, we know that public policy and public opinion do not always match, and two pieces of recent research illustrate this clearly.