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Children of austerity

13 April 2017
Thanks to the UNICEF Office for Research a book has been published today tracing what happened to children in rich countries following the financial crisis.

Broken promises: What has happened to support for low-income working families under universal credit

01 March 2017
Today’s Guardian covered new analysis by CPAG and IPPR on the impact of cuts to universal credit. This analysis shows that universal credit cuts will hit families with children hardest, and will be poverty-producing to the tune of around a million children (comparing universal credit as originally designed with its current form).

Promoting fairness? Lowering the benefit cap will push more families into poverty

25 July 2016
This autumn the benefit cap will be cut, squeezing low-income families even further and pushing more people into poverty. The Welfare Reform & Work Act 2016 lowers the cap to £23,000 per annum for families (or £15,410 for single claimants) in London and £20,000 for families (or £13,400 for single claimants) outside of London.

David Cameron's record on child poverty

13 July 2016
David Cameron’s final words at PMQs today – “Nothing is really impossible if you put your mind to it” – bring to my mind one of his early speeches on poverty. 

Time to 'stick or twist' on wage subsidy

04 May 2016
It’s undoubtedly good news that Stephen Crabb, the new Work & Pensions Secretary, insists that Universal Credit will be one of his main priorities. The key question, however, is will it be one of the Chancellor’s priorities?

The big warning in Unicef’s report on child wellbeing

18 April 2016
Unicef’s analysis of child wellbeing across the developed world, released today, is emphatic that increasing family incomes is a critical tool to boost children’s educational success, health and happiness. In saying this, it is issuing a pretty clear warning to the United Kingdom government that poverty-producing policies will deprive children of happy, healthy and secure childhoods.

Frozen out: government’s silent treatment on Welfare Reform and Work Bill

21 December 2015
Last week the Welfare Reform and Work Bill entered committee stage in the House of Lords. The bill will scrap all the government’s child poverty targets and measures, and make sweeping cuts to social security. Given the wide-ranging changes it seeks to make, it is surprising – and worrying – that ministers have provided so little detail on how the new measures will work and what the impacts will be on families with children.

How has the coalition done on child poverty?

06 May 2015
When George Osborne claimed in last month’s Budget to have reduced child poverty, I’m sure mine weren’t the only raised eyebrows. Michael Gove made a similar claim yesterday, that the government has ‘been able to save £21bn in the welfare budget and at the same time reduce inequality and reduce child poverty in this country’. 

Can universal credit be made to work to reduce poverty?

18 June 2014
Universal credit (UC) may be much-maligned but like it or not, it’s coming our way. Given this, how can it best deliver on its dual promise to make work pay and reduce poverty? The TUC and Child Poverty Action Group have been exploring this question in recent months, ably assisted by Howard Reed of Landman Economics. Here, we offer a sneak preview of our results.

The government’s child poverty strategy needs to be more child-focused, more poverty-focused, and more strategic

23 May 2014
This week, the official consultation closed on, potentially, the Coalition’s most important social policy objective– the new child poverty strategy. Running from 2014-17, the draft strategy covers the critical period during which we’d expect to see a big push to meet the statutory target to end child poverty by 2020 – especially given Iain Duncan Smith’s recent reaffirmation that he both remains committed to the target, and expects it to be met.