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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. 

Advising foodbank clients - one year on

16 May 2016
We started providing welfare rights advice to clients of the Tower Hamlets Foodbank as part of First Love Foundation’s Advice & Support project almost three years ago, thanks to help from the Pears Foundation. It’s now been a year since the project was scaled up with support from the Big Lottery Fund and I joined the team. 

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.

Protecting children from the benefit cap

12 October 2015
With conference ‘fun’ over, it’s back to business as usual and the relentless march of the benefit cap. With parliament returning this week, today work will continue on the Welfare Reform and Work Bill.

What does blue-collar Conservatism look like?

12 October 2015
After the 2015 election the Prime Minister promised ‘blue-collar Conservatism’, which he said was about 'giving everyone in our country the chance to get on, with the dignity of a job, the pride of a pay cheque, a home of their own and the security and peace of mind that comes from being able to support a family’.

The minimum standard of living is getting harder to reach

12 August 2015
The basic cost of bringing up a child is getting harder to meet. New CPAG research updating our annual 'Cost of a child' report has found that while the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 remains high, at £149,805, state support for meeting those costs is diminishing sharply.

Additional family hardship on the horizon

12 August 2015
Since the election an important debate has opened up over how far state benefits should be underpinning family living standards. The government is clearly trying to reduce what it sees as unnecessary dependency, including for families in low-paid work. It has approached this from multiple angles.

First thoughts on the ‘National Living Wage’

08 July 2015
A substantial increase in the National Minimum Wage for over-25s (or National Living Wage, as Osborne’s re-badging has it) can only be a good thing for low-paid workers. It should be celebrated. That much, at least, is clear.

Don’t let tax credit changes freeze mums out of work

07 July 2015
What's the point of working tax credits? David Cameron has called their use into question by highlighting the role they play in enabling big businesses to get away with paying poverty wages. But this overlooks the important role that working tax credits play in enabling parents to enter or stay in the labour market working less than full-time.