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What do experts and professionals think of the ‘local welfare safety net’?

17 November 2015
Does local discretion on social security deliver ‘localism in action’ or a postcode lottery? That’s one of the questions being asked by the Commons Work and Pensions select committee in looking at the interaction between the national benefits system and locally-run schemes.

Small steps forward on sanctions

13 November 2015
In many ways, benefit sanctions offer the holy grail of public policy: the opportunity to find small changes that make a big difference, at little or no cost to the public purse. In its belated response to the Work and Pensions Committee’s report on sanctions in March of this year, the government has outlined a number of such policy changes.

Who loses what from tax credit cuts?

26 October 2015
Today the Lords vote on government policies to cut tax credits, the extra support people on low wages receive to ‘top up’ their incomes. With over two thirds of children growing up in poverty living in a working family, tax credits are a vital tool to help families make ends meet.

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’.

No such thing as a free lunch?

22 September 2015
A mere two years ago, the government introduced universal free school meals for infants. We were delighted at the time - and said so. Evidence from pilot projects showed that while all children benefit from free school meals, low-income children benefit the most.

London costs: raising children in the capital

08 September 2015
"It will come as little surprise that raising a child is expensive, and that in London it has the potential to be more expensive than other parts of the country. However, new research from Child Poverty Action Group on the extra costs of children in the capital has brought up some intriguing findings that are relevant for the whole country."

How can London mothers escape the poverty trap?

01 September 2015
Why are mothers in London less likely to work than their counterparts across the country, and how can we ensure that having more parents in jobs brings the capital’s high child poverty rates down?

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.