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Child benefit and the fight against poverty

05 June 2015
Child benefit is one of the strongest tools we have in reducing poverty, and it is vital that it is protected. But it can’t do the job on its own. We urgently need a comprehensive, action-focused strategy for reducing and then ending child poverty. The road ahead is long, and so we must start by protecting what we already have.

Old problems and new: advising people on benefits issues at Tower Hamlets’ food banks

29 May 2015
We know that up to two-thirds of the people turning to the foodbank for help are having problems with the benefits system. That’s why since August 2013, a CPAG adviser funded by the Pears Foundation has been working in a foodbank centre in Tower Hamlets, helping people resolve the benefit problems which have brought them there, and gathering evidence about how and why people use foodbanks.

Why we need a 'triple lock' on children's benefits

22 May 2015
Four in ten Londoners in families aren’t able to afford a minimum standard of living. For lone parent families, this rises to two thirds. These were the findings of new research as part of the Minimum Income Standards (MIS) project from Loughborough University, funded by Trust for London.

Good news for families? The costs of the Conservatives are higher than you think

22 May 2015
“Good news for family budgets” is how the Chancellor welcomed this week’s (negative) inflation figures, but the pinch parents have been feeling in the pocket can’t just be put down to rising prices. It’s also about how we’ve been short-changing our children."

Six steps for the new government

11 May 2015
Newly re-elected, David Cameron has appointed his cabinet to lead the 2015 government. But what will he, and his ministers, do to turn back a rising tide of child poverty? In addition to the Prime Minister himself, George Osborne and Iain Duncan-Smith will be back in their pre-election roles of Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Benefits Street - where's the reality?

11 May 2015
It’s back. Tonight sees the return of Benefits Street on TV screens. Series 2 focuses on Kingston Road on the Tilery Estate in Stockton-On-Tees. Channel 4’s promotional blurb claims: ‘Benefit Street reveals the reality of life on benefits, as the residents of streets in areas hit hard by the recession invite cameras into their tight-knit communities.’   

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’. 

Tax-free childcare - what's in it for low-income families?

30 April 2015
The government has been busy promoting its new tax-free childcare scheme, with its own Twitter hashtag, infographics on Flickr, and even a Facebook photo album. These proudly boast that a working family with two children can save up to £4,000 a year

Welfare reform in the 2015 election

23 April 2015
With the 2015 General Election fast approaching, we’re hearing lots of the usual promises from all of the parties about what they’ll do if they make it into government post May 7. From the standard commitments to the NHS, through the enduring promises of sorting out the economy...

How the rising cost of essentials has tightened the squeeze on family incomes

16 April 2015
"New research suggests that benefit cuts, harsher benefit rules and the rising costs of essentials are all hitting poor families in the UK at the same time. This can only serve to reinforce the urgency of making sure people on low incomes are protected."