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The impact of the cost of living crisis on children: Brian's experience

10 June 2022
My name is Brian, I am a single parent to one daughter, we live in the south of England and I claim disability benefits. The impact on children due to the rising cost of living is heartbreaking and will have a long term impact on them. Being a single parent with a teenage daughter is tough enough but now we are having to make cutbacks to the bare minimum. My daughter now has to live in a cold, dark home as I am unable to afford the rising cost of gas and electricity, which is having a real impact on her studies during exam times. My daughter is 16 years old and currently studying hard for her GCSEs and looking forward to continuing studies for her A levels after the summer.

'You must fit the box': Universal credit and mental health

24 February 2022
Our social security system should be a source of support for everyone who needs it – including those experiencing mental health problems. Several years into the roll-out of the universal credit system, we wanted to find out whether the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) responds to the needs of people with mental health problems to ensure they can access universal credit (UC) fully. We spoke to almost 30 universal credit claimants with mental health problems, and the picture they painted was a worrying one.

Mind the Gaps: Social security during the pandemic

21 August 2020
We have seen a significant government response to the financial hit many have faced because of the coronavirus – from the job retention scheme and self-employed income support scheme to the increase in universal credit (UC) and tax credits. While many families will have benefited from the stability and certainty these welcome interventions have given them, they have not been comprehensive. We are always most worried about the people who fall through the gaps.

Domestic abuse is an economic issue – for its victims and for society

06 December 2019
Violence against women is first and foremost a violation of women’s human rights. During these 16 days of activism against VAWG (violence against women and girls), we highlight how economic inequality is facilitating violence perpetrated by men against women. We need to make our economy work for women so women can be safer, and a properly functioning social security system is integral to this.

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.

CPAG judicial review project – early successes

26 April 2019
As our Early Warning System has found increasingly in recent months, people are facing problems with how decisions are being made about their benefits. It’s vital that people have the right of appeal, and that decision-making is clear and fair, and we know this is not always the case.

Widening the net and twisting the knife: the benefit cap gets worse

07 November 2016
Today sees the benefit cap – the limit on total benefits which households can receive if no-one works at least 16 hours a week – fall from £26,000 a year to £20,000, or £23,000 in London.

"It’s like a game of chess" – interview with our Legal Officer Mike Spencer

05 September 2016
Our Legal Officer Mike Spencer has headed off to a secondment at the Supreme Court, so we caught up with him before he went on the highs and lows of fighting CPAG’s legal battles on behalf of children in poverty.

Divided Britain

01 July 2016
In searching for explanations for the cataclysmic events of 23 June, commentators have alighted on the obvious voting divides by age, region and level of disadvantage across the UK. The amazing thing is that this should come as any surprise.

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.