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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.

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.

Sanctions: where's the support?

22 July 2015
It’s all change at Westminster – once again. After five years dominated by the pace and scale of change to the social security system, the new Parliament promises some more pretty big changes, many of which were discussed in this week’s Welfare Reform & Work Bill debate.

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.

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.

Our programme for the 2015 government

08 April 2015
Whoever wins on May 7 will be confronted by a child poverty crisis. That’s why CPAG today publishes its Programme for Government, a document setting out what the next Government must do to put the UK on track to end child poverty.

New evidence shows people use food banks due to the negative effects of welfare reform

08 December 2014
"What is driving food bank use in the UK? Answering this research question is something of a challenge. There is no official data on food bank use – although the Trussell Trust does collect data on the numbers using their network, alongside reasons for referral – and no systematic evidence base telling us why people are referred for support.

Sanctioning hunger

26 November 2014
If I need to take a day off work, I don’t usually lose one month’s salary as a result. However, if you’re claiming jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) and delays to your bus journey mean you arrive ten minutes late for an interview at the Jobcentre, you could well find yourself having your benefit stopped for four weeks or more through a sanction.

The road to the food bank is paved by failures in the benefit system

19 November 2014
Food banks have become a political football. Some say demand is driven by supply: if you build it, they will come. Others point to the rising cost of living, especially food price inflation, or benefit cuts as the key drivers of demand (or need).

Let's all have lunch!

11 July 2014
People often lament how the world of politics has very little to do with the ordinary lives of real people. For some parents, at least, that’s about to change. From September, all infant school children will be entitled to a free school meal. Across the country, children from all backgrounds will sit down together to a nutritious, healthy free lunch, fuelling concentration and learning.