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Supporting children through the pandemic: why we need a Coronavirus Emergency Income Support Scheme

01 May 2020
Another day, another set of appalling statistics to quantify the hardship people are suffering. This time they’re stats from the Trussell Trust and show an 81 per cent increase in people needing support from food banks at the end of March, compared with the same time last year, and a 120 per cent rise in parcels given to children.

The impact of school closures on children living in poverty in Wales

21 April 2020
Coronavirus has sent a seismic shock through the whole of Welsh society. In the space of a few weeks, workplaces and schools have closed, and nearly all of us have experienced major disruption to our normal lives. It has been a deeply unsettling time for welsh children and young people. Nearly half a million children have suddenly found themselves cut off from their schools, their friends and their extended family. In the midst of this, educators are working round the clock to develop distance-learning strategies so children and young people can continue their education at home.

Localisation of social security: what can the advice sector tell us?

11 March 2019
In the last few years, a slew of reports have been published focusing on the impact of the coalition government’s decision to localise various elements of the national social security system, including council tax benefit (now council tax support) and the discretionary social fund (now local welfare assistance).

Protecting the vulnerable – how to keep 100% Council Tax Reduction in your area!

25 October 2017
As the elected Mayor of Bedford Borough, in 2013 I faced 40 per cent cuts in local government financing, a new localism agenda and welfare reform.

Children of austerity

13 April 2017
Thanks to the UNICEF Office for Research a book has been published today tracing what happened to children in rich countries following the financial crisis.

Supreme Court to decide on ‘unlawful’ bedroom tax

23 February 2016
Following last month’s victory in the Court of Appeal, the battle continues for Paul and Sue Rutherford and their severely disabled grandson, Warren. The Court held that the ‘bedroom tax’ (or under-occupancy penalty) is in breach of the Human Rights Act 1998.

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.

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."

What is happening to discretionary housing payments?

16 March 2015
If you had heard the Minister for Disabled People, Mark Harper, reassuring MP on Monday this week about future funding levels of Discretionary Housing Payments, you would be forgiven for believing that, on this issue, the Government was making adequate resources available to meet needs

The importance of local welfare assistance

22 January 2015
Maria is one of thousands of parents up and down the country who have received support from their council through local welfare provision funding. She was living with her abusive partner and her child, with no access to the household’s money, and no family in the country.