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Worse off: The impact of universal credit on families in Tower Hamlets

16 October 2019
We know about the many design problems with universal credit, but what about the impact it has had on families? CPAG and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets have published a new report revealing the experiences of families with children on universal credit in Tower Hamlets, as well as the impact universal credit has had on the local authority and others in the borough. Alice Woudhuysen, author of the report, highlights its key findings.

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.

Hearing from people with lived experience of poverty

23 May 2019
Yesterday the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights shared his final report on poverty in the UK with the UK Government. While it paints a very bleak picture of poverty in the UK – something it says is ‘obvious to anyone who opens their eyes’ – the silver lining is that ‘many of the problems could readily be solved if the Government were to listen to people experiencing poverty, the voluntary sector and local authorities.’

Computer says 'no!' - how good is information provision in universal credit?

01 May 2019
“It’s a fundamental principle in a democracy that governmental bodies must have reasons for their decisions… that they should be able to explain what those reasons are… [and any] decision should be open to review or appeal.” So begins our latest report, Computer says ‘No!’

Is universal credit working for working people? – Usdaw members’ experiences

23 April 2019
Since 2010, the government has ignored rising child poverty while repeating the mantra that work is the best route out of poverty. Work is indeed a factor in escaping poverty, but it needs to be secure work, with a decent wage, decent hours and prospects.

Children still out in the cold

28 March 2019
The benefits freeze has left families out in the cold – but just £20 per month for families would help restore children’s benefits and keep 100,000 out of poverty.

Universal credit: a new era?

11 January 2019
Universal credit needs fixing. That’s certainly not the first time we’ve said that, but today the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Amber Rudd MP seemed to agree. At a Jobcentre in south London we got our first glimpse of what changes she has planned to make the benefit work better for everyone. Meanwhile, a couple of miles away the High Court announced that we had won our universal credit assessment period case. What do these two things mean for people claiming universal credit?

Lessons from the welfare reform summit

11 December 2018
Welfare reform and its effects have rarely been out of the news in the past few years – and rightly so. But the focus of coverage is often on political arguments taking place at Westminster. It’s vital we hear from those directly affected by the changes to social security, and from those who work with and support them.

UN Rapporteur’s report a ‘wake-up call’ on UK poverty

19 November 2018
When the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Philip Alston, completed his 10 day visit to the UK on 16 November, he found that the poverty he had observed was unjust and, in his opinion, contrary to British values.

What does the Budget mean for universal credit (and how much will families benefit - or not)?

30 October 2018
In yesterday’s Budget the Chancellor waited till the last minute to announce new money being put into universal credit (UC). That’s a sign of the political importance this issue now has, and tells us that years of campaigning are starting to cut through.