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Unemployment support post Covid: learning from the job retention scheme

13 May 2020
Yesterday, the Chancellor announced that the job retention scheme will continue until October. This will be a huge relief to the 7.5 million workers who rely on support from the scheme, and will avert a huge second surge in unemployment as a result of the crisis, which is already set to rise to it’s highest level for 25 years. This extension is welcome, but there is no reason why more generous unemployment benefits couldn’t exist in the UK permanently.

Families hit harder because nothing for children in Covid-19 response

12 May 2020
Covid-19 has clearly had a massive impact on household incomes in the UK. Millions of people have lost their job and millions more have been furloughed. It will take a while to understand the complete effect of Covid on household incomes but some initial quantitative findings can help shed light on the effect of the pandemic on families.

Mind the gaps – reporting on families’ incomes during the pandemic

09 April 2020
The government has taken some giant leaps in recent weeks to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. We have seen the announcement of the Jobs Retention Scheme, support for self-employed people, and increases to certain benefits. But there is still more to be done.

Is food the right response to child hunger?

13 January 2020
A Mori poll for the Trussell Trust, published on 16 October in the Daily Mirror, showed more than half the British public think food banks are an embarrassment to this country and 7 in 10 think they should not exist in a modern society. They think it’s the government’s responsibility to deal with it. They are right. More people than ever, 21%, say ‘poverty and inequality’ is the most important issue facing Britain - the highest rate since 1997.

Upfront for families? Childcare costs in universal credit

29 October 2019
For many families upfront childcare costs are a significant barrier to work. Under tax credits, parents can get financial support for upfront childcare costs. However, under universal credit any help with childcare is paid retrospectively. This is a big problem as the majority of childcare requires parents to pay for a month/term in advance.

Costs and spending on decent childhoods

04 September 2019
The new school year is underway after the long summer break. This can be an expensive time for families. Most parents will have faced significant costs in recent weeks, from holiday childcare to new school uniforms. But to what extent are different families able to meet those costs? Every year for the past eight years, we have published research on what it costs to raise children from birth to age 18. This year the research coincides with the Spending Review, and puts a spotlight on how the government does support, and how it should support, families with the extra costs of children.

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.’

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.

We can all agree: children deserve our support

20 August 2018
Politicians are always concerned about public opinion, and they often seek to shape it. But, despite their efforts, we know that public policy and public opinion do not always match, and two pieces of recent research illustrate this clearly.

Too simple: the failure of universal credit assessment periods

08 August 2018
In the ‘simple’ world of universal credit, monthly assessment periods are the supposedly ‘neat’ way of judging what financial support families should get based on their earnings and circumstances.