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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.

Three points to bear in mind when you talk about preventing poverty

11 May 2020
We were very sad to learn that our longstanding friend and inspiration, John Veit-Wilson, died on 10 May. He was CPAG's last remaining founder member. John was a Trustee for many years and an intellectual power house on our policy committee. He will be sadly missed. This was his last blog for CPAG.

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.

Documenting the experiences of low-income families during the pandemic: the ethical challenges

23 April 2020
There is already evidence emerging that although the COVID-19 pandemic will affect us all, it won’t affect us all equally. Existing inequalities and vulnerabilities are being heightened. Families with dependent children are likely to be negatively affected by the financial, emotional and physical implications of the pandemic and resultant lockdown. This is especially acute for families living in poverty.

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.

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.

Poor children need a Coronavirus bonus

26 March 2020
The increase to the universal credit (UC) standard allowance and the working tax credit basic element by £20 per week as part of the government’s response to the Coronavirus is welcome. According to the Resolution Foundation[1] “Having recently fallen to their lowest real-terms value since the early 1990s, the main adult rate of unemployment benefits is now at its highest ever level, as the chart below shows. Relative to average earnings, it is at its highest level since 1998-99

Together, we can drive a movement

11 February 2020
As we are bringing children up, poverty is bringing them down. It’s not right that poverty limits children’s chances at school. But when kids grow up poor, financial barriers prevent them from fully participating in school – such as the cost of uniforms, school trips, meals, after-school activities and much, much more. Together with Children North East, we want to lead a cultural shift across the UK to make the school day more inclusive and allow all children to have a happy, healthy and enriching school experience. Children deserve nothing less.

Why 2020 is a fitting year to start research into the impact of benefit changes on larger families

07 February 2020
Over twenty years ago, in 1999, then Prime Minister Tony Blair made the historic commitment to abolish child poverty by 2020. This ambitious pledge changed the nature of the debate on poverty, leading to an apparent cross-party consensus on the issue: in 2006 David Cameron promised that his (more compassionate) Conservative Party would recognise and act on relative poverty. 2020 has suddenly arrived, and the policy context feels markedly different.