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Why give money to people who ‘don’t need it’? The case against intensive means-testing

05 November 2019
Having a targeted safety net – or means-testing – can consistently miss the mark. While it’s supposed to target social security payments, it is not always the most effective way to reach the people we might define as ‘needing help most’. Perhaps counter-intuitively, more universal support, such as child benefit for families with children, or personal independence payment (PIP) for certain people with disabilities, may reach more of the target group, but simply and without stigma.

Income security for families with children

01 November 2019
Low-income families are faced with ongoing challenges in budgeting and balancing the regular costs of living with meeting the need for more occasional and one-off items. But it is not just expenditure that is ‘lumpy’ in this way. Income can also come into households at different times and in different amounts. Research with families looking in depth at money management highlights something of a paradox in the juggling of low income.

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.

Pushing back: A take on life in poverty in London

18 October 2019
A group of children, young people and parents with experience of living in a low income in London, have this week launched a new report, Pushing back: Our take on life in poverty in London. The group, known as the ‘A Different Take’, worked with CPAG and the University of Leeds between January and June 2019, to discuss their experiences of living on a low income and to develop their own agenda and solutions. In this blog post, 15-year-old Londoner Beatrice Franks reports on her experience.

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.

Understand poverty by talking to all of the experts

10 October 2019
This week sees the UN day for the Eradication of Poverty and London Challenge Poverty Week. One of the events to mark this is the launch of a new study to understand poverty in all its forms in the UK. This blog sets out the key findings only – please check out the full report. The phrase ending poverty in all its forms comes from the Sustainable Development Goals.

Twenty years of CPAG in Scotland

09 October 2019
John Dickie, Director of CPAG in Scotland, reflects on 20 years of change, challenges and progress.

Social Security Scotland is One!

25 September 2019
It is one year since Social Security Scotland became operational and CPAG in Scotland's Early Warning System has been monitoring its progress as it started to deliver new benefits.

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.

Universal credit and childcare costs - what you need to know

20 August 2019
As the school year starts again, parents will be sending their wee ones off to school or nursery and will perhaps be thinking about moving into work themselves. For lots of people this will also involve turning to universal credit for help to pay with childcare costs. A new report from CPAG in Scotland’s Early Warning System suggests for some parents and childcare providers claiming universal credit childcare costs may be not be entirely straightforward.