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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.

Rising child poverty and rising concern

25 October 2018
The number of children living in poverty in the UK is now at 4.1 million and will reach over 5 million by 2021, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. And children who are in poverty are now living, on average, further below the poverty line than they did 10 years ago.

Universal credit: who gains, who loses, and how does transitional protection really work?

12 October 2018
There is a lot of discussion in the media this week about the immediate and long-term impact of Universal Credit (UC), whether people will be better or worse off, and whether the ‘losers’ will have their incomes protected when they first move over to UC. This blog seeks to clarify the story.

A Different Take: Promoting the voices of children, young people and families in debates on poverty in the UK

21 September 2018
Families experiencing poverty are often in the spotlight – politicians plan to ‘turn their lives around’; some newspapers raise concerns about rising poverty rates while others draw our attention to cases of perceived benefit fraud; celebrities promote their views on the ways that people in poverty should be behaving differently and even on whether poverty exists at all; and TV programmes show highly sensationalised representations of how people and families in poverty spend their time.

The ‘poverty premium’: a pernicious double whammy

19 September 2018
The proposed new poverty measure released this week by the Social Metrics Commission showed that whether or not you’re in poverty is determined by your income and your costs: not having enough resources to meet your essential costs is a defining feature of poverty.

A new poverty measure?

17 September 2018
Today, the Social Metrics Commission (SMC) has published the results of its research into a new way of measuring poverty. You may think that we already have a good way of measuring poverty, and that’s true, so what does this new offering from the SMC add?

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.

Something needs saying about universal credit and women – it is discrimination by design

17 August 2018
At a recent meeting on women and poverty, I was asked to speak about universal credit (UC). It forced me to think about the ways in which UC is hugely problematic for women, particularly mothers. Eventually I concluded it was a case of discrimination by design.

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.

It’s time to start listening: what the Department for Work and Pensions needs to learn about universal credit

12 July 2018
In the Commons last week, Work and Pensions ministers responded to concerns about universal credit by offering to look at individual constituency cases MPs were raising, where things might not be going quite right.