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Mind the gaps - briefing 5

14 May 2020
This is the fifth in a series of weekly briefings, Mind the Gaps, which highlight some of the gaps in support that exist for children and families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Evidence of these gaps is drawn from our Early Warning System (EWS) which collects case studies from frontline practitioners working directly with families on the problems they are seeing with the social security system.

Briefing for Lords debate on social security uprating

05 March 2020
It is of course welcome that after a four-year freeze, most working-age benefits are now to be uprated in line with inflation through this uprating order. However, this step does nothing to reverse any of the cuts to benefits in recent years: it will only keep benefits at the same real-terms value they have this year, and ‘lock in’ the current shortfall. It does nothing to compensate for the losses caused to families by years of failure to uprate benefits adequately while prices for food, bills and clothing have continued to rise. If we are to restore families’ living standards and start addressing rising poverty, benefits will need to rise by more than inflation to compensate for what has been lost.

Tax and secure futures

11 February 2020
The tax system does not raise enough money. But if the tax system is to support an effective social security system, reforms must go further than raising more money. The tax system should support the three principles that CPAG has recommended for an effective social security system.

There's nothing basic about basic income

22 January 2020
In recent years, there has been a lot of talk about basic income. But what exactly is basic income? And what would the economic effects be of such a comprehensive change to the tax-benefit system?

A child-centred reform of children's social security

18 December 2019
As part of our Secure Futures for Children and Families project, Megan A. Curran, PhD, postdoctoral research scientist at the Center on Poverty and Social Policy, Columbia University, examines how the social security system could be reformed to put children at the centre in this paper.

The problem with means-testing

04 November 2019
As part of our Secure Futures for Children and Families project, our CEO Alison Garnham looks at the problems with means-testing in the social security system.  

Pushing Back: Our take on life in poverty in London

18 October 2019
This report has been developed by the A Different Take London panel. We are a group of children, young people and parents with experience of living on a low income, and people from Child Poverty Action Group and the University of Leeds. Between January-June 2019 we have been discussing our own experiences and priorities and talking to the people in our communities, to develop our own agenda around the most important issues affecting the lives of people in poverty and what we think should be done about them.

Social security – where have we been and where are we going?

10 October 2019
As our Secure Futures for Children and Families gets underway, our CEO Alison Garnham looks back and the history of the social security system, what has gone wrong and what the future could look like. 

Secure Futures for Children and Families: Where we are now and what needs to change

10 October 2019
Secure Futures for Children and Families will ask the question: What does a social security system that provides a secure future for children and families look like? This launch paper sets out where the social security system is now and what needs to change.

The Cost of a Child in 2019

04 September 2019
Our annual Cost of a Child report this year finds that the overall cost of a child up to age 18 (including rent and childcare) is £185,000 for lone parents (up 19% since 2012) and £151,000 for couples (up 5.5% since 2012). The gap between lone parents’ actual income and what they need to meet family needs has grown sharply: lone parents working full time for the so-called national living wage ('NLW') are 21% (£80 a week) short of what they need – after paying for rent, childcare and council tax - a gap that has more than doubled from 10% since 2012.