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Universal credit and access to justice: applying the law automatically

20 September 2021
This report focuses on some of the problems UC claimants are experiencing both making a claim for UC and receiving accurate payments, which appear to be caused by the digitalisation and automation of the UC system. Claimants who have specific life circumstances are experiencing similar problems because the UC computer system seems unable to calculate their UC payment correctly and in accordance with the law.

A minimum income guarantee in Scotland

14 September 2021
What is a minimum income guarantee? There are numerous models that have been proposed, but the general idea is that everyone should be entitled to a minimum level of income. In Scotland, it has been suggested that this level should be set with reference to a minimum income standard. However, it is often assumed that this guarantee can only be delivered by some kind of means-tested payment to lift incomes up to the threshold, but as we shall see this minimum can actually be achieved in a number of ways.

Post-pandemic futures: Social security reimagined

17 August 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the shortcomings of the UK’s social security system. As we move out of the pandemic, there is a need to grasp this opportunity to debate and start planning for a new and better social security settlement. In this briefing note, aimed at campaigners, policy makers, and those engaged in anti-poverty work, we argue that this must be an expansive debate that has the expertise of people with experience of poverty and social security at its centre. We reflect on the participatory work of Covid Realities, and on the ambitious and radical proposals for reform developed by its participants.

Universal credit: what needs to change to make it fit for children and families?

21 July 2021
Universal credit (UC) is now the main working-age benefit in the UK. Since its inception, UC has been plagued with administrative issues and budget cuts and, as a result, its early promise to reduce poverty has yet to be realised. When the pandemic hit, swift changes were needed to make UC fit for purpose including an increase in the amount of financial support provided and a relaxation of some of its most punitive rules. However, the vast majority of these positive changes have already been reversed, or are due to be reversed in the coming months.

Falling Through the Net - Briefing 4

22 June 2021
This is the fourth in a series of regular briefings which highlight some of the persistent 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.

Falling Through the Net - briefing 2

25 February 2021
This is the second in a series of regular briefings which highlight some of the persistent 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.

Poverty in the pandemic: The impact of coronavirus on low-income families and children

25 August 2020
Coronavirus has turned the lives of families with children upside down. Many parents have lost jobs or been furloughed and many schools and childcare facilities have largely been closed, leaving those still in work facing the impossible task of balancing work with childcare and home schooling. These challenges are particularly acute for low-income families. This new report from CPAG and the Church of England offers an important insight into the day-to-day struggles that families have been dealing with, as well as their strength and resilience in managing such an array of challenges on a limited income.

Prevent poverty to secure the future for children and families

17 June 2020
In the latest Secure Futures paper, Adrian Sinfield examines the importance of preventing poverty, alongside alleviating it.

Mind the gaps - briefing 7

11 June 2020
This is the seventh in a series of 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.

Mind the gaps - briefing 2

23 April 2020
This is the second 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.