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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.

Post-COVID policy: child poverty, social security and housing

20 July 2021
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the life of every child and their family in the country. Families with children have been among the worst affected, with job losses and increased costs of living from repeated lockdowns and school closures, causing many families to struggle financially. The pandemic has made life much harder for low-income households, those already living in insecure housing and at risk of homelessness, and those with precarious immigration status.

Understanding the latest data on the two-child limit

15 July 2021
The data out today shows that, in April 2021, 1.1 million children were affected by the two-child limit – 237,000 more than the previous year.

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.

Understanding the jump in families affected by the benefit cap

22 June 2021
Today, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published the latest statistics on the number of households affected by the benefit cap in February 2021. This briefing summarises those statistics, explains how the benefit cap works and provides examples of how it affects real families using evidence from our Early Warning System.

Tackling Poverty - Briefing for MSPs

07 June 2021
A briefing outlining the current situation in regards to poverty in Scotland, the progress that has been made so far in tackling poverty and the steps that can be taken to meet child poverty targets, including taking action to double the Scottish child payment in the first year of this parliament.

Briefing for child food poverty debate

20 May 2021
A briefing for MPs for the child food poverty debate on 24 May.

The Cost of Missing Lunchtime: A briefing on free school meals in the North East

12 May 2021
New calculations carried out by Child Poverty Action Group, Children North East and the North East Child Poverty Commission show that one in four North East children living below the UK poverty line (over 35,000 children) are not currently eligible for free school meals, and therefore miss out on the many proven benefits associated with the policy. In addition, more than one in ten North East children (11 per cent) who are eligible for free school meals do not take up this offer, meaning they do not benefit from the support that they are entitled to.

Programme for Government 2021 - 2026

29 April 2021
CPAG in Scotland's Programme for Government outlines the key policy and investments that must be made by the next Scottish Government in order to ensure families have the resources they need to give their children a decent start in life

Extended school provision

28 April 2021
Schools have a unique place within their communities. With an extended school day, schools can and do support children’s development and learning, support mental health and wellbeing, mitigate the effects of child poverty, and help prevent poverty by supporting parents to work.