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Disabled young learners locked out of universal credit

08 December 2021
New regulations will come into force on 15 December 2021 that further restrict access to universal credit (UC) for disabled young people in education. This contradicts government policy to support disabled people ‘to live independently and achieve their potential’ by making it harder for them to advance their skills or in some cases complete basic education.

Policy briefing – The problem with universal credit’s assessment periods and how to fix it

22 November 2021
UC claimants paid weekly, two-weekly or four-weekly sometimes receive an additional pay cheque in a single UC assessment period. This causes the claimant’s UC award to drop significantly even when there is no change in their circumstances. CPAG frequently hears from working claimants struggling to manage financially because their UC income is so volatile.

Brighter futures: the future path of child poverty in Northern Ireland

11 November 2021
Without action, child poverty in Northern Ireland will rise over the next few years. A slow labour market recovery, a weakened social security system, and a growing income gap between families are contributing to a rising tide of child poverty. New analysis in this briefing paper shows that by 2024/25 child poverty is projected to rise to over 25 per cent. But the analysis also shows that this isn’t inevitable.

CPAG post-budget briefing

27 October 2021
There were some welcome announcements in today’s budget and spending review that will help support children and families on a low income, but this was not a budget that prioritised ending child poverty.

CPAG's submission to the Spending Review

08 October 2021
​​We are making recommendations to the government as part of its Spending Review.

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.

Children can't wait: investing in social security to reduce child poverty in Northern Ireland

26 August 2021
The upcoming Anti-Poverty Strategy is a chance for the Northern Irish Executive to invest in measures that make a difference for children. By setting out an ambitious vision, measurable targets, and by committing to investment in children, the Anti-Poverty Strategy can set us on a path to a future where no child grows up in poverty. This briefing by Save the Children UK and CPAG looks at some of the ways the Executive could achieve this. It examines how changes in social security would lift children out of poverty.

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.

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.