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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.

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.

CPAG's submission to the Comprehensive Spending Review

06 October 2020
Our submission to the government's forthcoming spending review focuses on strengthening the UK’s economic recovery from COVID-19 by prioritising jobs and skills; levelling up struggling families – helping children maximise their potential; and ensuring every young person receives a superb education.

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 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.