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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.

Mind the gaps - briefing 1

16 April 2020
This is the first 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.

A manifesto for ending child poverty

01 November 2019
This election period, we want all candidates from all parties to make a commitment to tackle child poverty. We've put together the big things we're calling for from the next government in a manifesto. We want the next government to invest in children's benefits, bring in a child poverty strategy and build a more effective social security system for us all. 

Opposition Day Debate: Pause and fix of roll-out of Universal Credit briefing for MPs

18 October 2017
Read our briefing for MPs in advance of the Opposition Day Debate: Pause and fix of roll-out of Universal Credit, after Prime Minister’s Questions, Wednesday 18th October 2017.

Work and Pensions Select Committee Inquiry into Universal Credit - CPAG's response

20 March 2017
The Work and Pensions Select Committee was so concerned about evidence heard during its inquiry into progress with the implementation of universal credit, that it has re-opened its inquiry to gather more evidence.

Broken promises: What has happened to support for low-income working families under universal credit

01 March 2017
This briefing presents some of the analysis to be published in a forthcoming report assessing the impacts of cuts to benefits from 2010 to 2020.  This briefing focuses on changes to universal credit since it was first legislated in 2012 and their effects on family incomes, work incentives and poverty rates. It also includes the effect of real-terms cuts to child benefit which took place during the same period.

The effectiveness of social security at tackling child poverty

18 March 2014
While child poverty is responsive to, and requires, many different types of policy intervention, international evidence shows that social security is an essential tool for reducing child poverty.