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"I want my voice to be heard": What London families want from their local councillors

12 April 2022
London is one of the greatest and richest cities in the world. But for too many Londoners and their children, proximity to the city’s affluence does not mean sharing in this wealth – adequate employment, affordable housing and fit-for-purpose childcare are often out of reach. In fact, after accounting for housing costs, London has the highest rate of child poverty of any region in the UK. We asked our London Calling panel what they want their councillors to prioritise. They highlighted five main themes: childcare, free school meals, housing, children’s activities and community engagement.

“It’s heart-breaking that I feel I cannot fully provide for my youngest without struggling”: The impact of five years of the two-child limit policy

06 April 2022
Under the two-child limit, parents are not entitled to any extra support through universal credit or child tax credit to help with raising a third or subsequent child born after 6 April 2017. This means they lose out on up to £2,935 a year, and puts families’ budgets under enormous strain. Five years after the introduction of the two-child limit, an estimated 1.4 million children in 400,000 families are now affected by the policy. Unless it is abolished, the number of children affected will reach 3 million, as more children are born under the policy.

The Cost of Having Fun at School

28 March 2022
The Cost of Having Fun at School captures the experiences of pupils and parents with school fun, highlighting what we've heard from Cost of the School Day focus groups with over 8,000 pupils as well as the views of parents and carers.

'You have to take it back to the bricks’: Reforming emergency support to reduce demand for food banks

22 March 2022
Emergency support plays a small but vital role in the social security system. It is there to help families through one-off shocks that cause a sudden drop in income or increase in costs, such as the onset of a health problem or the washing machine breaking down. But, in practice, many families are not getting the support they need when they need it, and this is contributing to the rising demand for food banks.

Covid Realities: documenting life on a low income during the pandemic

24 January 2022
The Covid Realities research programme documented the everyday experiences of families with children living on a low income during the pandemic across the UK. This final report summarises the evidence.

The cost of a child in 2021

13 December 2021
Child Poverty Action Group’s annual cost of a child report looks at how much it costs families to provide a minimum socially acceptable standard of living for their children. Since 2012, this report series has systematically monitored the minimum cost of a child. This report updates those calculations for 2021 and outlines the factors affecting the latest figures. The total cost of raising a child to the age of 18 now stands at £160,692 for a couple and £193,801 for a lone parent.

Transforming social security: How do we provide secure futures for children and families?

03 December 2021
Our Secure Futures for Children and Families project asks the question: What does a social security system that provides a secure future for children and families look like? Through a programme of roundtable events with different audiences, four citizens’ juries, and a series of written contributions, we have explored this question in detail. This report brings together what we learned from these activities.

London Calling: "Stretched too far"

15 October 2021
This report pulls together the views and experiences shared by parents and young people in the capital during the first year of the London Calling project. It looks at the key barriers to a good quality of life for children and families living on a low income in London in 2021, examines the effect of the pandemic on these barriers, and sets out what CPAG’s panel of low-income parents in London want the future to look like for themselves and their families.

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.

Importance of the £20 a week Universal Credit increase in mitigating social security losses to families since 2010

06 September 2021
This report presents analysis by CPAG, commissioned by Action for Children, on the importance of the £20 increase in mitigating the damage caused by social security losses over the previous decade for a typical working family.