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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.

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.

Poverty in the pandemic: An update on the impact of coronavirus on low-income families and children

14 December 2020
In August, Child Poverty Action Group and the Church of England published a report, Poverty in the Pandemic, which offered a glimpse into the lives of low-income families trying to survive the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. This report provides an update on how families with children are managing financially, based on an additional 393 online survey responses received in the period since the last report was published, up to the end of November 2020.

The cost of a child in 2020

29 October 2020
The year 2020 has put unprecedented pressures on families bringing up children. Parents across the world have taken on new challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic in keeping their children healthy and safe as well as properly fed, educated and entertained at a time when they have been required to stay at home, and when many families’ livelihoods have been threatened. Our cost of a child report looks at what items families need to provide a minimum socially acceptable standard of living for their children in 2020.

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.

Pushing Back: Our take on life in poverty in London

18 October 2019
This report has been developed by the A Different Take London panel. We are a group of children, young people and parents with experience of living on a low income, and people from Child Poverty Action Group and the University of Leeds. Between January-June 2019 we have been discussing our own experiences and priorities and talking to the people in our communities, to develop our own agenda around the most important issues affecting the lives of people in poverty and what we think should be done about them.

Social security – where have we been and where are we going?

10 October 2019
As our Secure Futures for Children and Families gets underway, our CEO Alison Garnham looks back and the history of the social security system, what has gone wrong and what the future could look like. 

The Cost of a Child in 2019

04 September 2019
Our annual Cost of a Child report this year finds that the overall cost of a child up to age 18 (including rent and childcare) is £185,000 for lone parents (up 19% since 2012) and £151,000 for couples (up 5.5% since 2012). The gap between lone parents’ actual income and what they need to meet family needs has grown sharply: lone parents working full time for the so-called national living wage ('NLW') are 21% (£80 a week) short of what they need – after paying for rent, childcare and council tax - a gap that has more than doubled from 10% since 2012.

The Cost of a Child in 2018

20 August 2018
Our latest Cost of a Child report shows what it costs to raise a child to age 18, based on what the public thinks is a minimum standard of living. The overall cost of a child (including rent and childcare) is £150,753 for a couple and £183,335 for a lone parent.

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.