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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.

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.

CPAG's submission to the Spending Review

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

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.

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.

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.

Fixing Lunch: The case for expanding free school meals

31 August 2021
Free school meal (FSM) provision has been thrust into the media spotlight during the pandemic. But how widespread is FSM coverage? How do parents feel about FSM provision? And what do they think could be done to improve it?

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.