Universal credit | CPAG

Universal credit

Briefings and reports

Disabled young learners locked out of universal credit

New regulations will come into force on 15 December 2021 that further restrict access to universal credit (UC) for disabled young people in education. This contradicts government policy to support disabled people ‘to live independently and achieve their potential’ by making it harder for them to advance their skills or in some cases complete basic education.

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

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.

Policy briefing – The problem with universal credit’s assessment periods and how to fix it

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.

News

CPAG's response to the spending review

27 October 2021
Responding to today’s Spending Review, Sara Ogilvie, policy director at Child Poverty Action Group said the lower universal credit taper rate is “good news”, but added: "The long-overdue decision to lower the UC taper rate will help lots of low earners. But there was nothing for those who cannot work – carers, those with young children and people who are sick or disabled - who face the same cost pressures as other households and will still have a black hole in their finances after the universal credit cut...

Response to announcement of a Household Support Grant

30 September 2021
Responding to today’s Government announcement of a Household Support Grant, chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group Alison Garnham said: “Ministers are right to worry about low-income families, but now isn’t the time for stop-gap measures. Grants offer no stability to millions of struggling households, and will leave far too many out of pocket when the £20 universal credit cut hits. Investment in local support is necessary and welcome – but unless government drops the £20 cut, families will still face a living standards crisis this winter and beyond.”

Supreme Court decision on two-child limit

09 July 2021
A hugely disappointing judgment which fails to give any meaningful recognition to the reality of the policy on the ground and its desperately unfair impact on children.

Blogs

Budget 2021: Reinstating the £20 to universal credit

26 October 2021
Tomorrow, the chancellor will give his budget speech. Some of the key announcements have already been revealed. We know for example that the minimum wage will increase to £9.50 an hour for those aged 23 and over. While this is a welcome change, it fails to compensate for the £20 a week cut to universal credit which has hit both working families and those who cannot work.

Swings and roundabouts? Does the increase in the minimum wage make up for the universal credit cut?

26 October 2021
The government talks about increasing the minimum wage to ensure work pays. It also positions the increase to £9.50 an hour from April as making up for the cut to universal credit (UC). But to what extent will the increase help families reeling from the cut?

Poverty and mental health: causes and effects 

10 October 2021
Universal credit has been high in the headlines this week as the government cut it by £20 a week. We joined many others in strongly condemning this cut, knowing just how much pressure it will place on already-struggling families. Some have argued that the cut might harm the mental health of those affected, and parents have expressed this fear to us. The social security system should be a source of support for those experiencing mental health problems, rather than a cause of those problems. This World Mental Health Day, we are reflecting on how well the system provides that support.