Child poverty targets
In 2016 the government planned to stop publishing statistics on children living in poverty. Following a lot of campaigning activity, the House of Lords rejected these plans. With the help of Rebecca and other supporters, we won our campaign: the government continues to publish statistics on child poverty each year.
Rebecca knows first-hand what it’s like to raise a family on not enough money:
"Anyone bringing up children will know the heartache of having to say to no to something the child wants. I dread Christmas, I hate it when I notice their trainers have got a hole in, or they bring another letter home from school... Food seems to be the only expense we have immediate control over, so that budget gets squeezed, and our home isn't as warm as we would like through the winter.
So when I heard that the government is planning to effectively give up on its duty to reduce child poverty, by scrapping child poverty targets, I was shocked. Instead of admitting they won’t hit that target in 2020, they plan to ignore child poverty completely and just monitor at ‘life chances’: whether parents are in work and how well kids do at their GCSEs."
Save tax credits
In the June 2015 budget, the government announced plans to cut tax credits which would have seen 3 million low-paid families lose an average of £1,350 a year. We campaigned intensively, and our analysis of what people in different low-paid jobs would lose from the cuts got lots of media coverage. The cuts were abandoned later that year.
In the run up to the 2015 election, we campaigned for child poverty to be a priority for the next government. We set out six steps in our programme for government, and asked supporters to talk to their candidates about what they’d do to tackle child poverty.
The battle to save local welfare provision
Living on a low income means it is barely possible to manage everyday costs, let alone one-off or unexpected expenses like replacing a broken cooker. Local welfare provision, which replaced parts of the social fund, is designed to help with these unexpected costs, but it was cut in 2014. Through our campaigning we managed to save some of the money from being lost - £74 million of the £170 million original funding was restored.
Food banks and sanctions
We campaigned with our supporters to highlight what drives food bank use. Our research found that a few changes to how the social security system works would save people the indignity of relying on charity to feed themselves or their families.