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Frozen out: government’s silent treatment on Welfare Reform and Work Bill

21 December 2015
Last week the Welfare Reform and Work Bill entered committee stage in the House of Lords. The bill will scrap all the government’s child poverty targets and measures, and make sweeping cuts to social security. Given the wide-ranging changes it seeks to make, it is surprising – and worrying – that ministers have provided so little detail on how the new measures will work and what the impacts will be on families with children.

The great child poverty conjuring trick

11 December 2015
Now you see it, now you don't. Steve Bell sums up the government's plans to scrap child poverty targets. Instead of measuring and acting on child poverty, they just want to measure how many children have parents who are out of work and how well they do at their GCSEs.

Our letter to the Guardian: Ending child poverty starts with counting it

08 December 2015
This letter was published in the Guardian on 7 December 2015. Ten years ago, on his first day as party leader, David Cameron vowed that “the test for our policies will not be how they affect the better off, but how they help the worst-off in our country”.

Now you see it, now you don't. The government's magic trick on child poverty.

07 December 2015
Now you see it…  Now you don’t.  The government’s rustled up a party trick for the kids this Christmas. They’re going to make 3.7 million of them disappear. Britain’s children aren’t going anywhere, of course, particularly those who are growing up poor.

Looking at the tax credits cuts ahead of the Autumn Statement

24 November 2015

What do experts and professionals think of the ‘local welfare safety net’?

17 November 2015
Does local discretion on social security deliver ‘localism in action’ or a postcode lottery? That’s one of the questions being asked by the Commons Work and Pensions select committee in looking at the interaction between the national benefits system and locally-run schemes.

Small steps forward on sanctions

13 November 2015
In many ways, benefit sanctions offer the holy grail of public policy: the opportunity to find small changes that make a big difference, at little or no cost to the public purse. In its belated response to the Work and Pensions Committee’s report on sanctions in March of this year, the government has outlined a number of such policy changes.

When Prime Ministers attack...

12 November 2015
A few weeks away from marking a decade as his party’s leader, this week David Cameron had the benefit of not one, but two former Prime Ministers warning him over his poverty and inequality legacy.

Who loses what from tax credit cuts?

26 October 2015
Today the Lords vote on government policies to cut tax credits, the extra support people on low wages receive to ‘top up’ their incomes. With over two thirds of children growing up in poverty living in a working family, tax credits are a vital tool to help families make ends meet.

How should we measure poverty?

16 October 2015
Writing in the Times, Tim Montgomerie makes important arguments on the role of statistics in government. Accurate, timely statistics measuring things that are of interest from a public policy perspective can provide the evidence base that drives intelligent policy.