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David Cameron's attempts to move the goalposts on poverty are a disaster - but don't take my word for it

24 June 2015
The failure of the Government’s child poverty approach must not be compounded by moving the goalposts.You can't define away poverty - and David Cameron himself has admitted that.

What we didn’t talk about in the election

22 June 2015
We really are living in the age of the permanent campaign. The general election was just weeks ago, but the main parties and political commentators have moved on and are looking at events through the lens of the 2020 election. Before that happens, it’s worth noting something pretty peculiar about the 2015 campaign.

Child benefit and the fight against poverty

05 June 2015
Child benefit is one of the strongest tools we have in reducing poverty, and it is vital that it is protected. But it can’t do the job on its own. We urgently need a comprehensive, action-focused strategy for reducing and then ending child poverty. The road ahead is long, and so we must start by protecting what we already have.

Child poverty figures – fix the problem, not the warning light

03 June 2015
On 25th June the Department for Work and Pensions will release updated figures on poverty, including child poverty, for 2013-14. These figures were delayed until after the election, meaning the last government went into a General Election with child poverty figures available only up to the end of March 2013 –  that’s before most of the austerity-driven benefit cuts had been implemented.

Old problems and new: advising people on benefits issues at Tower Hamlets’ food banks

29 May 2015
We know that up to two-thirds of the people turning to the foodbank for help are having problems with the benefits system. That’s why since August 2013, a CPAG adviser funded by the Pears Foundation has been working in a foodbank centre in Tower Hamlets, helping people resolve the benefit problems which have brought them there, and gathering evidence about how and why people use foodbanks.

Why we need a 'triple lock' on children's benefits

22 May 2015
Four in ten Londoners in families aren’t able to afford a minimum standard of living. For lone parent families, this rises to two thirds. These were the findings of new research as part of the Minimum Income Standards (MIS) project from Loughborough University, funded by Trust for London.

Good news for families? The costs of the Conservatives are higher than you think

22 May 2015
“Good news for family budgets” is how the Chancellor welcomed this week’s (negative) inflation figures, but the pinch parents have been feeling in the pocket can’t just be put down to rising prices. It’s also about how we’ve been short-changing our children."

Six steps for the new government

11 May 2015
Newly re-elected, David Cameron has appointed his cabinet to lead the 2015 government. But what will he, and his ministers, do to turn back a rising tide of child poverty? In addition to the Prime Minister himself, George Osborne and Iain Duncan-Smith will be back in their pre-election roles of Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Benefits Street - where's the reality?

11 May 2015
It’s back. Tonight sees the return of Benefits Street on TV screens. Series 2 focuses on Kingston Road on the Tilery Estate in Stockton-On-Tees. Channel 4’s promotional blurb claims: ‘Benefit Street reveals the reality of life on benefits, as the residents of streets in areas hit hard by the recession invite cameras into their tight-knit communities.’   

How has the coalition done on child poverty?

06 May 2015
When George Osborne claimed in last month’s Budget to have reduced child poverty, I’m sure mine weren’t the only raised eyebrows. Michael Gove made a similar claim yesterday, that the government has ‘been able to save £21bn in the welfare budget and at the same time reduce inequality and reduce child poverty in this country’.