Blog

“Nothing in the pot” – the impact of the universal credit cut

06 October 2021
Recently I was asked: “How do I feel about the decision to cut universal credit? And what are you expecting to cut back on?” Here is my honest answer.

The £20 cut - what now for families?

06 October 2021
The £20 cut to universal credit represents the biggest single cut to social security since World War II and is happening at the same time as food and heating costs are rising. This blog provides practical tips on how to support families struggling to stretch their shrinking budgets. You do not have to be a benefits expert to do this.

Challenging poverty in kinship care

01 October 2021
In Challenge Poverty Week 2021, Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland’s key message for kinship carers and those who support them is just how important good advice can be

The problem with the ‘grace period’

21 September 2021
The number of families affected by the government’s benefit cap stood at 187,000 in May 2021. These families are living on less than what they need because they are not in work or not considered to be working enough. On average, they are losing out on £238 per month.

Time for Lunch: why children in poverty are currently denied free school meals

03 September 2021
For children living in poverty, school should be a place where they can access learning and essential opportunities in the same way as their peers. Free school meals should be available so children can eat during their school day without any worry and parents have one less thing to think about. That way, children can focus on learning, playing and fully participating in their education. Unfortunately, for more than a third of children in poverty in the UK, access to a free daily meal at school is denied.

Back to school – supporting pupils from low-income families in England

01 September 2021
For many pupils, families and school staff, excitement has been building for the start of the new school year. However, for some families experiencing poverty, this can be a time of anxiety. A time of increased costs as uniforms, PE kits, travel cards and stationery are needed. But there are some straightforward steps that schools can take to ensure that all families and children get off to a great start.

Life in the pandemic

27 August 2021
Hello. My name is Jack. I’m 16 and I live in West Yorkshire. I’m the youngest of three sons. I have two older brothers aged 22 and 24, both of whom have moved out, so it’s just me and my Mom at home. I’m her young carer. She has been disabled since 2011, and we live off her disability benefits. This is an account of how I’ve been coping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Changing social security for the better

12 August 2021
In March 2021, parents and carers living on a low income met with parliamentarians over Zoom to mark a year of lockdown. At the meeting, facilitated as part of the Covid Realities research programme, parents set out what they believe needs to change if the future is to be a better one for all of us. 

A UC sink hole – the minimum income floor returns

30 July 2021
Last October, Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis tweeted a warning about the ‘huge sink hole awaiting many self-employed’ people when the suspension of universal credit’s minimum income floor ended. While the government extended the suspension, it now ends this week. Self-employed workers up and down the country will start to be affected (with some possible concessions) after 31 July, and may face huge financial difficulties as a result.   

Universal credit and work: the reality

21 July 2021
In attempting to justify the unjustifiable, namely the cut to universal credit that is due in October, secretary of state for work and pensions Thérèse Coffey said the government was: ‘shift[ing] the focus strongly on to getting people into work.’ But this is a cut that will affect millions of working families. The government has subjected our social security system to so many cuts and freezes that families desperately needed the £20 increase and it must stay, but universal credit’s very design still makes it hard for parents to escape poverty through work.