The future of a universal child benefit in the UK is currently under threat. Here Jonathan Bradshaw looks at how the UK compares with other European Union countries in its provision of child benefits and asks what the introduction of a means test will mean for families.
What does poverty mean for the children and young people themselves? Why are their voices missing from the current debate?
Although international migration has always been a feature of national life, this aspect of population change has increased over the last twenty years. While many migrant families have a reasonable income and a few are very prosperous, migrant children are disproportionally represented among children living in poverty.
Since the late 1990s, successive governments have engaged in the process of welfare reform. A cross-party consensus has emerged, which prioritises moving benefit recipients into work and increasing the role of private and voluntary providers in delivering employment services.
Ignorance on the part of central and local government officials, exacerbated by the pressure of budget constraints, make migrants and their families particularly vulnerable to being unlawfully refused access to welfare benefits, housing and social services.
Many different groups of migrant children may be at particular risk of poor health and limited access to healthcare.
Simon Osborne reviews the rules under which most existing claims of benefit on the basis of incapacity for work are being transferred to claims for employment and support allowance (ESA), with entitlement reassessed.