Coronavirus | CPAG

Coronavirus

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.

Fixing Lunch: The case for expanding free school meals

31 August 2021
Free school meal (FSM) provision has been thrust into the media spotlight during the pandemic. But how widespread is FSM coverage? How do parents feel about FSM provision? And what do they think could be done to improve it?

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.

Post-pandemic futures: Social security reimagined

17 August 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the shortcomings of the UK’s social security system. As we move out of the pandemic, there is a need to grasp this opportunity to debate and start planning for a new and better social security settlement. In this briefing note, aimed at campaigners, policy makers, and those engaged in anti-poverty work, we argue that this must be an expansive debate that has the expertise of people with experience of poverty and social security at its centre. We reflect on the participatory work of Covid Realities, and on the ambitious and radical proposals for reform developed by its participants.

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. 

Falling Through the Net - Briefing 4

22 June 2021
This is the fourth in a series of regular briefings which highlight some of the persistent gaps in support that exist for children and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence of these gaps is drawn from our Early Warning System (EWS) which collects case studies from frontline practitioners working directly with families on the problems they are seeing with the social security system.

Not getting by: the increasing impact of the benefit cap

22 June 2021
Figures just released by the Department for Work and Pensions show that in February 2021, soon after the start of the third lockdown, 200,000 households were subject to the benefit cap. Behind this statistic are families having to get by on less than their assessed need because of the government’s decision to limit the amount of income any ‘non-working’ household can receive in social security. The pandemic has seen the number of capped households drastically increase, with the latest figures an increase of 153 per cent since February 2020, when 79,000 households were subject to the cap.

Understanding the jump in families affected by the benefit cap

22 June 2021
Today, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published the latest statistics on the number of households affected by the benefit cap in February 2021. This briefing summarises those statistics, explains how the benefit cap works and provides examples of how it affects real families using evidence from our Early Warning System.

A drop in the ocean: the need for investment in children at school

03 June 2021
Yesterday, the UK government announced the next phase of its Covid education recovery plan with £1.4 billion to be spent on tutoring pupils and training teachers in England. This falls far short of what’s really needed to ensure that – as the prime minister puts it – “no child is left behind”.

Hitting home: the benefit cap and child homelessness

31 May 2021
Since 2013, the benefit cap has meant that many families don’t have enough money to pay their rent. This isn’t a matter of opinion, it’s explicit in the way that benefits are calculated.