Coronavirus

Documenting life on a low income this winter

10 December 2021
Between July 2020 and July 2021, we worked together to document life on a low income during the Covid-19 pandemic. Through the Covid Realities research programme, over 100 parents and carers kept online diaries about what everyday life was like, and took part in online discussion groups to explore what needs to change and why. As a participant (Kim) and a researcher (Ruth) working together on this project, we wanted so share our reflections.

DWP ending universal credit claims and demanding whole-award repayments

13 November 2021
People who claimed universal credit at the start of the pandemic when face-to-face identity checks were suspended have had their claims stopped and demands for the repayment of their entire award, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) reports.

London Calling: "Stretched too far"

15 October 2021
This report pulls together the views and experiences shared by parents and young people in the capital during the first year of the London Calling project. It looks at the key barriers to a good quality of life for children and families living on a low income in London in 2021, examines the effect of the pandemic on these barriers, and sets out what CPAG’s panel of low-income parents in London want the future to look like for themselves and their families.

Response to announcement of a Household Support Grant

30 September 2021
Responding to today’s Government announcement of a Household Support Grant, chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group Alison Garnham said: "Ministers are right to worry about low-income families, but now isn’t the time for stop-gap measures. Grants offer no stability to millions of struggling households, and will leave far too many out of pocket when the £20 universal credit cut hits. Investment in local support is necessary and welcome – but unless government drops the £20 cut, families will still face a living standards crisis this winter and beyond."

Response to announcement of a Household Support Grant

30 September 2021
Responding to today’s Government announcement of a Household Support Grant, chief executive of Child Poverty Action Group Alison Garnham said: “Ministers are right to worry about low-income families, but now isn’t the time for stop-gap measures. Grants offer no stability to millions of struggling households, and will leave far too many out of pocket when the £20 universal credit cut hits. Investment in local support is necessary and welcome – but unless government drops the £20 cut, families will still face a living standards crisis this winter and beyond.”

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.