Benefit levels | CPAG

Benefit levels

Poor children need a Coronavirus bonus

26 March 2020
The increase to the universal credit (UC) standard allowance and the working tax credit basic element by £20 per week as part of the government’s response to the Coronavirus is welcome. According to the Resolution Foundation[1] “Having recently fallen to their lowest real-terms value since the early 1990s, the main adult rate of unemployment benefits is now at its highest ever level, as the chart below shows. Relative to average earnings, it is at its highest level since 1998-99

Coronavirus: Child Poverty Action Group calls for emergency child payment for families hit by school closures

16 March 2020
Child Poverty Action Group is urging the Government to increase payments for children if schools close because of Coronavirus, to protect children in low-income families facing extra financial pressure and the loss of free school meals. Ideally the payments could be made through a £10 per week uplift in child benefit for the duration of the pandemic.

Briefing for Lords debate on social security uprating

05 March 2020
It is of course welcome that after a four-year freeze, most working-age benefits are now to be uprated in line with inflation through this uprating order. However, this step does nothing to reverse any of the cuts to benefits in recent years: it will only keep benefits at the same real-terms value they have this year, and ‘lock in’ the current shortfall. It does nothing to compensate for the losses caused to families by years of failure to uprate benefits adequately while prices for food, bills and clothing have continued to rise. If we are to restore families’ living standards and start addressing rising poverty, benefits will need to rise by more than inflation to compensate for what has been lost.

Tax and secure futures

11 February 2020
The tax system does not raise enough money. But if the tax system is to support an effective social security system, reforms must go further than raising more money. The tax system should support the three principles that CPAG has recommended for an effective social security system.

There's nothing basic about basic income

22 January 2020
In recent years, there has been a lot of talk about basic income. But what exactly is basic income? And what would the economic effects be of such a comprehensive change to the tax-benefit system?

Is food the right response to child hunger?

13 January 2020
A Mori poll for the Trussell Trust, published on 16 October in the Daily Mirror, showed more than half the British public think food banks are an embarrassment to this country and 7 in 10 think they should not exist in a modern society. They think it’s the government’s responsibility to deal with it. They are right. More people than ever, 21%, say ‘poverty and inequality’ is the most important issue facing Britain - the highest rate since 1997.

A child-centred reform of children's social security

18 December 2019
As part of our Secure Futures for Children and Families project, Megan A. Curran, PhD, postdoctoral research scientist at the Center on Poverty and Social Policy, Columbia University, examines how the social security system could be reformed to put children at the centre in this paper.

Why give money to people who ‘don’t need it’? The case against intensive means-testing

05 November 2019
Having a targeted safety net – or means-testing – can consistently miss the mark. While it’s supposed to target social security payments, it is not always the most effective way to reach the people we might define as ‘needing help most’. Perhaps counter-intuitively, more universal support, such as child benefit for families with children, or personal independence payment (PIP) for certain people with disabilities, may reach more of the target group, but simply and without stigma.

The problem with means-testing

04 November 2019
As part of our Secure Futures for Children and Families project, our CEO Alison Garnham looks at the problems with means-testing in the social security system.  

Pushing Back: Our take on life in poverty in London

18 October 2019
This report has been developed by the A Different Take London panel. We are a group of children, young people and parents with experience of living on a low income, and people from Child Poverty Action Group and the University of Leeds. Between January-June 2019 we have been discussing our own experiences and priorities and talking to the people in our communities, to develop our own agenda around the most important issues affecting the lives of people in poverty and what we think should be done about them.