17 June 2020
In the latest Secure Futures paper, Adrian Sinfield examines the importance of preventing poverty, alongside alleviating it.
21 May 2020
The government’s economic response to Covid-19 has, in many ways, been expansive, but there has been a surprising blind spot in relation to the burdens faced by families with children.
14 May 2020
This is the fifth in a series of weekly briefings, Mind the Gaps, which highlight some of the 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.
14 May 2020
Now is the time for some clear thinking about our systems of social security and social protection. With millions of people claiming support through universal credit, the importance of a functioning and adequate social security system is obvious. Getting support to people as quickly as possible has understandably been a priority. But we should also be looking to the future, to ensure that we build a resilient system with popular support.
12 May 2020
Two disabled households who were left worse off after they were forced to move to universal credit (UC) because their existing benefits were wrongly stopped by the DWP today won a breakthrough case in the Court of Appeal. The result means that depending on what remedy the DWP chooses, the two households – and potentially thousands like them subject to wrongful decisions by the DWP – will be able to return to their previous benefits or have their UC awards topped up to the level of their previous benefits.
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 “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
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.
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.
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.
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?