Editorial: low-income families face another bleak year

Issue 141 (Spring 2013)

Looking back at how low-income families fared in 2012 is a dispiriting exercise: minimal wage rises, the escalating price of essentials and benefit cuts all conspired to make it a dismal year.  Sadly, 2013 looks set to be no better: this year we will see, among other things, the introduction of the benefit cap which, for the first time since the 1970s, disconnects assistance from assessed need; the localisation of the social fund and of council tax benefit, which will result in many low-income families having to find the funds to pay council tax in the future; and the advent of the tougher regimes of both universal credit and personal independence payment.