An unfair start in the UK

“I want Britain to be the world’s great meritocracy – a country where everyone has a fair chance to go as far as their talent and their hard work will allow… And I want Britain to be a place where advantage is based on merit not privilege; where it’s your talent and hard work that matter, not where you were born, who your parents are or what your accent sounds like.”

Theresa May, speech delivered September 2016

What does the Budget mean for universal credit (and how much will families benefit - or not)?

In yesterday’s Budget the Chancellor waited till the last minute to announce new money being put into universal credit (UC). That’s a sign of the political importance this issue now has, and tells us that years of campaigning are starting to cut through. Thanks are due to all our supporters, activists and friends who have helped us get to this point.

Children's Handbook Scotland 2018/2019 (11th edition) is out now

30 October 2018

The Children’s Handbook Scotland provides a complete guide to benefits and tax credits where children are living away from their parents, including children in kinship or foster care, children looked after by the local authority, and children at residential school, in residential care or in hospital.

Fully referenced to legislation and caselaw, and with easy-to-use check lists and examples, it remains an essential guide for welfare rights advisers, social workers and anyone working with families and children in Scotland.

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Dundee City Council launches its 4 Cost of the School Day pledges

29 October 2018

Following the findings of the Cost of the School Day Dundee report, we were delighted to work together with Dundee City Council to launch their four Cost of the School Day pledges at the new North East campus on Friday 26th October.

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BUDGET 2018: UNIVERSAL CREDIT MOVES WELCOME BUT ROOT AND BRANCH CHANGE MUST COME

October 29, 2018

Child Poverty Action Group warmly welcomes the Chancellor’s decision to increase the work allowances in universal credit by £1,000 but warns that a root and branch review of the design of universal credit is still needed, before the benefit is near fit for purpose. As yet there has been no announcement of an end to the benefits freeze. Since 2010 £37bn of funding has been removed from social security.

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Rising child poverty and rising concern

The number of children living in poverty in the UK is now at 4.1 million and will reach over 5 million by 2021, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. And children who are in poverty are now living, on average, further below the poverty line than they did 10 years ago. After making great progress at tackling child poverty, we’re now going backwards – at a time when unemployment is at a near historic low. This is cause for great concern, and not just for those in this country.

Welfare reform summit

Issue 161 (Winter 2018)

In April this year Staffordshire University hosted a welfare reform summit, funded by the Social Policy Association and delivered in partnership with CPAG and the Centre for Health and Development. The aim of the summit  was to explore the impact of welfare reform on claimants and the organisations that support them. Over 80 delegates attended from a wide range of backgrounds, including welfare rights and housing professionals, and social policy academics and students. A series of workshops gave delegates the opportunity to share their experience. Richard Machin, Dan Norris and Professor Martin Jones discuss the issues raised.

Rough justice: problems with universal credit assessment periods

Issue 161 (Winter 2018)

One in twenty universal credit cases submitted to CPAG’s Early Warning System to date relates to a problem with the way in which people’s income and circumstances are assessed on a strict monthly basis. Josephine Tucker discusses some of the problems which can arise, and provides possible solutions.

Getting poverty statistics right

Issue 161 (Winter 2018)

Poverty statistics are important. They help us know where progress is being made – or lost – and hold politicians to account. So it is worth asking whether the poverty statistics themselves are right. A new Resolution Foundation report suggests that existing poverty statistics need large corrections, with significant implications for what we think about UK poverty and how it has changed over the last two decades.

Editorial: Poverty 161

Issue 161 (Winter 2018)

What would it take to reverse child poverty increases in the next Budget?

On 29 October, the government has the chance to announce measures which would halt or reverse recent increases in child poverty, following the Prime Minister’s recent statement that austerity is coming to an end. What would such a Budget look like?