The cost of a child in 2018

August 20, 2018

The overall cost of a child over 18 years (including rent and childcare) is £150, 753 for a couple and £183,335 for a lone parent. But work doesn’t pay low-income families enough to meet a no-frills standard of living, new research from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) shows.(1)

A combination of rising prices, benefits and tax credits freezes, the introduction of the benefit cap and two-child limit, the bedroom tax, cuts to housing benefits and the rolling out of Universal Credit have hit family budgets hard. Life has been getting progressively tougher for families on low or modest incomes over the past ten years, with families on in-work and out-of-work benefits hardest hit, the report warns. 

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Something needs saying about universal credit and women – it is discrimination by design

At a recent meeting on women and poverty, I was asked to speak about universal credit (UC). It forced me to think about the ways in which UC is hugely problematic for women, particularly mothers. Eventually I concluded it was a case of discrimination by design. Here’s how it goes.

Last minute booking availability on training courses

13 August 2018

We have a few places left on the following courses coming up in the next few weeks - and still time to book your place;

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Too simple: the failure of universal credit assessment periods

In the ‘simple’ world of universal credit, monthly assessment periods are the supposedly ‘neat’ way of judging what financial support families should get based on their earnings and circumstances. For example, if someone starts earning more their universal credit is reduced.

SLAB Recruitment Opportunity

6 August 2018

Are you an experienced housing or benefits adviser, supervisor or trainer interested in making a difference?

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New report on monthly assessment in universal credit

6 August 2018

Our new report 'Rough justice' documents the problems caused by monthly assessment of pay and circumstances in universal credit, based on cases from our Early Warning System, and proposes solutions. 

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Universal credit assessment system is leaving claimants out of pocket

August 6, 2018

Working people claiming universal credit are having their benefits capped when they shouldn’t be, and losing the effects of ‘work allowances’ worth up to £258 per month simply because of the dates on which their paydays and universal credit 'assessment periods' happen to fall, new evidence from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) shows. Last month the Work and Pensions Secretary acknowledged the need to look at “ … payment cycles for those in work.” (3)

 In the worst cases workers are losing hundreds of pounds each year simply because their paydays clash with the monthly 'assessment periods' in universal credit (UC). Far from offering much-vaunted simplicity, universal credit rules leave many workers unable to predict what their payments will be from one month to the next. People who happen to move house at the ‘wrong’ point in their assessment period can also lose hundreds of pounds in help with rent.

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Latest tax credits and early years ebulletin available

31 July 2018

The July 2018 edition of CPAG in Scotland's Tax Credits and Early Years ebulletin is available.

Read up on pension credits for children, tax credits stats, overpayments and self-employed and much more. Sign up for the ebulletins here.

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Sea Gals - youngest team to swim channel - raise £5000

26 July 2018

Six girls from East London - Amelie Noor, Eve Napier, Grace Radford, Lucy Sims, Ruby Greer and Sasha Vinnicombe - successfully swam the English Channel from Dover to Cap Gris-Nez near Calais on 19 July. The 'Sea Gals' became the youngest female relay team to complete the challenge, in 13 hours and 23 minutes, raising over £5,000 for CPAG.

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Job Opportunity:

25 July 2018

Policy and Parliamentary Officer (Scotland)

(35 hours a week, with flexibility to offer part time hours)

£31,761 – £35,104

This is an exciting opportunity for someone with experience of developing and promoting evidence based policy solutions, a track record of working with policy makers and a strong desire to help end child poverty.

For more information and a job pack click here.

Closing date for applications is 9am, Friday 24th August 2018.

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