Briefing Note for Stage Three - Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill

November 2017

This briefing note sets out CPAG in Scotland's strong support for the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill which introduces child poverty reduction targets which must be reached by 2030.

Britain Works


Work has been the biggest anti-poverty policy of recent decades, with support delivered under banners of ‘making work pay’, and calls for people to ‘work their way out of poverty’. However, people living in poverty are increasingly likely to be working. The UK’s wage fall since the 2008 financial crisis has been unmatched by any other large economy. This will be exacerbated by the Universal Credit roll out. Families are being pushed into financial hardship and work incentives damaged, particularly for second earners, single parents and those moving into self-employment.


November 2, 2017

Low and middle-income parents want to work, want permanent jobs with a sense of purpose and put a premium on job security - but inadequate pay, a lack of affordable childcare and poor opportunities for progression are holding them back, a survey by Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and Working Families finds. [1]

More than two fifths (43%) of part-time workers want to work more hours but are prevented from doing so (see below).

And working parents want permanent jobs (71%).

The UK unemployment rate currently stands at 4.3%, the lowest since 1975 (2).

Read more

Twenty-first century working welfare: the experiences of lone mothers and their children

Issue 158 (Autumn 2017)

‘A welfare system that recognises work is the best route out of poverty.’

‘The best route out of poverty is through work.’

It’s poverty, not worklessness

Issue 158 (Autumn 2017)

For the last 20 years there has been a mantra among the UK political classes that work is the best solution to poverty. It was the background to the welfare-to-work New Deal programmes in the 2000s. Since 2010, it has been reinforced with more benefit conditionality and punitive sanctions and it has been used to justify many of the austerity measures: the freezing of working-age benefits, the benefit cap, the two-child policy, cuts to employment and support allowance, the bedroom tax and rent limits in housing benefit.

The growth of emergency food provision to children

Issue 158 (Autumn 2017)

In 2016/17, Trussell Trust food banks provided 436,938 food parcels to children. The increasing use of food projects by children, together with evidence on the rising levels of food insecurity, has drawn attention to the level of hunger experienced by families with children across the UK. Hannah Lambie-Mumford reviews the research and suggests what the policy response should be.

More from Poverty 158

Editorial: Poverty 158

Issue 158 (Autumn 2017)

As this editorial is being written, Theresa May has just given her closing speech to the Conservative Party conference. Pressure has been building on the government to dial back austerity, improve the affordability of housing, do more to create financial security for young people, and fix its flagship welfare reform programme: the now infamous universal credit. The articles in this issue highlight some of the challenges it might have addressed: the cost of austerity for single parents, the rise of food bank use, and the growing problem of in-work poverty.

Protecting the vulnerable – how to keep 100% Council Tax Reduction in your area!


As the elected Mayor of Bedford Borough, in 2013 I faced 40 per cent cuts in local government financing, a new localism agenda and welfare reform. As part of welfare reform, local councils had to devise their own Council Tax Reduction Scheme to replace the Council Tax Benefit System, taking on this responsibility from central government.