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Child poverty
Social security

Call for a stronger social security lifeline for children

We are all reeling from the effects of lockdown, but coronavirus has left many UK parents struggling to stay afloat. An extra £20 a week in social security could be the lifeline that pulls families through.

Written by:
Francesca Maddison
Date published:

This pandemic has shone a light on the experiences of families and children in poverty in the UK. JRF and Save the Children are working together on new research and analysis into people’s experiences. We share a joint mission to ensure families are supported through the lockdown and beyond it, and to prevent increasing numbers of children being pulled into poverty.

Together we are advocating for the UK Government to extend the social security lifeline for families with children, to ease the intense financial pressures of the coronavirus pandemic. Families are struggling to weather the storm of the coronavirus crisis as income losses and rising costs are pulling them under:

  • Our new research into the experiences of families with children claiming Universal Credit or Child Tax Credit has shown that the crisis is causing 7 in 10 of these families to cut back on essentials, 6 in 10 to borrow money and over 5 in 10 to be behind on rent or other essential bills.
  • Too many children are going without due to income losses and the pressure that the lockdown has put on already overstretched budgets. Whilst the economy and the labour market recovers, it is more important than ever that our social security system anchors families so they can weather this storm.


JRF and Save the Children are therefore urgently calling for the Government’s lifeline measures to be extended for families with children, with an urgent, temporary, £20 per week increase to the child element of Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit to support those struggling to stay afloat and help prevent another wave of families being swept into hardship.

Sign the petition to the Government to take action and help families get through this crisis - this is a chance to change their futures and stop the impact of coronavirus lasting a lifetime.


Playground with frozen grass during winter in the UK.

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