I had a phone call from Scottish and Southern Electrics recently to let me know they have decided to expand the eligibility criteria of the Warm Home Discount to include low-income families with children on free school meals. The Warm Home Discount is a rebate that people in fuel poverty can apply for from their energy companies to help with their bills. This isn’t paid automatically to low-income families, which is what we would like, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction for children in fuel poverty.
Wednesday 6 June 2012 by Carol Lever
Wednesday 18 January 2012 by Carol Lever
Save the Children is supporting Big Energy Week, a campaign by Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland to advise people how they can cut energy bills and make their homes more energy efficient.
Thursday 20 October 2011 by Carol Lever
The Hills interim review on fuel poverty released today, whilst very welcome, didn’t say anything new for the people living in fuel poverty. If anything it reiterated how serious this problem is for many families in poverty in England.
Wednesday 14 September 2011 by Carol Lever
I joined Anne and other group members and residents of Knutsford to show support for the launch of our campaign to help low-to-middle income families with the high cost of childcare.
Holding up placards with “Make Work Pay” and “Childcare Costs Jobs”, the group wanted to draw George Osborne’s attention to the need for him to give families the support they need with childcare costs.
No family should be priced out of work because of childcare costs
It shows that many low-income parents, especially those in severe poverty (earning £12,000 or less), are being priced out of work because of childcare costs.
41% of parents in severe poverty affected by the cut in support through tax credits said they would consider giving up work and 25% said they’re considering reducing their hours.
Cutting back on essentials
Parents are also cutting back on household essentials like food, as many pay the equivalent of their mortgage or rent each month on their childcare.
Hana a local mum said: “I’m a potter by profession but I could never afford good quality childcare. It’s shocking how much it costs. I’ll wait until my son goes to school before I can start work again.”
We’re calling on the government to increase the funding available so that parents can claim up to 80% of childcare costs (up to existing weekly maximums) when the new universal credit is introduced in 2013.
Act now to demand George Osborne makes childcare affordable for all
Tuesday 11 January 2011 by Carol Lever
Today saw the release of a new brief by Save the Children called the UK Poverty Rip Off, showing how the poverty premium levied at the poorest households has gone up from £1,000 and now stands at nearly £1,300.
Lack of access to the best online prices, bank accounts and managing their budget via cash all adds together to give the poorest families the worst deals around. The result is a poverty premium that costs the poorest families more for the same energy, cookers and household items, credit and insurance than their wealthier peers.
Tuesday 16 November 2010 by Carol Lever
I was in Manchester on Friday for the first ever North of England ‘poverty summit’. This year’s summit, held at the Contact Theatre, Manchester was attended by almost 200 people.
Friday 28 May 2010 by Carol Lever
The State of the Nation Report released today makes for depressing reading. Income inequality in the UK is now at its highest level since comparable statistics began in 1961. Living in income poverty means being unable to have the standard of living many take for granted. It also affects children’s’ future chances and opportunities but income poverty is also having an impact on social mobility. Save the Children has long highlighted that living in income poverty as a child is associated with increased risks of lower school performance and the risk of unemployment in later life.
Wednesday 26 May 2010 by Carol Lever
An important day for children in poverty as the new government commits to a ‘pupil premium’ in the Education and Children’s Bill. There was no figure attached to this promise but we’re hoping to see £3,000 spent per pupil on free school meals.
Thursday 29 April 2010 by Carol Lever
VAT rise is not the answer to the deficit it will only hurt families in severe poverty.
Wednesday 31 March 2010 by Carol Lever
Despite continued political promises to close the educational attainment gap, it remains wide open – rich and poor children do not perform equally at school. Children receiving free school meals are far less likely to achieve five A*- C grades than their better off classmates.