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CPAG Research

A CPAG Timeline


1965: Peter Townsend and Brian Abel Smith publish ‘The Poor and the Poorest’, CPAG founded. Memo presented to Harold Wilson in December 1965.

1966: Tony Lynes appointed secretary of CPAG, first branches and first issue of ‘Poverty’ journal.

1968: Family Allowance uprated, the first up-rating of the benefit since 1956. Pioneer welfare rights advice stall set up by Manchester branch.

1969: Frank Field appointed as Director and Peter Townsend becomes Chair. CPAG publish Frank Field and Peter Townsend memorandum, ‘An Incomes Policy for Families’ (later re-published as ‘Poverty and the Labour Government’).

1970: March CPAG press release ‘Poor worse off under Labour’. Conservative Election victory, the new Minster of State for Social Security, Sir Keith Joseph introduced Family Income Supplement.

1975: Child Benefit Bill enacted under Labour Secretary of State Barbara Castle.

1976: Leak of Cabinet minutes by CPAG in New Society leads Government to abandon postponement of child benefit scheme.

1977: Child benefit introduced and phased in by 1979.

1979: CPAG’s publication on the cost of a child. Ruth Lister appointed CPAG Director.

1980-1983: Child benefit rates do not keep pace with inflation. By 1981 number of children living in Poverty has doubled in two years.

1984: Social Security reviews launched by the government and CPAG one of the leading organisations to campaign against them.

1985: Child benefit rates are cut by 5%. Fears for the abolition of child benefit lead to the formation of the Save Child Benefit Campaign led by CPAG and including over 70 organisations.

1987: CPAG campaigns against the introduction of the poll tax.

1988: John Moore speech. New social security system including the social fund and income support.

1990: John Major announces his support for child benefit and rates are increased by £1 a week, higher rates introduced for the first child.

1991-7: Child benefit slowly uprated, but by 1997 support for a family with 2 children has fallen by 6% as a result of earlier freezes and cuts.

1999: Tony Blair pledges to end child poverty by 2020. Child benefit is dramatically increased.

2001: The End Child Poverty Coalition is formed.

2005: The UK achieves largest reduction in child poverty of any OECD country between 1995 & 2005.

2010: The Child Poverty Act passed

2011: Child benefit rates are frozen for three years, decreasing at least 10% in value

2013: Child benefit clawed back from families with an earner in the higher rate tax bracket, ceasing to be a universal payment for the first time in its history. 

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