Benefit

Stupid and damaging benefit sanctions exposed in today's Guardian

Wed, 06/08/2014 - 11:58 -- nick

The Guardian is today following up on its shocking expose of David Clapson's death with another piece about the lengths jobcentres, acting on behalf of a callous coalition, will go to in order to sanction benefit claimants. Read more about Stupid and damaging benefit sanctions exposed in today's Guardian

Government's benefit cuts force food bank use - report

Wed, 09/04/2014 - 12:52 -- nick

The government's benefit reforms are forcing some of Britain's poorest people to use food banks - despite all official denials.

According to a report by Sheffield University researcher Hannah Lambie-Mumford cited in today's Guardian, the link is now proven, despite a recent official government report reiterating that an increase in food bank use was not due to its welfare cuts. Read more about Government's benefit cuts force food bank use - report

Benefit cuts bring mental health problems, need lottery help

Wed, 26/02/2014 - 14:03 -- nick

The government's benefit cuts are so damaging to the wellbeing of claimants that the national lottery is funding support for those who suffer mental health problems as a result.

The Big Lottery Fund will support Oxfordshire MIND to provide its Benefits for Better Mental Health (BBMH) project, which has been helping people access benefits since 2008.

The £336,000 grant has been given to help the organisation deal with a big increase in workload since the coalition started its war on benefit claimants. Read more about Benefit cuts bring mental health problems, need lottery help

Tory MP in benefit fraud claims despite anti-welfare votes

Tue, 25/02/2014 - 12:43 -- nick

Tory MP Peter Bone has been accused of benefit fraud in a report in The Times newspaper.

The MP for Wellingborough and Rushden was alleged to have hidden assets belonging to his mother-in-law, Dorothy Sweeney, so her local authority, Northamptonshire County Council, would fund her care home costs.

Anyone who has assets of more than £23,250, including property and savings, must pay for their own care.

Police raided Bone's house after a year-long investigation, triggered after they became aware that Sweeney had sold a house shortly before going into a care home. Read more about Tory MP in benefit fraud claims despite anti-welfare votes

DWP universal credit watch - two more areas down, on track for 2030 target

Mon, 24/02/2014 - 13:19 -- nick

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced its latest universal credit rollout.

Two new areas will implement the scheme from today - the unemployment hotspots of Bath and Harrogate.

It is only up and running in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Hammersmith, Inverness and Rugby as the IT system has consistently failed to deliver, with Iain Duncan Smith criticised for his incompetent management of it.

Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud encouraged this foot-dragging rollout, saying:

"We are introducing Universal Credit in a slow, safe and controlled way." Read more about DWP universal credit watch - two more areas down, on track for 2030 target

Sanction numbers rose to record high of 900,000 in 2013

Thu, 20/02/2014 - 12:40 -- nick

The number of benefit sanctions rose to a record 897,690 in the year to September, the Department for Work and Pensions has revealed.

Sanctions see claimants having their benefits removed for four weeks the first time they are applied, and can stretch to years subsequently.

In the final year of Labour government in 2009-10, 500,000 Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) sanctions were handed out -itself a record number - compared to 874,850 last year. Read more about Sanction numbers rose to record high of 900,000 in 2013

Two-thirds of those hit by bedroom tax are behind with rent

Wed, 12/02/2014 - 13:22 -- nick

Two-thirds of households hit by the bedroom tax are in rent arrears.

The shock findings of the National Housing Federation (NHF), which represents the UK's housing associations, show that more than a third had fallen into debt because of the charge.

It used polling firm Ipsos-Mori to survey 183 associations, and the firm found that thousands could simply not cope with the change.

The bedroom tax takes an average of £14 per week from the benefits of those with a bedroom they don't use, and £25 from those with two. Read more about Two-thirds of those hit by bedroom tax are behind with rent

Only 3,000 hit by benefit cap find work as IDS is exposed

Fri, 07/02/2014 - 12:59 -- nick

The government has released its latest figures on the benefit cap, the regulation which sees all British families limited to a maximum of £26,000 in welfare payments.

Over 36,000 households have been capped since it was introduced, and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is trumpeting its 'success' in this area.

While 8,000 are no longer living under the cap, only 3,250 escaped it by finding work, just 9% of the total.

The others reduced their benefit claims or had other changes in circumstances, like registering as disabled and escpaping that way. Read more about Only 3,000 hit by benefit cap find work as IDS is exposed

More than half of government cuts still to come

Wed, 05/02/2014 - 13:22 -- nick

More than half of the government's austerity cuts are still ahead, according to a shock new report.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), a respected thinktank, says that 60% of planned cuts in public funding are still to come, putting ontold strain on public services.

This follows a decision by Chancellor George Osborne to extend austerity to 2019, which includes the announcement of £12 billion cuts to benefits in addition to the billions detailed before. Read more about More than half of government cuts still to come

Coalition chops support for those affected by housing benefit cuts

Thu, 30/01/2014 - 17:14 -- nick

The government has announced a reduction in the support available for those affected by its housing benefit cuts.

This follows on from reductions in previous years and is likely to mean more hardship for unemployed people.

In the year 2013-14, the coalition made £180 million available to councils through the Discretionary Housing Fund, which replaced the far bigger Social Fund. Read more about Coalition chops support for those affected by housing benefit cuts

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