Gove calls UK benefits 'generous' as EU citizens denied access

Mon, 25/11/2013 - 11:49 -- nick

Education Secretary Michael Gove has called the British benefits system "generous" while denying EU citizens access to it.

Speaking on Sunday's Andrew Marr Show on BBC1, Gove defended David Cameron's stance, which will extend the qualifying period for European people from three months to one year.

Gove said Mr Cameron had "struck exactly the right note on migration, which is to celebrate the achievements of the people who've come here, to recognise migration has to work for people who are already here - from whatever background".

Higher benefits don't demotivate jobseekers - study

Mon, 18/11/2013 - 13:31 -- nick

Countries that pay their unemployed people higher benefits do not see a rise in a lack of motivation, a study has found.

Edinburgh University researchers examined 28 European countries in detail and showed that there was no connection between the level of benefit payments and jobseekers' dissatisfaction with being unemployed.

Those in Luxembourg and Finland were in the highest-income quarter of claimants but in the bottom quarter for life satisfaction, while those in Poland and Romania were among the poorest but were some of the least affected.

Unemployed claimants go missing from today's figures - sanctions to blame?

Wed, 13/11/2013 - 14:30 -- nick

Last week the DWP finally released its figures for sanctions, and these showed a huge rise in people being thrown off benefits in the last year to 870,000, an average of more than 72,000 each month.

These are real people having their meagre incomes removed often for the most spurious reasons and disappearing from view.

Universal Credit blasted again by MPs as millions lost

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 13:28 -- nick

The government's Universal Credit system has been blasted again by MPs.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) within the House of Commons called the scheme "extraordinarily poor" and said oversight by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had been "alarmingly weak".

The Committee believed that much of the £425 million spent to date has been lost forever and will need to be written off.

45% rise in sanctions leaves more jobseekers destitute

Wed, 06/11/2013 - 13:32 -- nick

A big rise in the number of sanction referrals handed out by jobcentres and other advisors means more jobseekers have moved into destitution.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has today released figures for sanctions - the act of removing benefits for a perceived offence - showing more have had money removed than ever before.

In 2011 - itself a record year - 1.34 million sanctions were handed out.

Benefit cap hits 8,400 households

Thu, 03/10/2013 - 12:28 -- nick

The government has confirmed that the benefit cap affected 8,400 households between April and August, the period in which it was introduced.

The cap limits single people to a maximum of £350 per week, and couples and families to a maximum of £500 per week.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) today released official figures for the number having benefits capped in the first phase, which does not include the whole country.

Bedroom tax challenge fails in court

Tue, 30/07/2013 - 13:00 -- nick

A court challenge to the government's bedroom tax has failed today.

The bedroom tax takes an average of £14 from the housing benefit of people with a spare bedroom with the aim of getting people to move to properties of the right size, but it has been criticised for not taking into account the lack of smaller flats available in most areas and for not understanding the care needs of disabled people.

Those who have carers who stay overnight still lose money if the arrangement is not full-time.

500,000 could lose disability benefit

Wed, 16/05/2012 - 12:45 -- nick

Half a million people who currently receive disability living allowance (DLA) may be ineligible to get help under the replacement programme, personal independence payments (PIP).

The changes will help cut the annual cost of such payments by £2.24bn, according to work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who said far more people have been claiming under the current system than can possibly be explained by illness, sickness or disability.



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