Government accused of misleading voters on benefit stats

Tue, 16/04/2013 - 12:20 -- nick

The government has been accused of misleading voters in the way it quotes statistics on benefits.

Writing in The Guardian, Jonathan Portes and Declan Gaffney believe both Ian Duncan Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and Grant Shapps, the Conservative party Chairman, have misled the public.

Portes and Gaffney write "these misrepresentations of official statistics cross a line between legitimate "spin", where a government selects the data that best supports its case, and outright inaccuracy."

Employment Minister calls benefit cap "fair" - video

Mon, 15/04/2013 - 16:27 -- nick

Employment Minister Mark Hoban has released a video explaining why he believes the benefit cap is fair.

The cap, which limits all claimant families to a maximum of £26,000 per year in benefits, came into effect today.

Many, including UnemployedNet, believe the cap is wrong and unnecessary, with the maximum limit set at the level of average earnings without benefits - such as tax credits - being included, while claimants' incomes include everything they get.

The cap is not based on how much a family needs to live on, or allow for the needs of larger families.

Working age benefits rise by 1% today

Mon, 08/04/2013 - 18:49 -- nick

Working age benefits, including Jobseeker's Allowance, will rise by 1% from today, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed.

In a press release, the Minister for Pensions, Steve Webb, gave reasons for the necessity of this below-inflation rise:

"In a tough economic climate we have struck a fair balance between giving more help to benefit claimants and continuing to manage down the deficit.

Government using more negative language about benefits

Mon, 08/04/2013 - 18:29 -- nick

The government is using more negative and loaded language about benefits and claimants, a study has found.

The Guardian has examined the text of ministerial speeches and press releases from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over the last year, and found that the language used has become far more judgemental than in the final year of the previous Labour government.

The newspaper wrote:

Benefits - sorting fact from fiction

Mon, 08/04/2013 - 00:33 -- nick

The Guardian has published an article on the true story of benefits behind the smokescreen sometimes created.

What proportion of benefits are claimed fraudulently? Are there many families with generations that have never worked? What percentage of benefit spending goes on unemployment? How many will be affected by the government's new £26,000 family benefits cap? How many benefit-claiming families have 11 or more children?

Bleak week for benefit claimants

Tue, 02/04/2013 - 20:43 -- nick

This month sees some of the government's biggest benefit cuts since it came to power in 2010.

According to the Child Poverty Action Group, 42 benefit changes will be made, including some affecting millions of people.

Those that particularly affect unemployed people include:

New Independent Case Examiner appointed at DWP

Tue, 02/04/2013 - 17:43 -- nick

A new Independent Case Examiner (ICE) has been appointed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Joanna Wallace started her new job yesterday, and has come from a healthcare background, with roles including Chief Executive of the Christie NHS Trust Manchester and Director of Spire Manchester Hospital.

Her lack of experience in the employment sector will concern those jobseekers who rely on the ICE to resolve complaints about their treatment.

Government to rush law to stop benefit refunds to placees

Tue, 19/03/2013 - 11:49 -- nick

The government, aided by the Labour opposition, is to rush through legislation to stop it having to repay those claimants who lost benefits through being wrongly sanctioned over work experience.

The Guardian is reporting that the opposition is likely to abstain from the vote, meaning a bill can move through parliament and become law quickly.

The bill has been drafted in response to the appeal court ruling last month in the case of Cait Reilly and Jamieson Wilson, who had been forced to undertake work experience.



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