The UK's main advisory body on social security matters has recommended that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should carry out more analysis in order to properly assess the cumulative impact of welfare reform, but has accepted that this would be a difficult task.
The UK government has moved to neutralise the impact of the bedroom tax on the Scottish independence referendum by giving the Scottish government powers to mitigate the measure.
The Scottish government have been transferred powers to set the cap on discretionary housing payments (DHP) to help individuals on housing benefit who need extra help. This change will mean that the Scottish government will, in effect, be able to end the bedroom tax in Scotland. However, Holyrood will not receive any extra resources from London and will have to fund any changes from its budget.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has announced a £30 million investment package, in the form of Social Impact Bonds, to support vulnerable young people in improving their prospects and preventing them from falling into a situation where they are not in education, employment or training (NEET).
The funding will help them to develop crucial skills to improve their educational achievement and employability.
This investment is made up of two new cross-government programmes, which will specifically target 14 to 24-year-olds:
There is a risk that tens of thousands of school-leavers could miss out on vital help to find jobs, training or further education in 2015 because councils are being refused access to crucial information on where to target support.
A snapshot survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown that employers in Great Britain are using around 1.4 million employee contracts that do not guarantee a minimum number of hours.
Non-guaranteed hours contracts (NGHCs) include, but are not exclusively, “zero-hours contracts”, as they also include some other contract types which do not guarantee a minimum number of hours.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has called for an overhaul of the tax system in developed economies to ensure that the very rich pay a large share of their incomes, and help limit or roll back the sharp increase in income inequality that has occurred over recent decades.
The coalition government’s welfare reforms, which moved Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates to a lower level; reduced the rates for single people aged 25 to 34; and imposed a maximum cap on LHA rates which ranges from £250 for a one-bedroom home to £400 for a four-bedroom home per week, are driving poor families in London out of the private rented sector, according to the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).
A new briefing by the Prison Reform Trust has revealed that, six months on from their introduction, new prison rules are undermining fairness and rehabilitation behind bars.