Almost 33,000 households had their benefits capped by November 2013, according to new figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
The statistics also show that in November 2013:
Information about Universal Credit is now available by hitting the red button on the TV remote control. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) hopes to reach some of the 7 million adults who do not have home internet access through these new channels.
Users of smartphones and Wii games consoles can also use their devices to access important information about the new benefit.
MPs have passed a motion calling for an assessment of the impacts of the government’s welfare reforms. The motion passed by 123 votes, after it was selected for debate by the Backbench Business Committee.
The motion read, ‘That this House believes that a commission of inquiry should be established to investigate the impact of the Government’s welfare reforms on the incidence of poverty.’
The impact of government welfare changes in Newcastle has been examined in a report by Newcastle City Council. The council estimate that the total benefit lost in Newcastle will be around £115.65m annually from 2011 to 2017.
The report outlines how the so-called bedroom tax has withdrawn around £3.26m of housing benefit across Newcastle, affecting more than 5,000 residents.
Thousands of people have been wrongly identified as liable for the bedroom tax, including some who now face eviction or have been forced to move to a smaller property, as a result of an error by Department of Work and Pensions.
Housing experts believe as many as 40,000 people could be affected by the mistake. The DWP says it believes only a ‘small number’ of tenants have been affected, which it estimates number 5,000.
All could be eligible for refunds worth on average at least £640 per claimant and millions in aggregate.
Historically, unemployment among ethnic minority groups has consistently been higher than that for the UK as a whole – but the latest data shows that it is rising.
Between 2012 and 2013, unemployment levels for the UK as a whole and for white ethnic groups remained constant – at 8 per cent and 7 per cent respectively. Meanwhile, unemployment among ethnic minority groups rose from 13 per cent to 14 per cent.
Leaked documents reveal mounting tensions between the Cabinet Office and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The Cabinet Office has accelerated the pullout of its elite team of IT experts from the project, according to minutes of the government's universal credit board.
Benefit claimants are being warned to disclose changes in circumstances as part of a campaign aimed at cutting the £1.6bn a year cost of overpayments. Claimants in six pilot areas will be warned they could face a fine of up to £2,000 for not disclosing they have found a job or moved in with a partner.
The six-week campaign will use adverts, posters, social media and letters.
Welfare reform minister Lord Freud said the aim was to stop fraud and overpayment ‘before they even happen’.