A cross-party review of Universal Credit (UC) is being launched amid new evidence that funding for the project has been cut so severely that its original aim to provide incentives for people to get into work could be undermined.
The scheme, which has created deep cynicism as a result of technology flaws, implementation delays and Whitehall infighting, is due to be fully implemented in 2017-18 and will cover as many as eight million households.
The Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR), have proposed that the £1.2bn Work Programme, the government's flagship welfare to work scheme, needs to be broken up in the face of figures showing that as little as 5 per cent of unemployed people on the main disability benefit are finding a job through it.
The think-tank’s Condition of Britain report looked at the social and economic problems facing the country and covered areas such as welfare, housing, childcare and improvements to social care, as well as handing more power to local councils.
New research by St Mungo’s Broadway and supported by NIACE has found that homeless people are being failed as children and adults when it comes to reading and writing.
The largest ever recorded survey of homeless people’s literacy and numeracy skills by direct assessment found that 51 per cent would not achieve GCSE grade D-G and lack the basic literacy skills needed for everyday life. This figure compares with one in six, or 15 per cent, of the general population who struggle to read.
Sector experts are warning of a homelessness “time bomb” because increasing numbers of European migrants will lose their “transitional protection” for housing benefit over the coming months.
Thousands of people are at risk of losing their housing benefit as a result of government reforms that are being led by work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, which removed housing benefit for all new EU claimants from April 2014.
The Department for Work and Pensions has published the Government’s new action plan on how they intend to help people have fuller working lives. Fuller Working Lives: a framework for action, explains the benefits of working longer for businesses, society and the economy, and considers how skills, workplace factors, financial security and incentives can help people stay in work longer.
A report, published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), has warned that the lowest-paid working families will miss out on the tax cuts that will be promised by the main political parties at next year’s general election.
It argued that households which are better-off would benefit the most from plans being considered by the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour to reduce income tax bills.
Cuts to benefits have left families in London struggling and unsure how they will afford to stay living in their area, according to a new Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) report.
The report highlights that councils, advice services and parents share the same fear: a housing crisis uprooting families from their homes and communities, with children’s education facing huge disruption by these forced moves.
The government has announced that hundreds of thousands of people have been hit by a benefits backlog, with more than 700,000 people waiting for an Employment Support Allowance (ESA) assessment.
Mike Penning, Minister for Disabled People, blamed the delays on Atos, the contractor that is carrying out controversial fitness-to-work tests. However, Atos has said its staff have been "vilified" and abused for doing what was asked of them by ministers.