The growing housing benefit bill, particularly for those in work, is responsible for much of the increase in welfare costs, rather than out of work benefits for the idle poor, argues Rachel Reeves, the shadow work and pensions secretary.
Using figures drawn from the House of Commons library, she argues that the number of working people claiming housing benefit is due to double between 2010/11 and 2018/19. This increase in working people claiming housing benefit would cost £12.9 bn – or £488 for every British household between 2010/11 and 2018/19.
Islington Council, a disabled man in Cheshire and charity Child Poverty Action Group have teamed up to take High Court action against the Government over its decision to withdraw vital support for vulnerable people in genuine need.
The Council is providing expert evidence in a judicial review of the decision by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions to axe the Local Welfare Provision Fund, totalling £174m nationally, from April 2015.
The DWP has set out its commissioning strategy, outlining how it will work with providers and partners to deliver welfare to work services.
The strategy largely reiterates that of 2008, with some additional references to using more innovative commissioning models for specialist provision.
The way welfare-to-work schemes are designed and paid for needs a major overhaul, according to a report by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).
The report argues that the Work Programme is not helping those with multiple or complex barriers, and voluntary organisations are well placed to provide support for those who are furthest from the labour market.
Almost half of apprenticeships in Greater Manchester have been taken by adults in their thirties, forties and fifties – many of whom are likely to already be in jobs – rather than young people trying to get into work, a new study finds.
The report by New Economy – Greater Manchester’s economic think-tank and advisor on best policy practice – shows that adult apprentices over the age of 25 have grown from 2,472 in 2008/9 to 13,485 in 2012/13 (a rise of 446%).
Detailed analysis by Citizens Advice reveals that parents on low incomes or with unstable working hours are forced to rely on poorer quality childcare providers. The rise in self-employment and jobs with irregular hours means working parents will increasingly depend on flexible childcare. However the charity’s research shows those childcare providers most likely to offer variable hours have poorer Ofsted ratings and so will be of lower quality.
The coalition’s flagship programme to tackle youth unemployment is to be wound up early, amid claims that it has been an "abject failure". The £1bn youth contract wage incentive scheme was championed by Nick Clegg at the height of the recession as a way to help tackle youth unemployment. But with the jobs market rapidly improving and take-up of the programme falling substantially below projected levels, it is to be cut short next month.
More than two million of the poorest people in England are facing rising council tax demands this year because of fresh government cuts to the benefit system, new figures have revealed. War widows, carers and the disabled are among 2.31 million people who used to be entitled to council tax benefit but have now had their support substantially reduced or taken away altogether.
As a result, significant numbers of families have been pushed into debt, with a survey revealing that nearly 16,000 people in London alone have been referred to the bailiffs for non-payment.