Iain Duncan Smith has insisted that HM Treasury is due to sign off the full business case for Universal Credit ‘very shortly’ despite it being five months since it was submitted.
In a debate in the House of Commons yesterday, the work and pensions minister explained: “The final stage in Treasury approvals is sign-off of the full business case, which covers the full lifetime of the programme.” adding “I genuinely believe, from my discussions, that it will be signed off very shortly.”
The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) is looking for a general FE college to step in after a major private provider pulled out early from London’s £17m prison education contract, reports FE Week.
A new report, ‘The Economic Impact of the Work Programme’, by Europe Economics is the first study to look at the economic benefits of the Work Programme and the added financial value it delivers to employers, employees and the taxpayers.
New research carried out for London Voluntary Service Council shows that nine in every ten jobs advertised in London on Universal Jobmatch were placed there by job warehouses, CV listings sites, and recruitment agencies.
Official figures show that one in four disabled people have been made to wait an “unacceptable” length of time for the outcome of ESA claims to be decided. The Mirror reports that just 25% of ESA claims are being processed within the 13 week target, with some waiting for as long as over a year.
Richard Hawkes, of disability charity Scope, said: “These figures are damning, but all too predictable. It’s unacceptable that people are facing long delays.”
More than 90,000 more young women than men are out of education, employment and training. According to the latest figures, 418,000 women aged 18-24 compared with 325,000 men are considered NEET.
Hilary Benn, the shadow communities secretary, has published data that shows the poorest areas of England have suffered council cuts worth 16x as much per household than richest areas.
He accused the government of failing to apply “the basic principles of fairness” in money allocated to local government, adding "The prime minister and the local government secretary say that tough times involve tough choices, but they have forgotten one very important principle. Tough times demand tough choices that are fair.”
A new report by IPPR North argues that people with mental health problems, who make up 40 percent of those going through the work capability assessment (WCA) process, are being let down by the system. They argue that the assessment appears to be neither effective nor accurate in determining the appropriate level of financial or employment support for claimants with mental health problems and that the system fails to provide the kind of support for claimants that is adequate or appropriate for people with mental health problems.
The paper recommendations focusing on: