Tax cuts have been promised from 2015, by all three major parties. These tax cuts will have little impact as millions of families will see only a third of the gains under Universal Credit (UC), according to the Resolution Foundation.
The Chancellor has revealed plans to cut a further £12bn from the welfare budget as part of a package of cuts after the 2015 election totalling £25bn.
Mr Osborne has said ‘Welfare cannot be protected from further substantial cuts. I can tell you today that on the Treasury’s current forecasts, £12 billion of further welfare cuts are needed in the first two years of next Parliament.’
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.
A quarter of people claiming incapacity benefits have been found fit for work, according to official figures. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has tested 841,000 people claiming the benefit and assessed 227,000 of them to be well enough to work.
Read more at the Telegraph website.
Lone mothers who work are less likely to suffer from depression than those who stay at home, according to new research published by the Nuffield Foundation. Depression among lone mothers in work has fallen from 32 per cent to 23 per cent between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s, but increased from 33 per cent to 41per cent among those not in work.
A new test for migrants who want to claim income-related benefits is being rolled out to Jobcentres across England, Scotland and Wales. In order to pass the improved Habitual Residence Test, migrants will have to answer more individually tailored questions, provide more detailed answers and submit more evidence before they will be allowed to make a claim. For the first time, migrants will be quizzed about what efforts they have made to find work before coming to the UK and whether their English language skills will be a barrier to them finding employment.
The Remploy board has announced that it has completed the sale of its profitable automotive business to Rempower Ltd, a member of Arlington Industries Group. The sale follows the government’s announcement in March 2012 that it was withdrawing subsidy for Remploy’s factory based businesses and that they should be sold or closed.
The deal sees the existing automotive business based in sites in Birmingham, Coventry and Derby transfer to Rempower Ltd, safeguarding the jobs of all 216 employees, 179 of whom are disabled.
The Money Advice Trust has reported that rent arrears have become the fastest growing debt problem in the UK. The number of calls to the charity’s National Debtline service from people with rent arrears has risen significantly since the economic crisis first hit in 2007. From January to October this year, the free advice helpline received nearly 20,000 calls for help from people with rent arrears, compared with just 8,000 over the same period in 2007 – an increase of 146 per cent.