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08

Apr

Benefit sanctions in Northern Ireland are low and should stay low

Benefit sanctioning is much lower in Northern Ireland than in Great Britain. There is little evidence the high level of sanctioning works – government in Northern Ireland can…

  • Author: Adam Tinson
  • Category: Social Security and Welfare Reform

25

Aug

Iain Duncan Smith and the misdiagnosis of ESA

Yesterday, in what was billed as a major speech on welfare reform, the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith indicated that the Employment & Support Allowance benefit w…

  • Author: Ceri Hughes
  • Category: Social Security and Welfare Reform

26

Nov

While the number of benefit claimants is falling, flaws are emerging in the system

Welfare reform has been one of the most controversial parts of the coalition government’s reform programme since coming to power in 2010. A New Policy Institute report&n…

  • Author: Theo Barry Born
  • Category: Social Security and Welfare Reform

20

Oct

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission have offered leadership: who will follow?

Today’s State of the Nation Report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission has the potential to be the most important official statement on child poverty since Tony Bla…

  • Author: Peter Kenway
  • Category: Income and Poverty

01

Oct

Working-age benefits should be linked to earnings – always

George Osborne’s announcement that working-age benefits are to be frozen from April 2016 can be defended on grounds of both pragmatism and principle. Principles, however, are not j…

  • Author: Peter Kenway
  • Category: Social Security and Welfare Reform

10

Sep

Government can ensure that the election debate on welfare and tax reform is informed as well as impassioned

The changes to taxes and benefits that came into effect in April 2013 are the Coalition’s most important single package of work and welfare reforms. Some, above all the bedro…

  • Author: Peter Kenway
  • Category: Income and Poverty

08

Aug

Benefit recipients must not be pawns in policy games

The High Court’s decision that Sandwell’s residency test for entitlement to council tax support was “unlawful” was a moment of sanity in the contradictory w…

  • Author: Peter Kenway
  • Category: Local Government

14

Jul

Council tax arrears rise fastest where support is cut most

In recent days, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has released new statistics on council tax collection in England. Covering the period April 2013 to March…

  • Author: Sabrina Bushe
  • Category: Council Tax

24

Apr

No easy way out on welfare reform for Northern Ireland

The arithmetic of welfare reform does not offer the Northern Ireland Assembly a way to avoid difficult decisions The political debate on welfare reform continues in Northern Irela…

  • Author: Adam Tinson
  • Category: Social Security and Welfare Reform

22

Apr

Welfare reforms have cut the 'safety net' for 1.75 million families

The last in our 'safety net’ blog series, this blog looks at how many families have an income below the ‘safety net’ as a result of welfare reforms. Research released this week by…

  • Author: Hannah Aldridge
  • Category: Social Security and Welfare Reform

15

Apr

The 'safety net' for private renters is shrinking fast

In the third of our safety net series we look at the role housing benefit and how, through a series of subtle changes, the safety net for renters is shrinking fast. There are two …

  • Author: Hannah Aldridge
  • Category: Social Security and Welfare Reform

09

Apr

Labour and Conservatives are choosing the poll tax over the 'safety net'

In our opening blog yesterday, we used Cameron’s row with the Catholic hierarchy to make the point that alongside the better known cash benefits, the social security safety net als…

  • Author: Peter Kenway
  • Category: Social Security and Welfare Reform

07

Apr

Is there still a safety net and, if so, what is it?

On the day when those claiming social security benefits see an annual increase in the money they get, we launch a series of blogs looking at what is happening to the 'safety net'. …

  • Authors: Hannah Aldridge, Peter Kenway
  • Category: Social Security and Welfare Reform

02

Apr

Why the poorest households face a council tax bill increase five times the average

Poorer families could face year-on-year cuts in the safety net following changes to Council Tax Support. New research by the New Policy Institute for the Joseph Rowntree Foundatio…

  • Author: Sabrina Bushe
  • Category: Council Tax

26

Mar

Council tax held down for all but the poor

As the government boasts that it has held down council tax increases for a fourth year in a row, it’s ignoring the council tax hikes faced by millions of low income households. Th…

  • Author: Peter Kenway
  • Category: Council Tax

06

Mar

Even working households need help to pay for ‘affordable housing’

Rises in social sector rents undermine work, welfare reform and deficit reduction. The headline finding in last week’s English Housing Survey was that there are now more private r…

  • Author: Hannah Aldridge
  • Category: Housing and Homelessness

13

Jun

A depressing set of poverty statistics

Today the DWP published the most recent set of income and poverty statistics for the UK. They make quite depressing reading. Median incomes fell by 3% between 2010/11 and 2011/12, …

  • Author: Tom MacInnes
  • Category: Income and Poverty

17

May

Social security is not just for the unemployed

Deafened by the interminable call for reforms to ‘make work pay’, it’s easy to forget that plenty of families receiving state benefits are already working. Our report for JRF tries…

  • Author: Tom MacInnes
  • Category: Social Security and Welfare Reform

08

May

Is real localism possible during a time of austerity?

One of the key announcements in today’s Queen’s Speech was the introduction of new support arrangements for carers. The move will see carers afforded a statutory right to financial…

  • Author: Sabrina Bushe
  • Category: Local Government