Welfare rights news

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21 October

35,530 people assisted by Access to Work between April 2013 and March 2014

New DWP statistics show increase from 31,510 in previous year

21 October, 2014

20 October

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary writes open letter to Iain Duncan Smith on 'universal credit questions that need answering'

Following visit to universal credit pathfinders in North West, Rachel Reeves highlights continued serious problems with IT system ahead of next year's accelerated roll-out

20 October, 2014

No hope of 2020 child poverty targets being met without radical changes, according to Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission

In new 'State of the Nation' report, Commission says that it's particularly concerned that each of the main political parties is targeting further welfare cuts to balance country's books after 2015

20 October, 2014

17 October

Transition from existing benefits to universal credit

New DWP guidance

17 October, 2014

Circumstances in which jobseekers are entitled to a right to reside in the United Kingdom

New statutory instrument

17 October, 2014

Risk that DWP’s approach to ‘assisted digital’ could lead to a diminished level of accountability

Social Security Advisory Committee publishes response to call for evidence from the House of Lords Digital Skills Select Committee

17 October, 2014

DWP confirms details of further roll out of personal independence payment

Benefit to be extended to existing DLA claimants in four additional areas from November 2014

17 October, 2014

SSAC consults on proposal to take account of past earnings in repeat universal credit claims

Government intends to take account of surplus earnings to 'protect against potential manipulation of the system by workers'

17 October, 2014

1.6 million pensioners living in poverty

New report from Age UK identifies low benefit take-up as a key reason

17 October, 2014

DWP should have increased its focus on housing benefit fraud and error sooner

New report from the National Audit Office says fraud and error accounts for 5.8 per cent of spending on the benefit

17 October, 2014

16 October

74 per cent of DWP claimants believe there is a need for improvement in the service

New survey carried out by DWP also finds that 50 per cent were dissatisfied with the appeals process

16 October, 2014

Office for Budget Responsibility publishes report on welfare trends in relation to cap on welfare spending

Report finds that forecast for welfare spending subject to a number of important risks and uncertainties and that the three largest of these relate to housing benefit, incapacity benefits and disability benefits

16 October, 2014

Government responds to consultation on persistent child poverty target for 2020

Target to be set at less than 7 per cent despite the majority of respondents calling for a target of less than 5 per cent

16 October, 2014

15 October

Policy Exchange recommends introduction of compulsory unemployment insurance scheme

Under proposals, reported to be being considered by Chancellor, workers would pay at least £5 per week into 'personal welfare account', offset by reduction in national insurance contributions

15 October, 2014

MPs vote in favour of Bill exempting households where someone is entitled to carer's allowance from bedroom tax

Private Member's Bill expected to receive second reading in House of Commons on 21 November 2014

15 October, 2014

One in four children are living in poverty once housing costs deducted from income, says End Child Poverty

Child poverty map of UK also shows wide disparity between local authorities from Tower Hamlets at 49 per cent to Wokingham and Shetland Islands at 10 per cent

15 October, 2014

14,170 people were on the universal credit caseload on 11 September 2014

New DWP statistics also show that more than 80 per cent of caseload from jobcentres in North West of England

15 October, 2014

14 October

Smith Commission sets out proposals for devolution of welfare powers to Scotland

Report considers proposals relating to attendance allowance, housing benefit, and the Work Programme

14 October, 2014

Iain Duncan Smith confirms national expansion of universal credit in 2015/2016

Roll-out to remaining areas to be for new single claimants previously eligible for jobseeker’s allowance, including those with existing housing benefit and tax credit claims

14 October, 2014

DWP announces tax credit changes for universal credit claimants

New edition of Touchbase also highlights changes to recovery of tax credit overpayments

14 October, 2014

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