Administrative earnings threshold
Have they said why they are doing this?
Aha .... I’ve just added some more detail to our news story from the explanatory memorandum .... enjoy!!
Interesting to note the change in structure which means that there is one type of claimant who would have been in the intensive work search regime until now, but under the new rules will be in light touch: a joint claimant who is earning between the single claimant threshold and the joint claimants threshold.
Statement is to “to support those who find themselves in low income to help them access opportunities to increase their earnings.” but I assume this is simply to reduce a pool of people who are currently excluded from the sanction range.
AET threshold has to date been calculated based by derivation from reference to income asked JSA. It always seemed likely that the link would disappear as I-JSA disappeared but I don’t know what the basis is, if any, for decided at the new thresholds.
The statistical document linked to in the article says:
Since its introduction in 2013, the AET has not kept pace with the increases in the National Living Wage, with the result that the number of hours needed to work to earn the AET has fallen over time. The adjustment will bring the AET back to its original ‘parity’ with the National Living Wage.
This seems to be a valid point. The minimum wage in April 2013 was £6.19 per hour. The JSA personal allowance for a single person was £71.70. The AET would have therefore been set at £332 per month which roughly equates to the net earnings which would have been expected from a 12 hour working week.
Since 2013, minimum wage (rebranded of course to living wage) has increased by 53% to £9.50, whereas the JSA personal allowance has increased by only about 7.5% to £77. As the AET has been, somewhat anachronistically, linked to the latter, its coverage has expanded significantly so that now someone who is doing a little over 8 hours work per week would qualify for it.
So the DWP will say it isn’t a new policy, its just course correction to go back to the original policy.
[ Edited: 6 Aug 2022 at 08:23 am by Elliot Kent ]
Thanks Elliot. I can see that does make logical. The original link with I-JSA was I think was differently just to avoid a contradictory difference in treatment for claimants when started off it. (Does the figures do of course how also show much poor the increase in benefit rates has been.)
The issue of sanction policy and consequences is of course a completely separate issue.[ Edited: 6 Aug 2022 at 10:32 am by Ianb ]
The issue of sanction policy and consequences is of course a completely separate issue.
Well quite. The implication that people affected are being done a favour by being given ‘access’ to the DWP’s (mandatory and sanction-backed) ‘support’ could not better illustrate the fundamental difference in thinking between those administering the system and those on the receiving end of it.