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Archive for October 18th, 2011

Putting families at the heart of government

DWP consultation to bring back child maintenance

The Government is inviting views on plans to bring the child maintenance system back into the heart of government, in order to improve accountability and assist in the process of reform.

It is proposing to transfer the functions of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC) into the Department for Work and Pensions, under direct Ministerial control.

Work and Pensions Minister Maria Miller said:

“The Government is clear about how important strong family relationships are for children. If separation is unavoidable then we want to do much more for parents at the time of the split to put their children’s interests first.

“We can do this by bringing together the expertise of a range of public and voluntary sector services and our proposals to bring the child maintenance system back under direct control of Ministers will help in that process.”

The current Child Support Agency schemes are set to close to new users from next year. This will see the end of a failing system, long overdue for reform, replaced by a single new, streamlined child maintenance service. This will be the biggest overhaul of the system since it was first set up in 1993.

The abolition of CMEC as a non-departmental body will also help with the Government’s drive to reduce the number of public bodies across government.
The DWP are consulting on this structural change from this week.  The Government’s wider child maintenance reforms are designed to ensure more separated parents have effective financial support in place for their children for the first time.  Parents will be supported and helped to make their own, family-based child maintenance arrangements, which, research shows, more than half of parents who currently use the statutory system would prefer.

 

Click here for the consultation document

Website: DWP

 

Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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HOUSE SWAP

The government is to launch a “house swap” programme to allow the jobless to relocate or even move to another part of the country in order to find work.

Although the details of the program are yet to be finalised, it is thought the plan will involve the creation of a national database containing information on job opportunities and families that could be relocated. It is hoped that the barriers which prevent people in social housing moving between regions will be removed.

The Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, is keen to provide those hunting jobs with more flexibility to look further afield as currently council tenants are restricted in their ability to move and can usually only move within their local authority.

 “I’m not content to restrict opportunities for the eight million social tenants in this country – that’s why we are determined to shake up the lazy consensus that traps people in this system”.

“HomeSwap Direct will give social tenants the power to arrange their own home swaps and make the most of every opportunity.”

Lord Tebbit said: “When I look around I find that an enormous number of jobs are taken here from people who have come from Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania. They have moved sometimes over a thousand miles to find a job….Anything which can be done to make it easier to move to jobs is obviously a good thing.”

However, critics point to the Government blaming rising unemployment solely on a lack of mobility.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said: “All the language around getting people back into work has been directed with the implicit message that people aren’t prepared to be mobile to find work.

“But the unemployment figures out this week show that in any category, but particularly if you are young or a woman, there are just no jobs available.”

Comment from yesMinister

It is great that those in social housing will have the opportunity to move outside their local authority, but in terms of unemployment – how much of the problem will this address compared with the amount of disruption? 

Website: Telegraph

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8830112/House-swap-scheme-to-get-jobless-moving.html

Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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