Archive for January 12th, 2012

The Trilogy: Working Links, Pinnacle People and Welfare Reform


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More on the Lords defeat

Also see our previous post

  1. The Government is being urged to abandon its welfare reforms after a triple defeat in the House of Lords.Peers considering the Welfare Reform Bill voted to protect cancer sufferers and disabled people from cuts.
  2. The Government was also defeated by 234 to 186 (majority 48), over a plan to limit to one year the time people can claim the employment and support allowance (ESA). Peers agreed to replace the one-year cap with the ability for the Government to specify a limit of no less than two years.
  3. The Government was also defeated when peers voted by 222 to 166 (majority 56) to accept another amendment by Lord Patel to remove the time limit on ESA payments from people receiving treatment for cancer.

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Success for Working Links


Working Links is delivering a  government scheme to help families back to work across Lincolnshire and the surrounding regions.

Working Links has launched a new programme to help families get back to work across the East Midlands. The programme, introduced by Employment Minister Chris Grayling and funded through the European Social Fund, will last three years and will see Working Links engaging with thousands of people in a bid to tackle social exclusion and poverty.

Through this contract Working Links will employ up to 40 new people to deliver the programme internally and will work with ten partner organisations to deliver across the region.

Breege Burke, Working Links chief executive, said:

“We’re delighted to have been chosen by the government to deliver this important contract. “The number of households where no-one has ever worked is at a record high – that is a big problem but one we’re committed to addressing as part of this programme.

“We have an excellent track record of delivering innovative programmes to help people change their lives and we’ll be working with dozens of partner organisations, including those from the voluntary sector, to ensure this record continues.”

Well done!!

Read more

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Success for Pinnacle People

A NATIONAL programme to help Crewe families overcome barriers to employment  has been launched. Cheshire East is part of the Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington ‘package area’, which will receive £16.4 million over the next three years.

This ESF backed programme was awarded in the North West region and is being delivered in Cheshire East by Pinnacle People

Clr Roland Domleo, cabinet member with responsibility for adult services, added:

“The aim is to provide a whole family approach and to make support available to family members of all ages. It is then up to them whether they take up the offer.

Read more in the Crewe and Nantwich guardian

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Public Accounts Committee Impact on benefit changes

The Commons Public Accounts Committee publishes its 62nd Report on the basis of evidence from the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs, HM Treasury, as well as Age UK, Child Poverty Action Group, and the London School of Economics.  

…The Chair The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, today said:

“The Government spends at least £87 billion a year on means-tested benefits, and the poorest households rely on them for a third of their income. So it is crucial that government gets the design and implementation of means-tested benefits right, to protect vulnerable claimants as well as the taxpayer.

If its fundamental reforms of the benefits system are to work, the Government must learn from past experience and coordinate benefits more effectively.

At present, there are nine central government departments and 152 local authorities administering 30 different means-tested benefits, yet there is no one body responsible for coordinating means-testing across government.

There needs to be a single body responsible for overseeing the interaction between different benefits, means tested or not, and ensuring consistency and value for money.

A key aim of Universal Credit is improving claimants’ incentives to work. At the moment the effect of some means-tested benefits on work incentives is not clear. Many claimants receive multiple benefits and departments need to understand how incentives are affected by the system as a whole

The Report
Summary here

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