Archive for the ‘The Benefit System’ Category



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Government’s consultation with disabled people

On 1 December 2011, the government announced a discussion with disabled people to gather suggestions for a new cross-government disability strategy.

The Government’s ambition is to enable disabled people to fulfil their potential and have opportunities to play a full role in society. To realise this ambition, they wish to tackle barriers to realising aspirations and individual control, as well as change attitudes and behaviour towards disabled people.

This new strategy is intended to build on previous discussions with disabled people, including the Independent Living Strategy, the Roadmap and the UK’s report to the UN on implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Disabled People.

The Office for Disability Issues ODI has worked with disability organisations to create a discussion document which is available to download below. We would like to hear from disabled people, and the people and organisations that support them.

Responses required by 5pm, 9 March 2012.

Sign language video Fulfilling Potential

Download discussion documents below

Fulfilling potential: a discussion document
Helping disabled people do the best they can and take part in their local area

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Benefits to be cut for those who do not retrain

The Government has yet to decide if there will be a cut-off point beyond which unemployed people will no longer receive state support under the new social welfare system.

Unemployment should not be a punishment, he said but could be an opportunity to retrain, adding the intention is to ensure that people have a job.

The Irish Examiner reports…

Pathways to Work is to be launched early next week and will include a cut in benefits for anybody who does not take the retraining and education opportunities offered to them.

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Could and should a measure such as this be introduced in England… the benefits are clear, the unemployed need to do much more to assist themselves into work; mabe this is the exact stimulus thats needed..

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Parents better off on dole

The Gurdian reports today that whilst Working tax credit is a payment for people in employment earning less than £12,900 per year or a couple earning less than £17,700 or less a year many parents will be better offon benefits

Government figures show that around 200,000 couples who work part time while bringing up children are set to lose their entitlement of almost £4,000 per year from April, unless they increase their working hours.

These families will be pushed back into the benefits system as couples must now work at least 24 hours per week before they are eligible for the credit.

Rachel Reeves, the shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury minister, will claimthat the changes will mean “going out to work makes no sense” for some couples.

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Last week David Milliband presented recommendations from his Commission on Youth Unemployment.

The Report

He has welcomed the introduction of job subsidies under the new Youth Contract, which will come in from April, but called for a boost in the number of these that will be made available to employers.

He recommended setting up Youth Employment Zones in hotspots of worklessness around the country.

The report also majored on self-employment. For recovery to be sustainable, new jobs need to be created by start-up businesses. Unemployed graduates in particular should be encouraged to set up their own businesses.


See the full report here

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Richmond Council presents controversial report on housing

A points system for benefits claimants is being looked at by Richmond Council as part of their response to welfare reform.

Richmond Council set up a task force which produced a report addressing how  homelessness could be addressed in the context of government cuts.

The report suggests

  • The council should seek early notification of how changes to benefits will occur under the Universal benefit system so they can prepare for any impact on people living in the borough.
  • Systems should be put in place ensure councillors are aware of the national housing benefits changes and can assist constituents,
  • Frontline service staff should be able to signpost residents to appropriate advice services such as citizens advice.

Richmond Council has started to develop a homelessness strategy for 2012-16.

The council will also seek to work with other boroughs to increase the availability of bed and breakfast and temporary accommodation to deal with an expected increase in homelessness this year.

More controversially it will look at

  • Benefits points dependant on community contribution,
  • Levels of housing debt the benefit claimant has,
  • Engagement with the community about the importance of affordable housing

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Help the Unemployed become self employed…. Enterprise clubs

More needs to be done to encourage and help unemployed people to see self-employment as a viable route off benefits and into financial independence.

On 31 January 2011, the Minister for Employment announced the launch of Enterprise Clubs which is targeted at unemployed people interested in self-employment

The main aim of Enterprise Clubs is to help people make the most of local knowledge and resources to help unemployed people in their communities set themselves up as self-employed or start their own business.

They will empower local communities and encourage people to work together to offer additional support to unemployed people who are interested in becoming self-employed. They will also help local communities to become more prosperous by encouraging private sector growth.

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