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Posts Tagged ‘benefits’

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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.

Read more:

 

Comment.

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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Newsletter lords defeat, CDG Shaw Trust, volunteering and much much more…

 

 

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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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Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Liam Byrne has called for a radical rethink of the welfare state, arguing that the benefits system has betrayed its founding principles and “skewed social behaviour”.

The Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary argues that the ballooning of the system has provided support that is unearned, and mislaid the original ideal of providing help to those that contribute.

In an article for the Guardian marking the 70th anniversary of the Beveridge report, Byrne identifies;

  • housing benefit budget,
  • benefits for long-term unemployment,
  • the lack of proper incentives to reward responsible long-term savers as three key flaws in the current welfare state.

He writes: “Beveridge would scarcely believe that housing benefit alone is costing the country over £20bn a year. That is simply too high.”

Comment

For the last 13 years Labour has presided and supported this system it is clear that Labour now believes that its past record and ambitions were wrong..  not sure that the electorate will buy this 360 degree turn… is labour credible?

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The Chancellor has acknowledged that the government will not meet its target of cutting the deficit by 2015

 

however….. Working age benefits will  not be cut but will be uprated by 5.2%…

 

This is a big win for Iain Duncan Smith who argued vehmently that the poor should not be penalised:

 

…well done IDS!!

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