The work and pensions select committee launched its second oral evidence session last week with witnesses including Alison Garnham of Child Poverty Action Group, Ben Robinson of Community Links, academics and local authority representatives.
Following the Conservative Party announcement of plans to reduce the annual benefit cap on households from £26,000 to £23,000, the Prime Minister has claimed that the policy will result in a ‘rush to the jobcentre’.
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has released a series of recommendations to raise the employment rate of disabled people and reduce long term-unemployment.
Poorer groups have been worst affected by changes to direct taxes, benefits and tax credits despite the Coalition’s promise that the rich would carry the burden of austerity, according to a major new report led by Professor Ruth Lupton, of the University of Manchester, with LSE and the University of York. As a result, poverty has been increasing and will get worse in the next five years.
A new report from the Centre for Responsible Credit shows that there has been a 75 per cent decrease in households helped by the government’s new ‘local welfare schemes’. This represents a ‘dramatic decline in provision’ at a time when financial need amongst low income households is growing as a result of welfare reform, suggests the author of the report, Damon Gibbons.
The ‘bedroom tax’ has been widely criticised for discriminating unfairly against disabled adults who live in the social rented sector and are deemed to have a ‘spare’ room. This will be considered by an upcoming court case, which the Guardian suggests could have consequences for hundreds of thousands of people as well as ‘major ramifications for the housing benefit system’.
Academics, charity representatives, food bank administrators and employment and policy experts met last week to give evidence at the Work and Pensions Committee’s first evidence session beyond the Oakley review.
The BBC has been reporting this week on how the attitudes of employers and individuals are shifting in favour of later life working. The DWP has also published a report which explores attitudes amongst older people who are in work, self-employed and unemployed. A discussion of the barriers and support for older workers will be hosted at an upcoming Inclusion seminar.