Unemployment benefits don't discourage work

Thu, 04/07/2013 - 12:20 -- nick

Providing unemployment benefits does not discourage people from taking up work, a new study has found.

Writing in The New Statesman, Alex Hern delves into research from the Boston fed in the USA which compares the experiences of those who received welfare payments and those who didn't after losing their jobs.

It found that those who receive benefits are likely to get back into work quicker than those who don't.

Government trumpets 'successful' benefit cap

Wed, 03/07/2013 - 14:38 -- nick

The government is today trumpeting the 'success' of its benefit cap pilot after more than 2,400 families had their income reduced in the London Boroughs of Enfield, Haringey, Bromley and Croydon.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) does not say what its criteria for success are, but since April last year, Jobcentre Plus has been targeting those claimants potentially affected with 12,400 having moved into work and 32,300 having accepted employment support.

Bedroom tax effect 'worse than feared'

Mon, 01/07/2013 - 14:58 -- nick

The impact of the bedroom tax has been worse than feared, according to the National Housing Federation.

The tax was introduced by the government in the belief that some housing benefit claimants have more space than they need in their homes, at a time when larger families were experiencing overcrowding.

Those people in social housing who have a spare bedroom have had their housing benefit cut by an average of £14 per week.

It had been expected that some tenants would move on to smaller properties as a response to the cut.

Unemployed people making animated film on benefit cuts

Tue, 25/06/2013 - 13:52 -- nick

Dole Animators, a group of unemployed people, is making a film on benefits cuts.

The group has its origins in a research project at Leeds University, through which fifteen workless people were interviewed about their experiences of life on the dole.

Having formed relationships with each other and researchers, they decided they wanted to take things further and make a film about life within a tightening benefits system, with student animators bringing their words to life.

Labour suggests higher benefits for older jobseekers

Mon, 24/06/2013 - 14:06 -- nick

The Labour party has begun to flesh out some of its unemployment policies.

Last week Ed Miliband gave a speech in which he set out some of the bare bones, including a three-year benefit cap, support for the living wage, and higher benefits for those who have paid National Insurance for at least 5 years.

Today Labour's work and pensions spokesman, Liam Byrne, has identified older workers as particular victims of the economic downturn.

Universal Credit could cut poverty, says TUC

Fri, 21/06/2013 - 15:04 -- nick

The new Universal Credit system could help cut poverty, the TUC has suggested, but only by spending more money on it.

Writing in its ToUChstone blog, Alison Garnham says that current benefits policies, including increasing them by less than the rate of inflation, are designing poverty into the system and ensuring the number living on an insufficient income is increasing.

She points out that increasing key elements of Universal Credit, including the value of the child elements or the limit up to which a family can retail earnings, could lift more children out of poverty.

High unemployment leads to big drop in young people's income

Fri, 14/06/2013 - 11:05 -- nick

High unemployment and low wages have lead to a big drop in income for young people in the UK.

A report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has found that shrinking benefits, unemployment which peaked at over 1 million and wages which have been rising at a slower rate than inflation have all meant that those aged under-25 have seen an average drop of 12% in their incomes since 2007.

This was the biggest decrease faced by any age group over the course of the economic downturn.

Miliband denies ditching Labour values on benefits

Fri, 07/06/2013 - 11:05 -- nick

Labour leader Ed Miliband denied that the party was abandoning its values at a speech on benefits yesterday in Newham in East London.

Miliband committed Labour to a three-year benefit cap if it formed a government after the 2015 general election, in one of his first policy announcements on welfare.

Having previously been seen as the party of the poor, the speech showed that Labour has moved closer to the Conservatives on welfare:

"It is only by reforming social security with the right values that we'll be able to control costs.

UK taken to court over migrant benefits

Fri, 31/05/2013 - 12:34 -- nick

The UK is to be taken to court for discriminating against EU nationals on benefit entitlements.

Britain applies a 'habitual residence test' to all EU nationals who want to claim benefits here, but the European Commission already has its own rules to work out in which country a worker should claim.

It says this extra test is illegal, and has started proceedings at the European Court of Justice.

Work and Pensions Secretary Ian Duncan Smith vowed to fight the case "every step of the way".



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