Coalition benefit cuts mean 'unacceptable' poverty is increasing, says Oxfam

Tue, 22/04/2014 - 13:29 -- nick

The coalition's benefit cuts have pushed 1.75 million more people into even deeper poverty, according to a new report.

The study, by Oxfam and NPI, shows that the drop in the value of benefits, increased by less than inflation, and direct cuts to housing benefit and council tax benefit have meant some of the UK's poorest citizens have got worse off under the current government.

This group has seen a cut in their overall incomes and struggle to afford life's basics including food and energy.

Wolverhampton Council to axe 2,000 jobs as austerity bites

Tue, 18/02/2014 - 12:30 -- nick

Wolverhampton City Council is to cut 2,000 jobs, it has revealed.

The number represents one in every five people it employs, but the local authority says it has to make this tough decision due to the coalition's cut to its grant.

Although local government can raise money directly through council tax, the central grant from Westminster forms the majority of its income.

Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for resources, said: "We have lost a huge proportion of the main source of our income, which is the grant from the government. That's why we have to make these job cuts.

More than half of government cuts still to come

Wed, 05/02/2014 - 13:22 -- nick

More than half of the government's austerity cuts are still ahead, according to a shock new report.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), a respected thinktank, says that 60% of planned cuts in public funding are still to come, putting ontold strain on public services.

This follows a decision by Chancellor George Osborne to extend austerity to 2019, which includes the announcement of £12 billion cuts to benefits in addition to the billions detailed before.

Coalition chops support for those affected by housing benefit cuts

Thu, 30/01/2014 - 17:14 -- nick

The government has announced a reduction in the support available for those affected by its housing benefit cuts.

This follows on from reductions in previous years and is likely to mean more hardship for unemployed people.

In the year 2013-14, the coalition made £180 million available to councils through the Discretionary Housing Fund, which replaced the far bigger Social Fund.

Councils filling jobs with unpaid forced labour says Boycott Workfare

Fri, 03/01/2014 - 13:16 -- nick

Councils in the UK have used more than half a million hours of forced labour, a Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed.

Submitted by campaigning organisation Boycott Workfare, the response showed that 62% of councils which provided information had given work experience to unpaid unemployed people since June 2011.

IDS targets seriously ill for benefit and support cuts

Mon, 25/11/2013 - 12:29 -- nick

Hated Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith is to target some of the most seriously ill benefit claimants for cuts.

They include people with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

Smith is proposing to  dump the work-related activity group (WRAG), which provides support including training and interview practice to those who are deemed fit-to-work with help.

550,000 people are in this group, and half have got back into work within three years despite their issues, but this is considered insufficient.

Food banks say use has doubled since benefit cuts

Thu, 11/07/2013 - 13:52 -- nick

Despite the government's insistence that benefit cuts have nothing to do with increased food bank need, the number using them has doubled since cuts came into force.

The Trussell Trust, the UK's biggest food bank provider, says it has seen a 200% increase in the number of referrals for help since the April changes, and that more than half of these were linked to benefits issues.

Food bank use soars, but don't blame our cuts - minister

Wed, 03/07/2013 - 18:49 -- nick

The use of food banks has soared since the government came to power, but Minister for Work and Pensions Lord David Freud has rejected a link with the government's benefit cuts.

Speaking in the House of Lords yesterday Lord Freud said it was hard to make a "causal link" between the two.

Despite evidence that more and more people are being driven to use the facilities due to over-zealous sanctioning - removing benefits for often-small violations of benefit rules - and below-inflation benefit rises, the Minister said:

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.

Light at the end of the tunnel? No more benefit cuts, says Osborne

Tue, 28/05/2013 - 12:04 -- nick

Chancellor George Osborne has fought off attempts from his own cabinet ministers to raid benefits again, agreeing cuts in spending instead.

Osborne has set himself a target to slash £11.5 billion from the government's budget this year, and has already agreed reductions with seven government departments of up to 10%.

These are justice, energy, communities, Cabinet Office, Treasury, Foreign Office and Northern Ireland.



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