Labour’s new DWP pledge is only a half measure | The Canary


Labour has clarified its position over a contentious Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) policy. But when you check it, it really doesn’t go far enough; potentially leaving millions of people worse off than they should be.

The DWP: freezing all over

In April 2016, the government brought in the benefits freeze. This meant the DWP would not increase the amount paid for some working age benefits until April 2020. It followed a cap on increases at 1% from April 2013. The benefits affected are:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).
  • Child Benefit.
  • Housing Benefit.
  • Tax credits.
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Work-Related Activity Group.
  • Universal Credit (not disability elements).

The government said the freeze would save it £3.9bn a year. But now, Labour has moved on the policy.

Labour making moves

As Mirror journalist Dan Bloom tweeted, Labour’s position on the benefits freeze was unclear:

 

Source: Labour’s new DWP pledge is only a half measure | The Canary

David Cameron cuts benefits


Reblogged from Beyond Disability

‘……………


The Conservative Party is planning to cut £12bn from the welfare budget, but the specific cuts have not been outlined in their manifesto. You can, however, get an idea of where the cuts will come from by looking at their economic projections, the benefits they pledge to leave unchanged and leaked internal documents.

Which benefits can we expect to see cut?
When pushed about the specifics, David Cameron told Evan Davis on Newsnight that Incapacity Benefits are on the list.

“We have been getting people off what was called Incapacity Benefit and back into work. We’re going to continue with that, successfully reducing welfare.”

This is backed up by internal government documents which were leaked to the BBC.

The benefits most likely to be cut:

Carers’ Allowance – £1bn cut, 40% of claimants affected
Disability benefits – £1.5bn cut every year
Council Tax support
Child Benefit – £1bn cut every year
Employment and Support Allowance and Job Seekers Allowance – £1.3bn cut by 2018/19, meaning that 30% of claimants (more than 300,000 families) will lose £80 per week.

This Government’s fundamental strategy with poverty has been to “get people off benefits and into work”. Their philosophy is that easily-accessed benefits discourage people from seeking work.

These cuts haven’t saved much money
The Department for Work and Pensions predicted that cutting incapacity benefits would save £3.5bn in 2014/15.

But some economists, such as Jonathan Portes, cast doubt on this. In fact, according to the most recent forecasts, spending will actually INCREASE.

The original forecasts were based on the belief that the number of people on benefit would have gone down by about half a million, to 2.1 million by 2014/15.

But this is what actually happened:

Numbers have started rising again. As Portes points out, “there are now more than 2.5 million people on the benefit – fully 400,000 more than the DWP expected in 2011.”

And cutting benefits haven’t helped people to get work
Just 12% of new Employment and Support Allowance claimants were able to get a ‘job outcome’ through the Work Programme, according to the most recent statistics.

In fact, this isn’t too far off the original DWP estimate of 13% – but it’s still rather low. If we look at ex-Incapacity Benefit ESA participants then the proportion of people who have found work is just 5%.

The Work Programme has been relatively successful in finding work for young unemployed people.

But the failure of the policy with disabled claimants raises questions over Cameron’s confidence that future plans to cut it even further will succeed.

Courtesy of The mirror  ………’

Child Benefit, is it a right?


Proposed changes to Child Benefit

Child Benefit was originally Family Allowance introduced in 1946 from the Act of 1945 and was first mentioned in the Beveridge Report 1942. This report also lead to the expansion of National Insurance contributions and the creation of the NHS. In 1946 you would not receive any benefit for your first child, only for your second and subsequent children. I believe this was a means of encouraging people to have more than one child, so to build up the UK population after the 2 world wars of World War I and World War II. I can not, however find anything to confirm this, except

“15. The plan is based on a diagnosis of want. It starts from facts, from
the condition of the people as revealed by social surveys between the two
wars. It takes account of two other facts about the British community,
arising out of past movements of the birth rate and the death rate, which
should dominate planning for its future ; the main eUects of these movements
in determining the present and future of the British people are shown by
Table XI in para. 234. The first of the two facts is the age constitution of
the population, making-it certain that persons past the age that is now
regarded as the end of working life will be a much larger proportion of the
whole community than at any time in the past. The second fact is the low
reproduction rate of the British community today : unless this rate is raised
very materially in the near future, a rapid and continuous decline of the
population cannot be prevented. The first 7act makes it necessary to seek
ways of postponing the age of retirement from work rather than of hastening
it. The second fact makes it imperative to give first place in social expenditure
to the care of childhood and to the safeguarding of maternity.”

This is an extract from Cabinet Papers 20 November 1942, the papers relate to the Social Insurance and Allied Services , the specific section being Part 1 section 15.

On viewing these papers the problems relating to the amount of people approaching retirement or in retirement to those approaching to commence work or working was a major concern.  A problem which is still of concern today and I am sure many other of today’s problems could have been of concern then as they are now.

It was not until 1977 that the benefit was paid for the first child.

It is evident that the intension was for this benefit to be only paid to UK citizens, as it was well before the formation of the Common Market, now the European Union and the Human Rights Act.

These days nobody needs encouragement to have children and therefore the time is right to amend the criteria of entitlement. No one should be expecting the state to be responsible for their own actions.