The government’s bid to cap housing benefit for social rented properties is one of those policies that sounds, in its dry wording, almost painless. But listen to Becky Elton talk about the child abuse victims she sees, who are struggling with their mental health, or the veterans who have been sleeping rough, and you get an idea of some of those who will be affected by this nasty cut.
Elton, 39, is director of housing at Changing Lives – a charity that runs supported accommodation throughout the north-east. The service has 262 beds, and helps more than a thousand people each year: women fleeing domestic violence with their children; severely ill people leaving hospital who don’t have an address to be discharged to, because their landlord threw them out or they were homeless to begin with; young people – 16 or 17 years old – fresh out of children’s homes…
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150,000 households have been wrongly and unlawfully charged the bedroom tax and for the past three years … now that the precedent setting Upper Tribunal has finally decided what is a bedroom.…
‘…………By Sophy Ridge, Political Correspondent | Sky News
Welfare cuts worth £12bn a year will be announced in next month’s Budget, after the Government agreed “significant” spending reductions in the last few days.
On a weekend during which tens of thousands of protesters marched against austerity , Chancellor George Osborne and Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith signalled they would press ahead with cuts.
The welfare changes will include capping benefits at £23,000 a year for each family. Cuts to are also expected, defying speculation the promised cuts to the welfare budget would be watered down.
In an article in the Sunday Times, the joint letter from Mr Osborne and Mr Duncan Smith wrote: “This government was elected with a mandate to implement further savings from the £220bn welfare budget. For a start, we will reduce the benefit cap, and have made clear that we believe we need to make significant savings from other working-age benefits.
“We will set out in detail all the steps we will take to bring about savings totalling £12bn a year in next month’s Budget and at the spending review in the autumn.
“It took many years for welfare spending to spiral so far out of control, and it’s a project of a decade or more to return the system to sanity.
“Reforming the damaging culture of welfare dependency and ensuring that work pays has been central to our mission to make Britain fit for the future.”
The planned cuts emerged as anti-austerity protesters demanded an end to government cuts.
Organisers estimated that 250,000 people took part in the demonstrations in London, Glasgow, Liverpool and Bristol, including celebrities Russell Brand and Charlotte Church.
The decision to write the article on the same weekend as the protests will be seen as deliberately provocative.
The two ministers wrote: “All our reforms will have these central aims: to ensure the welfare system promotes work and personal responsibility, while putting expenditure on a sustainable footing.
“Welfare reform is fundamentally about opportunity and changing lives, supporting families to move from dependence to independence – a vital point, because without social mobility there can be no social justice.”
‘………..By staff writers
The government has announced that it intends to proceed with proposals to introduce a seven-day waiting period before claimants are eligible for Universal Credit which is already paid a month in arrears.
The Social Security Advisory Committee expressed concern in a report the length of time claimants would have to wait until their first payment of benefit, particularly in regard to housing benefit the housing and recommended that the government reconsider the policy.
The Trades Union Congress General Secretary, Frances O’Grady commented: “The government should remember that people pay into their national insurance out of every pay cheque. They’ve earned their protection and should not have support withheld from them if bad luck strikes.
“People forced out of low-paid jobs by sickness or redundancy will not have savings to tide them over. So for the low-waged, waiting days will be hunger days, with food banks their only option. The public may support targeted efforts to deal with the minority who abuse benefits, but this looks more like collective punishment for people who have done nothing wrong.
“As Universal Credit will be paid a month in arrears, waiting days mean that many people who have lost their job must wait up to six weeks before they get any cash. And with child tax credit and housing benefit being rolled into Universal Credit, we could see whole families go hungry, get into debt and even made homeless because of the way the policy is being implemented.”
The government has said it will apply the policy to new claims only and not to existing Universal Credit claims where a claimant moves into the All Work-Related Requirements Group as a result of a change in circumstances.
* The Social Security Advisory Committee report here:https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/fil… ……….’
You probably already know that when it gets here, the new Universal Credit (UC) benefit will mean the end of Housing Benefit (HB) in its current form. Instead of HB, claimants will be able to claim a ‘Housing Costs’ element in their UC, so that rent money goes to the tenant who will be responsible for keeping up to date with their own rent. This is irrespective of whether it’s a privately rented, council or Housing Association home.
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) accept that some tenants will have difficulty managing money or will simply not pay their rent. When this happens, landlords can apply to have the housing element paid directly and there is an online form to request this on gov.uk.
Its worth having a look at this to give you an idea of the sort of information the DWP will expect you to provide. One…
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