Tag Archives: benefit cap

“I take illegal measures to support my family against benefit cuts”

spare bedroom
Image by Sophie Drake

In January 2014, Iain Duncan Smith, Government Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, set out plans for the future of welfare in the UK.

In his policy speech ‘Simplifying the welfare system and making sure work pays’ he said: “Our welfare reforms are about ensuring it is no longer more worthwhile to be on benefits than in work.”

But difficulties with illness, finding suitable work and trying to manage family finances mean it is far from simple for many hard-pressed families.

Breaking the rules

21-year-old Sarah from Cornwall pays her stepfather’s monthly ‘spare room subsidy’ charge in return for living in the unoccupied room he has in his four bedroom house. Continue reading “I take illegal measures to support my family against benefit cuts”

19 places to get updates on welfare reform

If you want to keep track of what’s happening in welfare reform we’ve compiled this list of some of the most useful – and varied – sources on everything from the bedroom tax to child poverty.

We’ve also put together a dashboard if you want to follow these on a single easy-to-check webpage. You can follow a public version here, or add it to Netvibes here.

Here’s who we’ve added – can you think of others?

1. The Guardian – topic: welfare

The Guardian is the UK newspaper that invests the most in covering welfare issues.

Their website allows you to follow specific topics such as ‘benefits‘ (within the Society section), as well as individual journalists, such as Patrick ButlerBut we’ve picked the general ‘politics – welfare’ topic first because it sometimes includes stories written by other journalists that aren’t classified under either of the other. 

This story on Nick Clegg’s criticism of child benefit policy, for example, comes under ‘child benefit’ rather than ‘benefits’, and is written by a politics reporter – but it does still come under the welfare topic.

2. Inside Housing: news

With so little specialist coverage in the press, specialist magazines are often a better place to look for welfare-related news. Continue reading 19 places to get updates on welfare reform

Welfare reform and data: telling London’s benefit cap stories

Representatives of the voluntary sector gathered on Monday for an event to share good practice on using data on the impact of welfare reform – and Help Me Investigate was there to cover it.

The Welfare Reform and Data seminar, organised by Ade Sofola of Save the Children‘s 4in10 campaign, hosted speakers from the New Policy Institute (npi), and Help Me Investigate’s own Paul Bradshaw who live-tweeted from the event on the @HMIwelfare Twitter account.

Hannah Aldridge from the New Policy Institute presented information and data about child poverty in London while Bradshaw spoke about the stories that can be told with data, how collaborative investigations work, and ways of increasing engagement with ongoing stories. Continue reading Welfare reform and data: telling London’s benefit cap stories