With rising prices on one side and falling benefits on the other, have single parents been disproportionately hit by welfare reforms? Gingerbread, the charity supporting lone parents, believes so.
Their online survey ‘Paying the price:single parents in the age of austerity (pdf)’ asked a number of questions about meeting rising living costs, with 591 single parents replying between July and September 2013.
HMI Welfare have obtained the online survey data results here Continue reading Single parents in benefits storm – Gingerbread’s data
These are some welfare links we found interesting during the second week of September.
What were Ian Duncan Smith’s ‘welfare reforms’ really about?. Guardian, Sue Marsh, spokeswoman and author of Diary of a Benefit Scrounger says the reforms are frightening the most vulnerable.
Hard evidence: are migrants draining the welfare system?. The Conversation. The evidence is to the contrary.
Patrick Kennedy: ‘Speak up’ for mental illness. Politico, A call to reassess mental injuries caused in military combat.
UN housing expert’s call to axe bedroom tax ‘a disgrace’ – senior Tory. Guardian, Bedroom tax. Conservative party chairman, Grant Shapps takes issue with the UN special rapporteur’s views of the bedroom tax.
Ed Milliband to pledge crackdown on zero-contracts . BBC. In his address to the TUC, Ed Milliband will set out plans to tackle the spread of zero-hour contracts.
Child Poverty Action Group update: The reality of striving and surviving on benefits. Video with single parent, A Girl called Jack.
Europe could have up to 25 million ‘new poor’ if austerity drags on .Oxfam. The report states that damage caused by austerity measures will take at least two decades to reverse.
These are some welfare links we found interesting during the second two weeks of August.
- Food bank Britain: life below the line: Guardian. The Trussell Trust opens three new food banks a week, finding not only those facing benefit cuts but also working families, are queuing up.
- Living standards crisis is a housing crisis. Channel 4. Faisal Islam; The daytrippers take in the sun on the south Devon coast. It’s the height of the summer holidays in Teignmouth. No one’s talking economics, but here in the district of Teignbridge, the squeeze is everywhere.
- Record numbers of care homes warned over illegally poor standards, Telegraph. Laura Donnelly; As warnings and standards reports become the norm, care homes come under fire, with figures out from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
- Bedroom tax forcing previously paid-up tenants into areas 24dash.com. In Newport and Monmouthshire 55% of tenants affected by the under-occupancy policy have fallen into arrears since its inception on 1 April.
- More Police forces trial ‘street triage’ mental health scheme. BBC; Five more police forces are to pilot a scheme whereby mental health nurses accompany officers on call-outs, the government has announced.
- Concern over possible outsourcing of disability social work service. Community care; Staff support for establishment of all-age disability service tempered by concerns over possible future sell-off to private sector or creation of social enterprise.
- Café run by young people offers mental health counselling . Guardian, social care network; The Yasp cafe offers a laid-back environment where young people can receive support or train as mentors.
- DWP is using your taxes to employ people on zero hour contracts. What Can I Do About It?
- Zero-hour contracts are inappropriate in the field of social work. Guardian, Homecare Hub; Contracts in which hours can be given or removed as reward or punishment make bullying easier and whistleblowing dangerous.
- Bank of America intern death sparks debate over hours. BBC. How much did overwork play a part in the death of an intern in London? The coroner’s report will be out in a month.
- Labour need to re-define what it means to be “Working Class”. And quick. Diary of a Benefit Scrounger blog. A passionate plea for the worker to be represented in 21st century Britain.
- The Secrets Cuts: part 4, Personal Independence Payments and part 6, How are those with mental health problems treated by Atos? New Statesman, Alan White.
These are the welfare-related links we’ve been looking at between January 26th and March 22nd:
These are the welfare-related links we’ve been looking at between December 21st and January 25th:
- Management in Practice – GPs could help save £190m in sick pay – Launching in 2014, the advisory service will allow GPs to identify employees who need support as well as issuing 'fit notes'. Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform said: "Long-term sickness absence is a burden to business, to the taxpayer and to the thousands of people who get trapped on benefits when they could actually work.
- The cost of government: what does the new transactions data really tell us? | News | guardian.co.uk – And the worst offender? The massive Department for Work and Pensions, which is Britain's biggest spending government department and administers benefits. So, for instance we have no idea how much it costs to process each of the 40m Jobseeker's allowance signing ons or to administer the benefit's 3.4m claims. The Department is responsible for 48,704,000 transactions in the high volume list alone – and we don't know the cost of any of them.
- Reasons to be fearful: Oakley & Policy Exchange, foxes in the benefits coop | skwalker1964 – To keep this post to a readable length, I won’t go into detail on some of the other proposals that Mr Oakley would like to see implemented, or wild opinions that he holds, but will just list some of them:
All assistance for unemployed people to find work provided by private/charitable providers
Time-limiting unemployment benefits
Cutting regional pay to fund infrastructure spending – thereby penalising those who are already disadvantaged in order to fund growth-measures, rather than taxing the wealthiest
Selling public housing in expensive areas to private owners, forcing social tenants out of ‘desirable’ areas
Claiming benefits leads to criminality
Re-distributing income to low-paid people is a bad idea, because it ‘does nothing to encourage progression and self-sufficiency‘.
- Request Initiative » Eleven work and pensions civil servants sacked for using Twitter or Facebook – The 11 sacked officials are among 116 DWP employees to have faced disciplinary action for blogging and social networking since January 2009, according to figures revealed under the Freedom of Information Act.
- What is George Osborne doing to benefits? | Society | guardian.co.uk – Let's imagine someone receives £100 a month, all of which is spent on goods and services (domestic heating, food, bills, etc). The current inflation rate is 2.7%, which means in a year's time buying the exact same things would cost £102.70. Under the previous system, this is what benefits would've risen to. But with the changes, they would now only rise to £101 – leaving the recipient £1.70 worse off. Given the changes will last for at least three years, this represents a cut in income of between 3% to 6%, depending what happens with inflation. In reality, the impact could be even worse, as research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies suggests low-income households experience a higher inflation rate than richer ones.
These are the welfare-related links we’ve been looking at between June 20th and August 20th: Continue reading Welfare-related links for June 20th through August 20th