Tagged: welfare spending

DWP Asked To Find £15bn Of Welfare Cuts

Treasury officials have asked the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to find even deeper cuts to welfare spending, according to reports.

BBC Newsnight’s Political Editor, Allegra Stratton, has reported that treasury officials have asked Iain Duncan Smith to find £15bn of welfare cuts, rather than the £12bn originally promised in the Tory manifesto.

A treasury source allegedly told  Stratton that both child tax credits and working tax credit could be in the firing line for £8bn in cuts.

Full story :  http://northstar.boards.net/thread/98/asked-find-15bn-welfare-cuts

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Tories Plan Fresh Attack Against Benefit Claimants- Suprised ?

A future Conservative government would reduce the benefit cap from £26,000 to £23,000 and force young unemployed people to work for their benefits, chancellor George Osborne has revealed.

He told the Mail on Sunday that lowering the controversial benefit cap would help fund three million new apprenticeships. Previous Tory attempts to lower the cap have been blocked by the Liberal Democrats.

 He also announced that 18-21 year-olds who are out-of-work for longer that six months would be required to take part in unpaid “community projects”, such as cleaning up local parks, or risk having their benefit payments stopped if they refuse.

The Tories believe such a move would be popular among voters calling for yet more cuts to welfare spending. But it will alarm charities and poverty campaigners, who argue that benefit claimants are being unfairly targeted for cuts and marginalised in British society.

 Osborne said:

“Our mission is not just to save the pounds here and there, we’re trying to change the welfare system so it doesn’t trap people in poverty and a culture of dependency. It is a tragedy for them and a waste for the country.

“We are saying you will receive an allowance but if you can’t find work after six months, you will have to work for the dole. They are difficult decisions but the right ones.”

 Osborne also said that 18-21 year-olds would be prevented from claiming housing benefit.

It is not acceptable for young people under the age of 21 to go straight from school and into a home paid for through housing benefit – benefit funded by other people who are working”, he said.

Mr Osborne claimed that before the introduction of the benefit cap “some families were receiving £100,000 a year in housing benefit”. An analysis by the respected fact-checking website FullFact in November 2012 found that only 70 households, out of a total of 4.5 million, were receiving over £1,000 per week in housing benefit a week in September 2010.

Even this is likely to overstate the number claiming £100,000 per year however”, said FullFact, “as a family would need to claim over £1,900 per week to hit this total. Previous FoI responses from the Department have suggested around five families benefited by this amount.”

They added: “While the evidence suggests that there are a small number of Housing Benefit claims of more than £100,000 per year – perhaps around five – these cases are very much the exception rather than the rule.

“Focusing exclusively on these outliers without first putting them into context, where over 80% of claims are below £100 per week, could distort the debate around this important topic.”

Rachel Reeves, Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary said:

David Cameron’s Government is set to overspend by a staggering £13 billion on social security. And the number of working people claiming Housing Benefit is set to double by 2018/19 costing every UK household £488.

“Spending has risen because the Government has failed to tackle the increasing number of low wage jobs and their welfare policies, from Universal Credit to Personal Independence Payments, are in chaos.

“We must bring down social security spending and doing that requires a new approach to tackle the root causes of these costs directly. That’s why a Labour Government would make work pay by increasing the minimum wage, stop young people cycling in and out of welfare before they’re established in jobs and build more homes to tackle rising housing benefit spending.

“Alongside our plans to introduce a compulsory jobs guarantee to get the long term unemployed off benefits and into work, these measures will help control social security spending for the long term. All the Tories offer is announcements to hide the truth of rising welfare spending.”

> compulsory jobs guarantee = workfare.  Different arseholes, but the same old shit.

 Update: Since publishing this article it has been brought to our attention that a future Tory government would also scrap Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) for 18-21 year-olds. It would be replaced with a “youth allowance”, paid at the same level as JSA. In order to continue receiving payments after six months of being unemployed young people would be required to “work for their dole” on “community projects”. The idea of a youth allowance has already been proposed by the Labour Party.

Source –  Welfare News Service,  28 Sept 2014

http://welfarenewsservice.com/tories-plan-fresh-attack-benefit-claimants/

Durham City – Public meeting debates welfare cuts

A public meeting has been called to debate benefits and welfare spending.

The debate is the second to be staged by Durham Democracy Forum, a new group set up to discuss the big political issues of the day.

The meeting will be held in Durham Town Hall on Thursday, May 1, at 6pm.

The panel will include:

– Chris Goulden, a member of the Social Security Advisory Committee which advises the Department for Work and Pensions;

Ryan Bourne, head of public policy at the conservative Institute for Economic Affairs think tank;

Paul Simpson, from Durham People’s Assembly.

Matters to be addressed include whether there should be any welfare cuts, if so, where they should fall and the bedroom tax.

All are welcome and entry is free. For further details; http://durhamdemocracyforum.org.uk/ 

Source –  Northern Echo  18 April 2014

Is this the worst time ever to be young?

Successive Government policies that unfairly target the young are making this the worst time to grow up in decades, campaigners say.

High levels of youth unemployment, increased university tuition fees and the difficulty of getting a mortgage have been cited as problems affecting young people, along with changes to the benefit system and cuts to youth support services.

People working with young people in the North East say they are being disproportionately targeted in the Government austerity cuts so that Ministers can protect older people who are statistically more likely to vote.

And there have been warnings that the situation is creating a “a generation without hope” who do not feel part of society.

Liz Emerson, co-founder of the Intergenerational Foundation, a national charity set up to ensure fairness between the generations, said: “This is the first period in recent history where children will have worst standards of living than their parents and their grandparents.

Successive Governments have put the interests of older generations before the interests of younger ones. They’ve taken away the EMA, they’ve taken away Sure Start schemes for young people, they’re taking away their travel concessions.”

Concerns about the young being unfairly targeted came earlier this month when Chancellor George Osborne signalled benefit cuts for the under-26s just a day after Prime Minister David Cameron said he would “triple lock” the state pension, which accounts for half of all welfare spending.

Jeff Hurst, who runs the Newcastle YMCA and is vice-chair of the city’s children’s trust board, said: “I was brought up in a generation where anything was possible and everything was positive. Now we are creating a generation without hope.

“What I see is fantastic young people who are motivated, who are clever, who are innovative who are able, but who are very frustrated.”

Mr Hurst said the combined effect of higher pension ages, more graduates, and a flood of axed public sector workers were squeezing the young out of the labour market until far into their twenties.

The situation is particularly acute in the North East, which has the highest rate of youth unemployment at nearly 24% and the worst score of any region on the Intergenerational Foundation’s age fairness index.

Geoff Mount of the charity Barnados, which has a number of youth projects in the region, said: “Times are tough for young people. Funding for courses is being cut, young people now are having to take out loans, and EMA has been taken away. We’ve got a bursary scheme in place but that doesn’t meet in my opinion the needs of those young people in greatest financial need. There are fewer job opportunities out there than ever before.”

Workers also cited a squeeze on housing, with last week’s ONS figures showing a quarter of 34-year-olds are now living with their parents.

The number of “boomerang children” has soared by 25% in the last 17 years, despite the youth population remaining the same, with under-24s in the North East the least likely in the country to have a mortgage.

Source – Newcastle Journal, 27 Jan 2014