Welfare Rights Conference 2017: Full Workshops Announced

12 July 2017

The full workshops for our annual Welfare Rights Conference 2017 have been announced. For more information and to book your place, click here.

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‘The scales of justice can seem very unbalanced’ – an interview with barrister Tom Royston

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We were delighted to learn last week that Tom Royston, a barrister who specialises in social welfare law, won the prestigious Legal Aid Newcomer Award at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards. We put Tom forward for the award because of his tireless work with us on key cases. These include the Rutherford case last year, in which we challenged the ‘bedroom tax’ in the Supreme Court and won. The Court ruled that the Government had discriminated against Paul and Susan Rutherford and their severely disabled grandson Warren, who needs overnight care.

New factsheets

10 July 2017

We have produced two new factsheets:

Prisoners and benefits
Prisoners and universal credit

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Prisoners and universal credit

Your universal credit is affected if you are in prison. This factsheet describes how it can be affected if you or your partner are remanded in custody or serve a prison sentence. It provides information on what happens to your universal credit if you get a community-based sentence, and what happens when you are released from prison.

Prisoners and benefits

Most social security benefits are affected if you are in prison. This factsheet outlines the main issues that come up if you are remanded in custody or if you are serving a prison sentence. It also provides some information on what happens to benefits if you get a community-based sentence, and what should happen when you are released from prison.

For information about universal credit and imprisonment, please see our factsheet Prisoners and universal credit.

Good work in London: have your say

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London is one of the most dynamic and successful cities in the world. But we also know our city is highly unequal with some groups excluded from economic prosperity.

‘Loud and clear’ no more: the shift from child poverty to ‘troubled families’

Poverty 157 (Summer 2017)

The legally binding commitment to eradicate child poverty, once agreed upon by all our main political parties, no longer exists. Instead, the social policy focus at the current time is on ‘troubled’ and ‘workless’ families. Stephen Crossley examines the shifts that have taken place in recent years, highlighting some causes for concern.

Editorial: Poverty 157

Poverty 157 (Summer 2017)

Under David Cameron we saw child poverty targets scrapped and poverty reframed as a matter not of lack of money but of poor ‘life chances’, while the number of children in poverty increased. Theresa May promised to address the ‘burning injustices’ in society, including poverty, but has continued to pursue policies which are projected to drive child poverty up to over 5 million by the end of this parliament.

25 years on: reflections on social justice

Poverty 157 (Summer 2017)

Since she took office, Theresa May has adopted the language of ‘social justice’, promising to end the ‘burning injustice’ that some are born into lives of more opportunity than others, because of poverty, race, gender or class. There have been promises of a green paper, setting out her reform agenda. ‘Social justice’ has been high on the agenda before. Twenty five years ago, John Smith’s Commission on Social Justice was set up and, two years later, it published its final recommendations for improving social justice in the UK in Social Justice: strategies for national renewal. Advocating for a society that invests in people as its greatest asset and source of growth, the Commission was very influential in shaping social policy in the New Labour years. Here, four former Commission members, together with a commentator from a different part of the political spectrum, the Director of the think tank Bright Blue, reflect on developments since then and suggest what should be included in a social justice strategy today.

Advice post High Court decision on Benefit Cap and lone parents with children under two

Last updated: June 29, 2017

On 22 June 2017, the High Court ruled that the benefit cap as it applied to lone parents with children under 2 was unlawful.