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Managing money: the importance of autonomy

16 December 2019
From time to time, we all get into difficulty managing our money. A boiler breaking, a car needing repair, a bigger heating bill than expected. These things can hit us hard and always seem to be poorly timed, particularly if money is already tight. We all have different methods of coping, and different ways of ensuring we keep on top of all the other bills and rent. Some people try to manage by taking the hit in one go; whereas others do the exact opposite, choosing to cut back less but over a longer period. Some will use savings and replenish these over time; others will try to cut back on their living expenses.

Too simple: the failure of universal credit assessment periods

08 August 2018
In the ‘simple’ world of universal credit, monthly assessment periods are the supposedly ‘neat’ way of judging what financial support families should get based on their earnings and circumstances.

It’s time to start listening: what the Department for Work and Pensions needs to learn about universal credit

12 July 2018
In the Commons last week, Work and Pensions ministers responded to concerns about universal credit by offering to look at individual constituency cases MPs were raising, where things might not be going quite right.

Widening the net and twisting the knife: the benefit cap gets worse

07 November 2016
Today sees the benefit cap – the limit on total benefits which households can receive if no-one works at least 16 hours a week – fall from £26,000 a year to £20,000, or £23,000 in London.

Bedroom tax: time for a dishonourable retirement

28 January 2016
The bedroom tax (or under-occupancy penalty, as the government prefers), after smashing through so many families’ carefully balanced budgets, has finally hit a legal wall.

What is happening to discretionary housing payments?

16 March 2015
If you had heard the Minister for Disabled People, Mark Harper, reassuring MP on Monday this week about future funding levels of Discretionary Housing Payments, you would be forgiven for believing that, on this issue, the Government was making adequate resources available to meet needs

CPAG criticises housing payments cut

30 January 2015
Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has strongly criticised the government’s decision, announced today, to cut local authorities’ budgets for discretionary housing payments by 24% (from £165m in 2014 -15 to £125m for 2015-16)[fn]Discretionary Financial Assistance Regulations 2001 SI No. 11167 p1599[/fn]

New research shows councils in London fear housing crisis fuelled by welfare reform

11 June 2014
Cuts to benefits have left families in London struggling and unsure how they will afford to stay living in their area, according to a new CPAG report released today. Based on interviews with councils, advice services and parents as well a review of existing evidence, the report highlights that these key groups share the same fear: a housing crisis uprooting families from their homes and communities, with children’s education facing huge disruption by these forced moves.

Families on the brink: welfare reform in London

11 June 2014
London’s housing crisis is well publicised and well discussed. We're used to reading about extortionate rents being charged for box properties or a generation that is likely to be priced out of buying.