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Supreme Court to decide on ‘unlawful’ bedroom tax

23 February 2016
Following last month’s victory in the Court of Appeal, the battle continues for Paul and Sue Rutherford and their severely disabled grandson, Warren. The Court held that the ‘bedroom tax’ (or under-occupancy penalty) is in breach of the Human Rights Act 1998.

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.

Frozen out: government’s silent treatment on Welfare Reform and Work Bill

21 December 2015
Last week the Welfare Reform and Work Bill entered committee stage in the House of Lords. The bill will scrap all the government’s child poverty targets and measures, and make sweeping cuts to social security. Given the wide-ranging changes it seeks to make, it is surprising – and worrying – that ministers have provided so little detail on how the new measures will work and what the impacts will be on families with children.

What do experts and professionals think of the ‘local welfare safety net’?

17 November 2015
Does local discretion on social security deliver ‘localism in action’ or a postcode lottery? That’s one of the questions being asked by the Commons Work and Pensions select committee in looking at the interaction between the national benefits system and locally-run schemes.

Small steps forward on sanctions

13 November 2015
In many ways, benefit sanctions offer the holy grail of public policy: the opportunity to find small changes that make a big difference, at little or no cost to the public purse. In its belated response to the Work and Pensions Committee’s report on sanctions in March of this year, the government has outlined a number of such policy changes.

Who loses what from tax credit cuts?

26 October 2015
Today the Lords vote on government policies to cut tax credits, the extra support people on low wages receive to ‘top up’ their incomes. With over two thirds of children growing up in poverty living in a working family, tax credits are a vital tool to help families make ends meet.

Protecting children from the benefit cap

12 October 2015
With conference ‘fun’ over, it’s back to business as usual and the relentless march of the benefit cap. With parliament returning this week, today work will continue on the Welfare Reform and Work Bill.

What does blue-collar Conservatism look like?

12 October 2015
After the 2015 election the Prime Minister promised ‘blue-collar Conservatism’, which he said was about 'giving everyone in our country the chance to get on, with the dignity of a job, the pride of a pay cheque, a home of their own and the security and peace of mind that comes from being able to support a family’.

No such thing as a free lunch?

22 September 2015
A mere two years ago, the government introduced universal free school meals for infants. We were delighted at the time - and said so. Evidence from pilot projects showed that while all children benefit from free school meals, low-income children benefit the most.

London costs: raising children in the capital

08 September 2015
"It will come as little surprise that raising a child is expensive, and that in London it has the potential to be more expensive than other parts of the country. However, new research from Child Poverty Action Group on the extra costs of children in the capital has brought up some intriguing findings that are relevant for the whole country."