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Supreme Court splits the baby over the benefit cap

20 March 2015
The Supreme Court was sharply divided yesterday over whether the benefit cap breaches the Human Rights Act. The controversial cap limits the total amount of benefits an out-of-work family can receive, including housing benefit and benefits for children, to £500 per week.

What was missing from the 2015 Budget? Anything to do with child poverty

19 March 2015
'This was a "see no poverty, hear no poverty" budget from a government in denial. The Chancellor made claim to a truly national recovery throughout his speech but this is a ‘See no poverty, Hear no poverty’ Budget which continues to leave children and the low paid behind.

Poor children are invisible in this election

17 March 2015
Back in the early 2000s, ‘child poverty’ was the term on every politician’s lips. The lead up to the Child Poverty Act in 2010 achieved cross-party consensus on the necessity of eradicating child poverty by 2020. These days, enthusiasm to give children in poverty the attention they deserve seems more muted.

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

The limits of Universal Credit

06 March 2015
Since 2010 the Government has overseen an ambitious, large-scale programme of income redistribution. From poorer to richer groups. That’s the striking conclusion to be drawn from the most comprehensive analysis to date of the Government’s social policy record published recently by the LSE and the universities of Manchester and York.

Sanctions under scrutiny

22 January 2015
When MPs on the Commons Work and Pensions Committee sat down to take evidence in the second instalment of their inquiry on sanctions yesterday, two media stories hung in the air.

The importance of local welfare assistance

22 January 2015
Maria is one of thousands of parents up and down the country who have received support from their council through local welfare provision funding. She was living with her abusive partner and her child, with no access to the household’s money, and no family in the country.

"The last backstop for the most vulnerable": what now for local welfare schemes?

19 December 2014
Announcing the provisional local government finance settlement yesterday, Kris Hopkins made things sound just rosy for local welfare provision. A £129.6 million allocation for the successor schemes to the social fund next year? Happy Christmas, one and all.

New evidence shows people use food banks due to the negative effects of welfare reform

08 December 2014
"What is driving food bank use in the UK? Answering this research question is something of a challenge. There is no official data on food bank use – although the Trussell Trust does collect data on the numbers using their network, alongside reasons for referral – and no systematic evidence base telling us why people are referred for support.