24 February 2016
Yesterday the Government voted to scrap an amendment made to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill by the House of Lords, to oblige the Government to report on how many children are growing up poor.
The House of Lords voted resoundingly for an amendment which reinserted measures of poverty based on income (rather than the 'life chances' measures, including educational attainment and parental worklessness the Government prefers).
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.
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.
26 January 2016
After some time on the back-foot, if not in headlong retreat, common sense won out last night in the latest stage of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill's passage through parliament.
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.
11 December 2015
Now you see it, now you don't. Steve Bell sums up the government's plans to scrap child poverty targets. Instead of measuring and acting on child poverty, they just want to measure how many children have parents who are out of work and how well they do at their GCSEs.
08 December 2015
This letter was published in the Guardian on 7 December 2015.
Ten years ago, on his first day as party leader, David Cameron vowed that “the test for our policies will not be how they affect the better off, but how they help the worst-off in our country”.
07 December 2015
Now you see it… Now you don’t. The government’s rustled up a party trick for the kids this Christmas. They’re going to make 3.7 million of them disappear. Britain’s children aren’t going anywhere, of course, particularly those who are growing up poor.
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.