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Child poverty and party politics: what hopes of a consensus?

Issue 128 (Autumn 2007)
All the main parties agree that child poverty must be eradicated. But recent reports reveal a lack of common ground on the right level of state intervention. Lisa Harker analyses the different political approaches.

Poverty and 'place': does locality make a difference?

Issue 128 (Autumn 2007)
It’s easy to view poverty as an all-encompassing and uniform experience. However, the reality of poverty varies from place to place.

Tax credit administration errors

Issue 200 (October 2007)
On 25 July 2007, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jane Kennedy MP, issued a statement relating to administrative errors concerning some finalised awards for 2003/04, 2004/05 and 2005/06. The finalised award is a conclusive award and can only be revised under certain legal provisions. However some finalised awards were corrected – following information passed to the Revenue – using an incorrect procedure. Beth Lakhani looks at what this means for the awards concerned and provides some detail of the enquiry process.

Incapacity and 'substantial risk'

Issue 200 (October 2007)
Simon Osborne looks at various approaches to applying the ‘substantial risk’ provision that is part of the test for incapacity for work.

A guide for appeal representatives

Issue 200 (October 2007)
The Tribunals Service has issued a guide for representatives at social security appeal tribunals - Good practice guidance for those who appear before appeal tribunals. It was issued on 3rd August 2007, just over 12 months since the first draft of the guide was issued, and has undergone a substantial re-write following the consultation with representatives from the National Customer Representative Liaison Forum. The published version is a significant improvement on earlier drafts. Edward Graham outlines the main points.

Work, work, work: Green Paper on employment and benefits

Issue 199 (August 2007)
The Government have published a Green Paper outlining proposals on achieving full employment, including the threat of more benefit sanctions for lone parents and the unemployed. Simon Osborne describes the main points.

Work-focused interviews: recent rules and research

Issue 198 (June 2007)
Simon Osborne looks at the most recent rules and at what the latest research suggests about their likely effectiveness.

The Welfare Reform Act 2007

Issue 198 (June 2007)
The Welfare Reform Bill received Royal Assent on 3 May and became the Welfare Reform Act. Edward Graham summarises its main provisions

NINO knowledge

Issue 198 (June 2007)
Stewart Wright maps out where the requirement to have a national insurance number impacts on benefits and tax credits, and indicates where some legal challenges may arise.

Childcare costs and changes for tax credits

Issue 198 (June 2007)
Alison Gillies looks at how to work out childcare charges for working tax credit and how to identify when there has been a relevant change.