Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Guardian

Theresa May performs major U-turn on plans to cap housing benefit

PM says government will no longer roll out changes that would have capped benefit for social housing and supported homes.

PM will not reduce six-week wait for universal credit despite MPs’ warnings

Government says it believes advance payments system solves problems around delays as Labour urges Tories to support motion to pause rollout of benefit.

Scotland calls for halt on universal credit

Northern Ireland also expresses concerns, putting launch of flagship welfare reform in doubt.

Families stripped of tax credits by Concentrix to have cases reviewed

Government decision comes after barrage of complaints that HMRC contractor was wrongly removing benefits from claimants.

Thousands of jobs to go in government shakeout of welfare to work sector

Funding to shrink by 75% from March when work programme is replaced by much smaller work and health programme.

UN Asks Government To Explain Two-Child Cap On Child Tax Credits

SNP raised concerns about ‘medieval’ clause that it says discriminates against those who may want larger families for religious reasons.

Duty Of Care For Disabled People In UK Not Being Met, Say Peers

Tories face pressure to look at impact of welfare cuts on 11m disabled people after House of Lords report identifies series of failures.

PM Says ‘No Conflict’ Between Fighting Poverty And Cutting Benefits

David Cameron sets out plan to improve life chances of the ‘left behind’, insisting strategy compatible with welfare cuts.

Benefit Cuts Under Universal Credit Could Be Illegal, Says Labour

Shadow work and pensions secretary says differences between tax credits and new welfare system are discriminatory and leave families worse off.

DWP To Apologise To Woman Whose Brother Killed Himself After His Benefits Were Cut

Health service ombudsman partially upholds Linda Cooksey’s complaint over case of her late brother Tim Salter.

George Osborne’s Spending Review Cuts To Hit Social Care And Police

Chancellor to spell out how axe will fall on Whitehall budgets that were not protected in election manifesto pledge.

Fit-For-Work Tests Linked To Relapses In Those With Mental Health Problems

Dr Jed Boardman says work capability assessment causes distress for people with severe problems and has led to relapses.

‘Conscious Cruelty’: Ken Loach’s Shock At Benefit Sanctions And Food Banks

‘Hunger is being used as a weapon,’ says veteran director, calling for public rage over situation he says is worse than when he made Cathy Come Home in 1966.

More Spending Cuts Will Damage Economy, TUC Report Warns

Study says government’s obsession with shrinking size of state is straining public services and further cuts will harm growth.

Softening Of Tax Credit Blow To Be Funded By Housing Benefit Cuts

Compromise over chancellor’s controversial measure will hit same people already losing their tax credits.

Cuts To Housing Benefit Could Make Claimants £570 A Year Worse Off

Institute for Public Policy research says alternative to tax credits cuts could save £2.4bn but would hit 4.8 million households.

Mental Health Needs Urgent Extra Funding To Avert Crisis, Say Trust Chief Executives

Ahead of the spending review, 10 London mental health trusts warn against raiding their budgets to plug funding shortfalls in acute hospitals

Fit-For-Work Tests May Have Taken Serious Toll On Mental Health – Study

Research links additional 590 suicides and 725,000 antidepressant prescriptions over three years to impact of work capability assessment.

Osborne ‘Targets’ Housing Benefit To Soften Tax Credit Cuts

George Osborne is considering housing benefit cuts to pay for a partial climb down on tax credit changes, according to a government source.

Tory Benefit Cuts Face New Attack In Lords

Labour and Lib Dem peers will use debate on reform to warn of child poverty surge.

Most Tories Oppose Tax Credits Cuts, Says Conservative MP

Stephen McPartland, writing in the Observer, is leading a rebellion urging George Osborne to drop proposals.

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