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The Impact of Welfare Reform

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  1. The Impact of Welfare Reform

  2. Overview Context – biggest shake up of welfare system since it was created Potential Impact – significant problems with roll out mean in some areas we are still looking at potential rather than actual impact Universal Credit – reset to zero after 600m spend Target by Sept 2014 2.5m on Universal Credit; actual at Sept 2014 only 8,500 DLA to PIP backlog; 42 years to clear backlog Actual impact Bedroom tax Council tax benefit Assessment delays Mandatory reconsideration Benefit Cap

  3. Potential Impact Replacing Disability Living AllowanceCovering the extra costs of disability. Scope estimates an extra £550 per monthGeorge Osborne 2010: 20% cutBy 2018 400,000 fewer disabled people entitled to motability vehiclesGovernment claims £1 billion savings; campaigners estimate loss to the economy of more than 2.3 billion

  4. Potential Impact ‘ Universal CreditHoles in the Safety Net: the impact of UC on disabled people’ calculated450,000 households with disabled members worse off, including:230,000 disabled people with high support needs impacted by abolition of severe disability premium100,000 households with disabled children116,000 disabled people in workTransition protection not inflation linked

  5. Potential Impact ‘ Universal CreditCalculated per household – trapping in abusive relationshipsDigital by default – online applications inaccessible to disabled peoplePaid direct to claimants not landlords – Southwark council predicts 14m in arrears

  6. Impact of Welfare Reform Bedroom Tax

  7. Council Tax Benefit Exemptions for “vulnerable”; lack of information By October 2013 estimated 450,000 ‘vulnerable’ people summonsed as a result Southwark – total of 9000 summonses Knowsley – liability orders increased by 99% Case study: Jan Campbell in Barnsley; ¼ income swallowed up by council tax and bedroom tax shortfall Impact of Welfare Reform

  8. Personal Independence Payments – delays Public Accounts Committee investigation – Margaret Hodge, Chair found “significant delays, a backload of claims and unnecessary distress for claimants unable to access the support they need to live, and in some cases, work independently” 16 months April 2013 – Sept 2014 just under 40% of 529,400 claims processed Mark Harper: by end of this year no one should be waiting from than 16 weeks for a decisions Impact of Welfare Reform

  9. Personal Independence Payments – delays Overwhelmed with cases Impact - no access to eg carer’s allowance or blue badge without PIP award - loss of homes - vehicles repossessed Impact of Welfare Reform

  10. Mandatory Reconsideration Since October 2013 – reconsideration needed before appeal for Employment Support Allowance decisions Target timeframe is 2 weeks but regularly 6 weeks During reconsideration can only apply for Job Seekers Allowance - housing and council tax benefit stopped - only eligible for JSA if you are fit for work Impact of Welfare Reform

  11. Benefit Cap Savings off-set by increased costs; cost-shunting exercise Challenges: increased social disadvantage; worsening mental health; women unable to leave abusive relationships; children at greater risk of being put into care Chris Goulden, Joseph Rowntree Foundation: cap does little to cut the deficit; if we want to reduce the welfare bill we need to address high cost of housing, low pay, and barriers to work such as affordable childcare Impact of Welfare Reform

  12. Foodbanks Trussell Trust – 3 days’ emergency food provided to 913,138 people 2013 – 2014 compared to 346,992 for 2012 – 2013 - Northern Ireland 11,697 (population 1.811m) - NorthWest 138,644 (population 7 m) DEFRA report – increase is NOT a question of supply but of meeting a real and growing need Impact of Welfare Reform

  13. Welfare Reform?