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Esther McVey has been forced to issue an embarrassing apology to MPs after a public row with Whitehall's spending watchdog. The Work and Pensions Secretary said she had "inadvertently misled" the Commons by claiming that the National Audit Office (NAO) had called for the roll-out of the Universal Credit benefit…
Mandatory job seeking requirements for lone parents claiming benefits negatively affects mental health, researchers have found. Under the lone parent obligations rule, single parents must seek work as a condition of receiving certain welfare benefits once their youngest child reaches a certain age. Since 2008, when entitlement to income support…
Half of Scots believe that poorer health is a result of an unjust society, according to findings published by the Scottish Centre for Social Research. The report ‘Scottish Social Attitudes - Public Attitudes to Inequality’, commissioned by NHS Health Scotland, reveals the extent to which people are aware of existing…
A so-called "yellow card" system of benefit sanctions has been dropped by the Government after research suggested it was not worth the extra time and cost. Ministers have instead said they will consider a written warning system for first time offenders rather than penalising them by docking their benefits. Sanctions…
An attempt to provide fairer access to more affordable credit for people living in poverty moves a stage further on Friday.A Bill put forward by Lord Bird, founder of The Big Issue magazine, will reach the committee stage in the House of Lords, moving it closer to being considered in…
MPs and campaigners have urged the Government to go further in reforming benefits for disabled people after ministers published their response to a major review. The Department for Work and Pensions has pledged to make recording assessments for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) a standard part of the process. This is…
Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey was heckled by members of the public in a Holyrood committee meeting covering Universal Credit and the rape clause. An audience member shouted “you can’t get into work if you’re dead” at Ms McVey as she argued Universal Credit is a “supportive system” aimed…
Failure to replace a £500 million EU fund for deprived communities post-Brexit would be "disastrous", the Government has been warned. The European Social Fund provides half a billion pounds a year for employment and skills training in communities that are poorly served or neglected by "mainstream" support. In a report…
Discretionary welfare payments are being "hacked away", a senior MP has claimed, after new figures showed more than £300 million has been axed from two major benefits funds. Fresh analysis shows the scale of cutbacks to the discretionary social fund and flexible support fund, which can be awarded to poor…
Ministers have delayed the rollout of Universal Credit to 21 jobcentres. Employment minister Alok Sharma announced that 13 centres with the highest concentration of Welsh speakers would have the rollout pushed back to December. This is to allow time to ensure the Welsh language is available in the Universal Credit…
Tens of thousands of ill or disabled people were underpaid benefits by an average of around £5,000, the public spending watchdog has found. An estimated 70,000 claimants transferred to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from other benefits since 2011 were underpaid - some by up to £20,000 - the National…
Hundreds of disabled people are set to benefit from a £15,000 boost to a cap on funding provided through a flagship scheme to help people into work. Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey has announced a £57,200 limit on funding awarded through Access to Work, a 36% rise on the…
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