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A new payment to help cover the costs of having children has been introduced in Scotland.Families on low incomes can now apply for the Best Start Grant, with applications opening on Monday.It replaces the Sure Start Maternity Grant, which made a one-off payment of £500.The grant will mean that eligible…
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has been urged to help hard-up families by increasing child benefit payments by £5 a week as part of his budget.Children’s charities, academics, trade unions and religious leaders are among those who have banded together to make the plea ahead of Mr Mackay (pictured) setting out…
Jeremy Corbyn triggered fury on the Tory benches as he accused them of labelling disabled people "scroungers" and creating a "hostile environment" for people on benefits.Prime Minister Theresa May could be seen saying "outrageous" while her Conservative colleagues shouted "Withdraw" at the Labour leader as he criticised the Government's treatment…
High earners should have childcare subsidies scrapped to give a boost to low-income families under Universal Credit, the architects of the reforms have said.The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) think-tank, in a joint report with Save the Children, argues the Government's flagship welfare reform should fund 100% of childcare payments…
Four women bringing a High Court challenge over the Government's Universal Credit scheme say they are struggling financially because of the way the system operates.The women, who are all working single mothers, argue a "fundamental problem" with the controversial welfare scheme means their monthly payments vary "enormously" and they end…
A "perfect storm" of stagnating wages and benefits cuts has led to the gap in life expectancy between the richest and poorest in the England widening, according to new research.A new study, published on Thursday evening, also found that life expectancy for the country's poorest women has fallen by three…
Fresh concerns about the roll-out of controversial Universal Credit (UC) welfare reforms have been voiced by MPs.The Commons Work and Pensions Committee said readiness tests must be set before the next pilot phase of the "managed migration" of transferring existing benefits claimants onto UC begins.The report said that "major areas…
Amber Rudd made a dramatic return to Theresa May's Cabinet as the Prime Minister sought to bolster her position following the backlash to her Brexit deal.Meanwhile, Leave-supporting Stephen Barclay has been promoted to Brexit Secretary from a ministerial role in the Department for Health.In a further reduction to the Brexit…
Universal Credit waiting times have "plunged people into misery and despair", according to a United Nations envoy.Professor Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights said on Friday the introduction of Universal Credit has caused extreme hardship but could easily be reversed by the Government.He claimed…
A committee of MPs has called for an urgent reassessment of the Government's benefit sanctions regime, warning that the current system appears to be "pointlessly cruel" to some claimants.The human cost of the policy appears "simply too high", with evidence showing that its impact is at best "mixed" and at…
Problems with Universal Credit are driving an increase in the number of emergency supplies handed out at food banks, new figures reveal.The Trussell Trust said its network provided 658,048 supplies between April and September, a 13% increase on the same period a year ago.The charity said that if the five-week…
Jeremy Corbyn criticised Philip Hammond for delivering a "broken promise Budget" as he insisted austerity needs to end because it has failed. The Labour leader said eight years of austerity has "damaged our economy" and delayed the recovery, adding the Government has not abandoned the policy despite the Chancellor's latest…
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