Tory MP suggests poor families ‘could learn from war generation about cooking good food on a tight budget

Philip Hollobone asked ministers if lessons could be learned from wartime families on “how best to feed our people” – but Labour say he’s unaware of “scale of hunger”

Poor people could learn about nutrition by eating from wartime rations, a Tory MP suggested today.

Philip Hollobone told the Commons low income households should take lessons from the 1940s on how to eat nutritious food on a tight budget.

read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tory-mp-suggests-poor-families-9651428#ICID

No guarantee of help for disabled passengers, says Southern Rail.

Train maps no longer specify stations where passengers needing assistance can turn up and travel. A Southern train. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images Southern rail users with disabilities face delayed journeys or the prospect of no longer being able to board some trains after the company said there was no “cast-iron guarantee” that assistance would be […]

via No guarantee of help for disabled passengers, says Southern : Guardian. — DWPExamination.

Victims of Concentrix tax credits shambles receive almost £87,000 in compensation

Tax credit claimants who had payments wrongly stopped by fraud-busting firm Concentrix have received almost £87,000 in compensation from HM Revenue and Customs, a report has revealed.

Some 35,000 people whose tax credits were cut off or changed by US operator Concentrix later had their cases overturned on appeal, a report published today by the National Audit Office (NAO) spending watchdog has found – almost a third of the 108,000 total.

Many of those left out of pocket when payments ended then struggled to reach Concentrix to discuss the problem, the report added.

By mid-December last year, HMRC had paid out £86,815 in compensation payments to claimants mishandled by Concentrix, including almost £68,000 for worry and distress caused.

The tax credit administration shambles emerged last August when large numbers of claimants told how their payments were being adjusted or stopped by Concentrix – in many cases because it mistakenly suspected them of living with a partner. In one particularly bizarre case, a woman was reportedly left reliant on food banks after the firm accused her of cohabiting with 19th century philanthropist Joseph Rowntree.

What was Concentrix hired to do?

In November 2014, Concentrix was hired by HMRC to reduce fraud and error in the tax credit system as part of a three-year deal. But the deal was brought to an early end just two years later as a result of the problems.

During the two-year life of the contract, Concentrix saved the Government less than a fifth of the £1 billion in savings originally estimated. The contractor was already failing to meet half its targets less than a year into the deal, the NAO said.

In light of the problems, HMRC has now vowed not to outsource tax credit investigations again and will instead keep them in-house.

What does the report say?

read more here:http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/reclaim/2017/01/victims-of-concentrix-shambles-receive-almost-87000-in-compensation

Universal Credit has pushed 86% of claimants in council housing into rent arrears

Shocking research reveals Iain Duncan Smith’s flagship benefit has left almost 9 in 10 claimants living in council housing in rent arrears

Joint research from the NFA and ARCH reveals almost nine in ten Universal Credit (UC) claimants living in council housing are in rent arrears, two and a half years after Iain Duncan Smith’s flagship new benefit was introduced.

The research charted the impact of UC on the rent arrears of claimants living in council owned homes and found 86% are in arrears, up from 79% in March 2016, with 59% of these more than a month behind on their rent.

Read more here: http://www.welfareweekly.com/universal-credit-has-pushed-86-of-council-tenants-into-rent-arrears-research-shows/

Westminster Council goes 16th Century on the homeless

Mike also put up a post yesterday reporting that Westminster council has decided on another authoritarian way of dealing with homelessness. They’re going to round them up and send them to other councils outside the borough from January 30th. The council’s excuse for this disgraceful policy is that it’s to combat the high cost of […]

via Westminster Council Goes 16th Century on the Homeless — Beastrabban\’s Weblog