The soaring cost of funerals, coupled with an erosion in the value of state funeral grants, is pushing poorer families into debt and distress, a report by MPs has concluded. The all-party work and pensions select committee called on the government to launch an inquiry into the funeral industry to tackle the causes of funeral […]
Originally posted on nearlydead: Source: Woman had benefits stopped while she was in a coma
A WOMAN was forced to turn to crime after having her benefits stopped while in a coma because she was “not expected to survive,” a court heard yesterday.
Lisa Hartley from Hull was arrested for breaking into a boarded-up council house earlier this month and stealing piping, door handles and a letterbox.
She had previously been in hospital fighting for her life for over two months and had her benefits cut.
A committee of MPs has found evidence of serious failings in the disability benefits assessment system Credit: PA
The system for assessing disability benefits has “serious failings”, according to a committee of MPs.
Claimants were not receiving an “acceptable level of service” and the cost to the taxpayer of paying private firms to carry out the assessments was set to double to £579 million in 2016-17, according to the Public Accounts Committee.
- evidence of “arduous journey times”
- double booked appointments
- assessments overturned on appeal
- some assessors “do not understand particular medical conditions”
- up to one in five reports sampled were “below the required standard”
The Commons spending watchdog said that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and its private contractors were making progress to reduce delays and improve the quality of assessments but the regime still fell short of expectations.
Subsidiaries of Maximus are responsible for the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Fit for Work service, while Atos and Capita carry out Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
Up to 300,000 households on the lowest incomes face inflation-busting council tax rises from next month after one in five councils across England cut local benefit schemes.
From 6 April, national insurance costs for many will increase by 1.4%, which is set to save the Treasury £5.5bn a year
More than 6 million workers will suffer an unexpected pay cut from next month due to a little-noticed change to state pension rules that will net the Treasury almost £5.5bn a year.
The move will also push up costs for many employers, including schools, hospitals and GP practices.
From 6 April a sizeable chunk of the UK workforce will see their national insurance costs increase by 1.4%, which translates into a deduction from their pay of up to £37 a month. This change was announced in the March 2013 budget but is only taking effect now.
The move is linked to the introduction next month of a new flat-rate state pension, which will replace what the government said was a “mindblowingly complicated” existing system. Those reaching state pension age on or after 6 April 2016 will get the new regular payment, which has been set at £155.65 a week.
As part of the shake-up, the state second pension – also known as S2P and formerly known as Serps – will be abolished. As a result, members of defined benefit workplace pension schemes will no longer be permitted to “contract out” of the state second pension. At the moment these workers and their employers pay national insurance at a lower rate – but this will end from next month.
This affects millions of people: there are 1.3 million active members of contracted-out private sector schemes, plus a further 5.4 million members of public sector pension schemes. The vast majority of the public sector pension scheme members are currently contracted out, said Tom McPhail, head of retirement policy at investment and pension firm Hargreaves Lansdown.
“All these people are about to see their national insurance costs increase by 1.4%, which could mean a monthly deduction from their pay of up to an additional £37.31 a month in national insurance,” he added.
NASUWT say “teachers and schools are being left to pick up the pieces of callous fiscal and social policies”. Source: Tory Cuts Leave Poverty-stricken Children Too Hungry To Learn
My daughter Emily is 18 and learning disabled, with autism and epilepsy. For those unable to work through no fault of their own, like Emily, there are two benefits specifically in place to ensure that they are able to live. Employment Support Allowance exists purely for those too sick or disabled to work. It’s not […]