Flagship Conservative welfare policy does ‘real damage’ to single parents and ‘exacerbates poverty’, judge declares
The Government has been dealt a huge blow as the High Court ruled its benefit cap is unlawful and illegally discriminates against single parents with young children.
Conservative ministers are now likely to be forced to change or scrap one of their flagship welfare policies, which limits the total amount of benefits a household can receive to £23,000 a year in London and £20,000 elsewhere.
The ruling was made in response to a judicial review brought by four lone parent families who said the cap would have a severe and disproportionate impact on them.
Ministers had attempted to have the case thrown out but were rejected by the court, which ruled earlier this year that the case must be heard as a matter of urgency. The Government said it was “disappointed” with the latest ruling and will appeal against the decision.
Delivering his verdict, High Court judge Mr Justice Collins said the benefit cap was causing “real damage” to lone parent families, and, in a further blow to ministers, said “real misery is being caused to no good purpose”.
read more here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/benefit-cap-judicial-review-welfare-payments-government-loses-lawsuit-court-case-judge-misery-a7802286.html
MPs and charities say political focus on reducing level of child poverty in UK has been lost as team is merged into Department for Work and Pensions
inisters have abolished the civil service’s once high-profile child poverty unit, prompting warnings from MPs and charities that political focus on the issue has been abandoned by Theresa May.
The admission came in answers to parliamentary questions, which revealed that the team set up under Tony Blair’s government has been subsumed into the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), after seeing its staffing halved in three years.
Dan Jarvis, the Labour MP whose questioning uncovered the closure, said the decision ran contrary to the May’s pledge to govern on the basis of social justice and equal life chances.
“When the prime minister stood on the steps of Downing Street, she promised to fight the burning injustice of being born poor and lead a government that worked for everyone,” he said. “Having a country that works for everyone requires a government prepared to both help those who fall behind and stop people being disadvantaged from the outset. Theresa May has no unit, no target and no intention of eliminating child poverty.”
There were 3.9 million children living in poverty in the UK in 2014-15, according to DWP figures quoted by the Child Poverty Action Group, amounting to 28% of all children in the UK.
read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/dec/20/fears-after-government-abolishes-civil-services-child-poverty-unit?
Shelter says government figures of 124,000 children in temporary accommodation in England show that benefit cuts have made private rents unaffordable Chloe Taylor and Iain Hudson with their children Belle and Bentley outside The Lodge B&B where they are currently staying. Photograph: TomWren/BNPS The number of children living in temporary accommodation this Christmas, including in […]
via ‘Shocking’ rise in number of homeless children in B&Bs at Christmas : Guardian. — DWPExamination.
Pupils with additional support needs are being left behind as funding cuts hit staff numbers. Stuart Jacob from Falkland House School. Scotland faces having a “lost generation” of children with additional support needs if funding cuts continue, experts have warned. The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition said more than a fifth of school pupils were recorded […]
via Experts warn austerity could create a ‘lost generation’ of children with unmet support needs : Daily Record. — DWPExamination.
Research from the Manchester Institute of Education shows the dangerous conswquences for children in the households affected by the Bedroom Tax.
……..We conducted a small scale exploratory project, interviewing staff at 20 schools, housing associations and community organisations, and 14 parents impacted by the ‘bedroom tax’. In the interviews we asked about what people thought the impacts of the policy on children and their education were, if any.
Our analysis indicates that children are perceived to be impacted by the ‘bedroom tax’ in a number of ways. Some of these impacts relate to basic needs. For example having less food in the house and the heating being on less often.
One mum told us “I mean a loaf of bread isn’t going to keep me dry or keep me warm, or keep them warm or keep them dry. So you’ve got to pick that and that’s the hard bit”.
Parents we talked to also told us about the difficulties of children of significantly different ages (e.g. 6 and 15) sharing one bedroom, and the problems this raised for getting homework done. They also reported an increase in their own mental health problems, which they suggested impacted negatively on their children. Children were reported to worry about the possibility of moving.
Beyond the impacts which were seen within the house, participants also reflected on the impact of the policy on local communities and the feelings of particular groups of society being persecuted.
Representatives from schools also told us that hungry children were struggling to settle with their work, which may potentially means impacts for children beyond those in households directly impacted by the policy.
Read more here: http://www.walkthetalk2015.org/news/system-makes-us-depressed-impacts-bedroom-tax-children-and-their-education