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What’s Really Going On ? Jane Emanuel – Advice Network (Advice Centres For Avon) Thanks to Jacky Fleming for her permission to use her cartoons

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Presentation on theme: "What’s Really Going On ? Jane Emanuel – Advice Network (Advice Centres For Avon) Thanks to Jacky Fleming for her permission to use her cartoons"— Presentation transcript:

1 What’s Really Going On ? Jane Emanuel – Advice Network (Advice Centres For Avon) Thanks to Jacky Fleming for her permission to use her cartoons


3 Where in the world are we? Social Democratic (Nordic countries: high level of coverage granted as social rights, generous, emphasis on gender equality) Liberal (or Anglo-Saxon, inc. USA and UK: residual coverage based on means-testing, ungenerous, market-led stratification) Conservative (most of continental Europe, also Japan – based on accrued rights, hence high familialisation, gender inequality) (Local Economic Policy Unit – South Bank University)

4 The poorest 40% of households in the UK have an average disposable income of £14,250 a year In 2014-15 their losses from the cuts in benefits will be £9.2 billion. This is £876 per household or about £17 a week. This is a cut of more than 6% of their disposable income in one year!... the poor are poor. They have no money, no voice, no representatives, and no means to establish their own public profile. Poverty is a big domino – once it falls, everything goes. In such circumstances, if a group of people are "deliberately misrepresented" then there's precious little they can do about it... poor-shamers are bullies, and right now they're getting away with it’ (Barbara Ellen, Observer, March 13)

5 People believe that 41% of the entire welfare budget goes to unemployed people its actually 3% - why?


7 The Welfare Bill for 2011/12 was £166.98 bn I just wonder whether it is right that a third of all that money they raise in taxes goes on welfare and of that some £80 billion goes to support the welfare of those out of work.‘ (G Osborne, Daily Mail 2012) 52% goes to pensioners – 86.83bn 19% goes on Child Benefit and Tax Credit (mostly to people who are working) – 31.73bn 22% goes on Housing Benefit -36.74 bn, of which 6.54 bn is paid to people in work

8 Living the life of luxury ‘ Outrage as 1,400 get over £30,000-a-year in housing benefits!’ ‘A shortage of council housing means that some are living for free in mansions where their neighbours are the rich and famous’ (Daily Express Aug 2012) 17,429 Council houses have been bought in Bristol under the Right to Buy scheme, until 2012 BCC could not use the money from sales to replace its lost stock Current average weekly (Housing Benefit) Bristol rents : Housing Associations £92.75, Local Authority £84.71, Private Rented Sector £157.04

9 Living the life of luxury Britain's benefits bonanza: 100,000 households rake in more than average wage in welfare every year (Daily Mail Feb 2013) But the claim, repeated by the Department for Work and Pensions, that this policy (the benefit cap) is needed so that people on benefits do not get more than those on average earnings is a lie. People on average earnings are also eligible for benefits, particularly if they have a family. If you earn £26,000 and–if you have a family – you are eligible for in-work benefits. If you have a non-working partner, 4 children, and live in central London, then the online benefit checker says that you will get around £8,000 in tax credits, £16,000 in housing benefit and £3,000 in child benefit. Your benefits total £27,250, and your total income is £48,000 net. (Dr Tim Leunig is Reader in Economic History LSE)

10 Living the life of luxury with pets! ‘Mother of 11 defends her new £400,000 council house as daughter says SHE pays £200-a-month for a horse’ (Daily Mail Feb 13) ‘A JOBLESS family of 11 on £42,000-a-year benefits caused outrage yesterday after they were given a new seven- bedroom house worth GBP 300,000... Stunned neighbours saw them carting their belongings – said to include prized parrots – out of their four-bedroom home to a bigger one just yards down the road’ (Daily Express Aug 2010) Families of this size on benefits are statistically rare there are under 50 in Britain according to the Department for Work and Pensions. (FOI request to DWP 2012)


12 Read All About It (Headlines from the Bristol Evening Post 2011/12) Owner of ten homes in £70,000 benefit fraud * Rare boat owner from Bristol is jailed for benefit fraud * Mother jailed over £70,000 benefits fraud ** Bristol glamour model in £60k benefit scam ** Bristol benefits cheat mum snared after Facebook 'friend' tip-off ** (*Male ** Obvious) 0.7% of Benefits are claimed fraudulently, according to the TUC most people believe it is 27%

13 On the sick......... £33,000 benefits cheat who had SEVEN jobs while claiming he was wheelchair-bound (Daily Mail, August 2012) 500,000 on sick are fit to work (Daily Express, April 2012) Two in three benefit claimants are fit for work (Daily Telegraph, February 2012) A benefits cheat who claimed she needed crutches to walk framed herself with her holiday snaps - zooming down a WATER SLIDE in a bikini (The Sun)

14 And off it.............. most of the growth in the prevalence of limiting long-standing illness, and most of the rise in the disability employment penalty, has affected people at the more severe, rather than the less severe, end of the spectrum. This suggests that the underlying trend is a true one, not simply associated with people’s reports of, or responses to, trivial conditions.” (Richard Berthoud Institute for Social and Economic Research University of Essex). The Government however continues on with its plans to reduce numbers of people claiming DLA by 20%.


16 Little Boxes ‘ Cons let off ‘spare room tax’ JAILED thugs have escaped the £14-a-week “bedroom tax” — while families of squaddies will have to cough up’. (The Sun Feb 2013) Over 4,000 residents in social housing in Bristol face charges for ‘additional rooms’ from April 2013, these charges will be made to most working-age families. Meanwhile everyone regardless of the size of their house and income receives a 25% council tax discount for living alone

17 Little Boxes (part 2) The Department for Work and Pensions said: “We don’t want to pull the carpet away so somebody has no home. That would store up greater problems for society.” A MUM of three is angry she will be forced into hardship when the Government makes her pay for a “spare room” when the bedroom tax kicks in.... Some risk falling into arrears and losing their home altogether.”

18 Little Boxes (part 3) According to the National Housing Federation, there are 180,000 English social tenants “under- occupying” two-bedroom homes, but fewer than 70,000 one-bedroom available social homes Tenants could be driven into the higher rents of the private sector, of course, but then would need even higher levels of housing benefit. The rise in homelessness that will result won’t just be devastating for those involved, it will cost: last year, the number of homeless families living in B&Bs soared by nearly half.


20 Universal Credit The development of Universal Credit is progressing extremely well. By next April we will be ready to test the end to end service and use the feedback we get from claimants to make final improvements before the national launch. This will ensure that we have a robust and reliable new service for people to make a claim when Universal Credit goes live nationally in October 2013 ( Lord Freud 24 th May 2012) In a separate debate in the Commons on Tuesday, Duncan Smith again denied UC was experiencing IT problems. UC is due to start on 29 April with pilot projects in Ashton-under-Lyne, Oldham, Warrington and Wigan. The initial focus will be on a small number of jobseeker's allowance claims by single people in certain postcodes and then from October 2013 to March 2014 it will extend to cover all different types of claims across the country. (The Guardian March 5 th 2013)

21 Universal: Applicable or common to all purposes, conditions, or situations: a universal remedy What is in Universal Credit: Income based Job Seekers Allowance, Housing Benefit, Income related Employment Support Allowance, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, Income Support, budgeting loan element of Social Fund. What's Out: Carers Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Pension Credits, Child Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, Disability Living Allowance ( and its replacement Personal Independence Payments) etc Undecided: Contribution- based ESA and JSA

22 Universal Credit Universal Credit will be introduced from Autumn 2013??? in Bristol, it has a number of features – on-line application, monthly payments direct to household, payments to one member of the household. The DWP is testing Direct Monthly payments and has stated: ‘ This is a significant change but ministers believe that evidence from previous reforms, together with data now emerging from the Direct Payment Demonstration Projects, indicate that most people will be able to cope with the new features of the UC system’ ( DWP UC Local Support Services Framework Feb 2013)

23 And the data emerging is....... Tenants taking part in the Government’s ‘direct payment demonstration project’ pilots are running up larger rent arrears than other families whose housing benefit is still paid straight to their landlord, according to one of the housing associations involved. Figures from Bron Afon Community Housing show that tenants given responsibility for settling their rent using benefit paid to them direct by the Department for Work and Pensions owe an average of £100 more than other households at the association. About half the tenants, who began piloting the new system last August, were carefully selected because they were unlikely to face problems managing money. Some of these people will be in debt for the first time in their lives’ (Inside Housing 6 th Feb 2013)


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