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Welfare Reform

Joint response to SSAC consultation on The Housing Benefit and State Pension Credit (Temporary Absence) (Amendment) Regulations 2016

Housing Rights and Law Centre (NI) have submitted a response to the Social Security Advisory Committee’s consultation on the Department for Work and Pensions’ proposed changes to Housing Benefit and Pension Credit, concerning temporary absences from Great Britain.

Although these Regulations initially refer to Great Britain only, it is expected that similar policies will be introduced in Northern Ireland, to ensure parity.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform, Policy
Picture of stormont

Professor Eileen Evason’s working group has published its report on how Welfare Reform should be mitigated by the NI Executive. The group’s recommendations include the full mitigation of the “bedroom tax”, and the mitigation of the household benefits cap, for an initial period of 4 years.

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Benefits, Money Matters, Social Tenancies, Welfare Reform, Policy

The Department for Work and Pensions has published a report evaluating the impact of the removal of the spare room subsidy or, in common terms, the implementation of the bedroom tax.   The research, carried out by Ipsos MORI and the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research, has been carried out over a two year period.

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Benefits, Outside NI, Welfare Reform, Affordability

The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed to allocate a total of £585million from Executive funds over four years to mitigate the impacts of welfare reform.  Eileen Evason, Emeritus Professor in social administration at the University of Ulster, will chair a working group which will develop proposals on how best to use these additional resources. 

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Benefits, Welfare Reform, Policy, NI Assembly

The 2015 Summer Budget contained proposals to reduce the time frame for backdating payments from six months to just four weeks and to cut the family premium from housing benefit in order to bring housing benefit in line with universal credit.  

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Benefits, Outside NI, Welfare Reform

Yesterday's Queen's speech detailed the new Conservative majority government's proposed legislative programme for parliament.  The speech referred to a number of significant changes which will impact on housing and welfare law, policy and practice.

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Benefits, Minority Groups, Welfare Reform, Policy, Landlord

A recent report from the London School of Economics claims that the government's Welfare Reform programme isn't working as planned.  The report finds that the savings promised by government have not materialised and that the costs of implementing changes have proven to be higher than predicted. 

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Benefits, Outside NI, Welfare Reform

Supreme Court judges have criticised the benefit cap.  The Supreme Court found that the policy failed to comply with Article 3 (1) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  This article provides that “in all actions concerning children … the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration”. 

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Benefits, Welfare Reform, Legal

Despite parties reaching broad agreement on welfare reform as part of the Stormont House agreement in December, Sinn Fein lodged a petition of concern yesterday.  The petition, also supported by the SDLP, effectively blocks further passage of the bill through the Assembly. 

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Welfare Reform, NI Assembly

The Welfare Reform Bill has been the subject of much discussion at the Assembly of late. During the Bill's consideration and further consideration stages a number of amendments were tabled. The majority of these amendments did not pass as they did not have cross community support.   The amended bill includes a duty on the Department for Social Devlopment to "ensure availability of advice and assistance" although an amendment to ensure that this advice was independent was negatived.

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Benefits, Welfare Reform, NI Assembly

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