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Updated by Steven Preece on Nov 30, 2013
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Welfare In The Media

The latest welfare related news stories (and a few others) from the press and wider media. Brought to you by the Welfare News Service and curated by Steven Preece. Visit


Sep 05, 2013 - - 173
Top bosses enjoying pensions worth 25 TIMES more than average worker

While the Government is making people work longer before claiming a pension most of the 300 directors in the study are still able to retire at 60 Top bosses are enjoying "platinum-plated" pensions worth 25 times more than the average worker's retirement payout.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 166
The Treasury warns NHS trusts over tax avoidance

In a letter seen by ITV News, a senior Cabinet Minister has warned hospital trusts about using schemes to avoid paying tax. In June, ITV News revealed that as many as 30 NHS trusts in England were using new forms of short term contracts, on which tax is not payable, rather than using the traditional agency model where locum agencies charge the hospital a fee and VAT on top.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 173
Moral certainty is not always enough in welfare reform

The "Easterhouse" conversion of Iain Duncan Smith to social reform is one of the most remarkable and laudable conversions in public life for many a decade. IDS travelled to Glasgow's toughest area (I'm from the West of Scotland and can testify that there is quite a bit of competition), and he had an epiphany about [...]

Sep 05, 2013 - - 203
UN Sends In Adviser To Investigate 'Bedroom Tax'

Raquel Rolnik, a senior United Nations official, is in the UK at the invitation of the government to examine whether the "bedroom tax" will impact on human rights. The body's Special Rapporteur on housing is meeting tenants in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast and Manchester affected by the policy, along with officials, campaigners and academics.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 200
Teachers in England to strike over pay and pensions

Teachers in England are to stage a pair of one-day regional strikes next month, with a national walkout planned for later this term, the two biggest teaching unions have announced. Teachers will strike on 1 October in all local authorities in the east of England, East and West Midlands, and Yorkshire and Humberside, the NUT and NASUWT unions said.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 191
Railway worker who rescued disabled woman off tracks suspended for breaching safety rules

A railway worker who rescued a disabled woman after she fell onto train tracks in Essex has been suspended for breaking health and safety rules. The unnamed worker, believed to be a security guard in his 60s, was one of four people who rescued the wheelchair user after she fell off the platform edge at Southend Central station on 28 August.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 201
Bedroom Tax: Michael Gove admits children need their own room despite hated policy BANNING them

His comment was mocked because the Bedroom Tax forces children in a council or housing association home to share a room Dozy Michael Gove has been ridiculed for dropping a Bedroom Tax clanger today. The Education Secretary said for children to flourish it is crucial they have their own room - but it is BANNED under his Government's hated tax.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 166
The poor? They're lying, drug-abusing illegitimates, complains Catholic priest

Destitutes sleep rough outside the church and beg for money during prayers, says Fr Ray Blake in a blog post titled "The Trouble With The Poor". They even deter some of his congregation from attending Mass, he adds.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 166
Duncan Smith hits back over welfare

Iain Duncan Smith has dismissed a highly critical report on his overhaul of the welfare system, insisting it will come in "on time and in budget". The National Audit Office found the universal credit project had been badly managed and provided poor value.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 177
Homelessness: housing benefit reform starts to hit home

Over a quarter of all people accepted as homeless now find themselves in this position because their private rented tenancy has been ended by the landlord and they are unable to find anywhere else to live. This, it seems, is a phenomenon peculiar to the Coalition era.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 168
Hark, it's the Very Noisy Man of British Politics

Not for the first time in human history, a benefits minister found himself in a bit of a hole over welfare reform on Thursday. But Iain Duncan Smith seemed so pleased with the one he was in that he defied Denis Healey's famous First Law of Holes (stopping digging) and splattered his suit with fresh mud.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 199
Liam Byrne: The 'silent man' is in danger of turning into the 'cover up man'

It is inconceivable that, when the Iain Duncan Smith told the House everything 'is proceeding exactly in accordance with plan', he did not know of the 'reset' because it was conducted by the very man he says he personally brought into the Department.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 164
Universal credit: Labour demands apology from Iain Duncan Smith over 'cover-up' of benefit reform flaws

Iain Duncan Smith is under mounting pressure over the chaos in introducing his £2.4bn shake-up of the benefits system after being accused of not telling Parliament about the problems. Labour seized on a damning report by the Government's auditors as evidence of a "cover-up" over the delays in phasing in the flagship universal credit scheme.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 162
Sketch: IDS demands some credit

So who's to blame for the fiasco over Universal Credit ? I would ask Iain Duncan Smith, but he doesn't seem entirely sure himself. "I lost faith in the ability of the civil servants to manage this programme," he said on BBC Breakfast at 7.10am.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 158
Number of families living in B&Bs at 10-year high

The number of homeless families living in emergency bed and breakfast accommodation is at its highest in nearly ten years, government figures showed today. 2,090 homeless families across England have been placed in B&Bs after losing their homes, an eight per cent rise on the same period last year, and the highest since September 2003.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 162
Taxpayers Alliance welfare proposals save little money, but adds to misery | Left Foot Forward

The right wing organisation the TaxPayers' Alliance has released a new report on welfare dependency, arguing that the amount the country spends on benefits is too high and it is necessary to implement a 'Work for Dole' scheme.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 183
Universal credit: What went wrong?

Universal credit - the government's flagship welfare reform - is in trouble, according to the National Audit Office. The minister in charge, Iain Duncan Smith, says he has fixed most of the problems. Here's the auditor's report into what has gone wrong.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 160
Benefit cut-driven homelessness rise a 'real and growing scandal'

Brighton & Hove unveils new strategy to tackle single homelessness Charity Crisis has blamed a dramatic rise in homelessness on the Tory-led coalition's raft of benefit cuts, slamming the situation as a "real and growing scandal".

Sep 05, 2013 - - 199
Minister defends welfare reform after report slams project as

A damning assessment of the programme, championed by the Work and Pensions Secretary, said it had been beset by "weak management, ineffective control and poor governance". This morning, Mr Duncan Smith insisted that the welfare reforms would be delivered on budget and on time.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 152
Society needs to take more action if it is serious about helping the homeless

Faye Lipson is a journalist, editor and poet. She lives in South London and has written for the Guardian, New Statesman, Morning Star, Vagenda and a variety of arts magazines. "Have you got any change please?" It's a sentence I hear many times a week, from many different mouths.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 195
10% rise of families living in B&Bs for more than 6 weeks

The number of families living in bed and breakfast accommodation for more than six weeks leapt up by 10 per cent this year, official statistics reveal. Data produced by the Communities and Local Government department today shows of the 2,090 households with children staying in B&Bs at the end of June this year, 760 had been in bed and breakfast style accommodation for more than six weeks.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 170
'Work for the dole' is a poor show

A new report from the TaxPayers' Alliance says there are too many shiftless scroungers on welfare, and they need to be booted right back into work. I would say "hold the front page", but in all likelihood someone already is.

Sep 05, 2013 - - 177
Iain Duncan Smith defends universal credit - video

The work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, defends the universal credit system after a damning report by the National Audit Office

Sep 05, 2013 - - 175
Iain Duncan Smith denies Universal Credit is an 'IT disaster'

He added: "I fully accept, because I could have written this report myself, that the problem was that those charged with actually putting together the detail of the IT - I'm not a technologist and nor are you, we rely on people telling us that that is actually correct - did not make the correct decisions but we intervened to change that."

Sep 05, 2013 - - 144
Iain Duncan Smith defends universal credit after damning report

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, was accused of a "cover-up" today over the failings of his flagship universal credit scheme to streamline the benefits system. Labour seized on a damning report by the Government's auditors as evidence that Mr Duncan Smith did not give Parliament an honest account of the problems in introducing the benefits shake-up.