Guardian, June 6th 2000, p.11
In a planned reform of the Jobseekers Allowance, partners of unemployed claimants will be forced to sign on and made to seek work. In order to make it easier for JSA claimants to take temporary jobs, benefits will be suspended rather than ended, do that they can return to them without having to re-apply.
(See also Independent, June 8th 2000, p. 1)
SOCIAL SECURITY COMMITTEE
London : TSO, 2000 (House of Commons papers session 1999/2000; HC56)
Concludes that the National Insurance scheme has been undermined both directly as a result of successive governments' policies and indirectly as a result of social and economic change. However, there is a fundamental distinction in principle between benefits which people have earned on the basis of their contributions to cover identified risks and benefits paid by the state to people on low incomes. A wholly means-tested benefits system would be cheaper, but would be a bureaucratic nightmare and would undermine work and savings incentives.
Community Care, No. 1325, 2000, p.14
The government is proceeding with a stealthy, incremental reform of the benefits system. Two guiding principles underlie the reforms:
Working Brief, issue 114 2000, p. 14-15
Describes the One Service pilots which offer claimants advice and information about both benefits and work. Highlights the centrality of the role of personal advisers who work on a one-to-one basis with clients and their invaluable contribution to the success of the system.
P. Lashmar and I. Herbert
Independent, May 22nd 2000, p.6
Reports that due to the impact of the government's anti-fraud measures it can now take up to 8 months for housing benefit claims to be assessed and paid in some areas. This is causing rent arrears and the eviction of elderly and vulnerable tenants.
P. A. Kemp
Journal of Social Policy, vol. 29, 2000, p.263-279
Retrenchment in Housing Benefit was blocked under New Labour by
Daily Telegraph, June 21st 2000, p.9
The social security committee of MPs suggests that the Government use some of the £5.9 billion "crock of gold" to improve benefits for the unemployed, the disabled and carers. The MPs recommend that eligibility for incapacity benefit and job-seeker's allowance should be extended and that a new non-means-tested benefit should be created for people who look after disabled friends or relatives. But the MPs also suggest that pension scheme payments should be made compulsory.
Guardian: Society, June 7th 2000, p.8-9
In order to provide disadvantaged groups with capital assets, government could set up a savings account for every newborn child, with special endowments and matching contributions made for children from poor families. The account would build up in value until the young adult accessed it at the age of 18. A second possibility is the creation of Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) run by local community groups and targeted at adults in deprived areas. These are savings accounts into which contributions from individuals are more than matched by those from the government.
Financial Times, June 19th 2000, p.3
David Willetts, shadow social security spokesman, announced that the Tories plan to revive family credit, a benefit paid by the DSS directly to mothers. It would replace the working families tax credit introduced by the Labour government.
(See also Independent, June 20th 2000, p.5)