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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2011): Social security - UK

Another case of old wine in new bottles? The Coalition's misguided strategy to reduce benefit fraud

M. Tunley

Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, vol. 50, 2011, p. 314-317

The author critiques the Coalition Government's strategy aimed at reducing benefit and tax credit fraud, which recycles tactics used to stigmatise claimants during the Thatcher years. Three particular concerns are raised: 1) the increased resourcing of counter fraud investigation at a time when staffing cuts are being imposed on other core functions; 2) the exaggeration of fraud losses; and 3) the reintroduction of roving fraud investigation teams.

Benefit cut could make thousands of disabled people homeless

P. Butler

The Guardian, June 3rd 2011, p. 6

Controversial government changes to housing benefits could see 11,000 young disabled people forced out of their flats, putting them at risk of homelessness, according to the charity Crisis.

Cancer charities attack Cameron over welfare cuts

R. Watson & R. Bennett

The Times, June 1st 2011, p.5

Macmillan Cancer Support and other groups have challenged the Government over details of the Welfare Reform Bill but have been told that there would be no going back on benefit changes that could result in about 7,000 long term cancer patients losing up to 94 a week in sickness benefit if their spouses earn more than 149 a week. Downing Street conceded that reforming benefits would produce some losers but insisted that it was critical for the Government to tackle ballooning welfare costs.

Miliband puts Cameron under pressure over coalition plans to cut cancer patients' benefits

P. Wintour

The Guardian, June 16th 2011, p. 4

David Cameron was urged to meet cancer charities after he insisted he would press ahead with welfare reforms which will see thousands of seriously ill people lose up to 100 in benefits as part of a wider cost-cutting measure. He appeared to be only half-aware of the proposal contained in the welfare bill, and voted through the Commons, when he was challenged at prime minister's questions by Ed Miliband.

(See also the Times, June 13th 2011, p.10)

Test will send 800,000 back to work

A. Porter

Daily Telegraph, June 9th 2011, p.6

As many as 800,000 people claiming incapacity benefit could return to work following the introduction of a new testing regime. Chris Grayling, the employment minister, said he expected that 'a significant number', possibly around 30 per cent, of those claiming the benefit would be found fit to work by the assessment. He added that getting those people who could work back into employment would help ensure that the one million jobs expected to be created as Britain emerges from recession go to Britons rather than migrants. Over the next three years, incapacity benefit claimants will undergo assessments to determine whether they are unable to work and should receive the new employment and support allowance, need help to prepare for work or can be expected to look for a job straight away.

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