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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2004): Social Security - UK

AUTONOMY FOR ALL? ON THE CASE FOR AN INCLUSIVE ASSETS POLICY

S. White

New Economy, December 2003, Vol. 10(4), p.219-223

The article examines the government's Child Trust Fund (CTF) initiative and pilot Saving Gateway scheme, hailed as adding a new pillar to the welfare state. It considers what the schemes contribute to the promotion of "life chances" and questions whether such policies are sufficient for advanced social mobility. Closer investigation shows that those with savings enjoy better health have a better chance of finding employment. Children whose parents have assets are often better behaved and achieve higher attainment at school than those who do not. However, despite these positive achievements the article concludes that more needs to be done in order to achieve an egalitarian policy and reduce inequalities in wealth.

PENSION CREDIT: INCOME AND CAPITAL

S. West

Disability Rights Bulletin, Winter 2003, p.13-15

The Pension Credit introduces a more generous assessment of capital for older people by removing the upper limit and reducing the level of assumed income from savings over £6,000. In other respects income and capital are generally assessed in the same way as for income support.

PENSION CREDIT: RESIDENTIAL CARE

H. Winfield

Disability Rights Bulletin, Winter 2003, p.15-17

Considers the impact that the new Pension Credit will have on residential care charges.

SERVICES FOR DISABLED CHILDREN

L. Gitter

Disability Rights Bulletin, winter 2003, p.6-8

Focuses on problems families' experience in claiming benefits. Families expressed major concerns about:

  • getting information about what benefits they could claim;
  • the complexity of the claims process;
  • inconsistencies and perceived injustices in their entitlement to benefits.

STATE PENSION PAYMENTS

Community Care Law and Practice, Issue 7, October 2003, p. 13-18

The article examines the new "pension credit" scheme. The scheme has two elements - guaranteed credit, ensuring pensioners have a minimum weekly income, and savings credit, payable to certain pensioners who have a small income from sources other than the state pension - which are explored in detail, with examples of how they will work in practice.

TAX CREDITS UNDER FIRE AGAIN AS FAMILIES' BENEFITS PAYMENTS CUT

L. Paterson

The Times, December 18th 2003, p.2

It has emerged that thousands of low-income families have seen their benefit payments cut in the run-up to Christmas. Income from the new Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit has fallen by a third in hundreds of cases after the Inland Revenue began to claw back money from over-payment. Up to 6,000 families could be affected by the move, the Treasury admitted.

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