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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2005): Social Security - UK

Benefit sanctions will not work

K. Stanley

Roof, May/June 2005, p.12-13

Government is considering punishing tenants guilty of anti-social behaviour by withdrawing their housing benefit. This will have most impact on parents of young children and those who are most vulnerable due to debt, homelessness or drug dependency. It will not tackle the underlying causes of anti-social behaviour, including poverty, unemployment and drug dependency.

Disabled facilities grants: failing to help families who need it

C. Gordon

Disability Rights Bulletin, Spring 2005, p.12-13

Presents an overview of the difficulties faced by families with disabled children in accessing grants for housing adaptations. These include means testing, delays in reaching a decision, and difficulties in raising funds to top up the maximum 25,000 grant.

Loan with a mean streak

N. Bateman

Community Care, May 12th-18th 2005, p.38-39

Many people on low incomes face hardship because of deductions from their benefits to repay Social Fund loans. Author calls for the reintroduction of grants instead of loans to pay for basic necessities such as cookers, beds and bedding.

Watchdog says maternity leave plan is unfair

L. Ward

The Guardian, May 24th 2005, p.9

Government plans to allow women to transfer some of their maternity leave to fathers should be scrapped because they reinforce the assumption that it is "the mother's natural role" to care for a young child, according to the UK's sex equality watchdog. In evidence to ministers consulting on rights for working parents the Equal Opportunities Commission argues that the plan undervalues the role of fathers in the care of young children. Instead of giving mothers the option of handing over some of their 12 months' leave, the government should replace the second six months with "paid parental leave", to be divided as the couples choose, the Cmmission says.

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