Social Policy

The Social Security Advisory Committee is consulting  on the government’s latest wheeze to cut working-age benefits.  This time it’s a proposal to extend the number of waiting days that a benefit is payable, from three days to seven.  This will ‘save’ (that is, cut benefit by)  £40-50 per claim.  Benefits are already paid fortnightly in arrears, so in practice this will mean that people will typically have to wait three weeks for a payment.  (The references to ‘days’ and ‘weeks’ are all anomalous, because the government is supposed to be moving to monthly benefits.)     Those who are desperate will have to apply for a ‘short term benefit advance’.

The policy is due to start in October.  The equalities  assessment notes that 82% of those affected by the change to Employment and Support Allowance have protected status in terms of the Disability Discrimination Act.   Much good may it do them.

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