NAO sanctions study

Our colleague, Dr David Webster (University of Glasgow) has alerted us to the little known fact that the National Audit Office (NAO) is currently carrying out a study of the DWP’s benefit sanctions regime.  The terms of reference are at https://www.nao.org.uk/work-in-progress/benefit-sanctions/.

The study will run until the autumn so there is time to send in relevant information and insights to the inquiry team.

The audit manager is Colin Ross and his email address is Colin.ROSS@nao.gsi.gov.uk.  There is also a contact form on the NAO webpage.

Welfare Reform and disability

NAWRA welcomes the recent announcement from the new Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, Stephen Crabb MP, to abandon further cuts to PIP. NAWRA hopes that his promises not to seek “alternative offsetting savings” in this Parliament will also be honoured.

Let us not forget however that according to recent research by the Centre for Welfare Reform, vulnerable and disabled citizens have been the “number one target for cuts”.  Indeed the present and former Governments have already presided over the single largest decimation of welfare support for disabled communities in modern history with further cuts expected to ESA and the worst cuts yet to come under Universal Credit.  Cognisant of the Government’s public sector duties, NAWRA calls on the Secretary of State to review these other planned cuts as a matter of priority in order to encourage a more inclusive society for all.

NAWRA’s response to SSAC review into mandatory reconsideration

In Feb 2016, the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) announced that they were conducting a review of decision making and mandatory reconsideration in the DWP and HMRC.

NAWRA surveyed its members to find out about their experiences of advising claimants.  We received 163 responses from members all over the UK.  This evidence informed our response.

Thanks to everyone who contributed and Eri Mountbatten (Aberystwyth University Students’ Union) for drafting the submission.

NAWRA committee elections 2016

The committee directs the policy and general management of the affairs of NAWRA.  It consists of representatives from each of the English regions plus two from Wales, one from Scotland, one from Northern Ireland and one nominated by CPAG.  This gives a total of 14 representatives.

The representatives of the English regions and Wales must be elected every two years at our AGM.  Our meeting in Belper on 11 March 2016 acts as our AGM this year.

Following a call to stand in January 2016, the following candidates have been nominated.  Click each name to read the candidate statement.

England –

Wales (two reps) –

Members in Wales will be receiving a ballot paper by email.