Social insecurity: a new consensus is needed to return security to the system

NAWRA member Sarah Batty has contributed to the Social Policy Association’s 50th anniversary blog series with a piece about the workshops facilitated by Dr Michael Orton of Warwick University at NAWRA meetings in 2016 and 2017 on the topic of ‘Putting the security back into social security’.

The aim was to use consensus-building to identify key short to medium-term actions to return security to the benefits system.

Read the blog.

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First edition of NAWRA News

First edition of NAWRA news now out – find out how DWP will be contacting claimants who have been underpaid ESA and advice on how to challenge decisions where the DWP have restricted backdating.

NAWRA has been campaigning on this issue for some time and the National Audit Office has recently confirmed that the DWP first knew about the error at least as early as 2013 but have done nothing about it till now, NAWRA will be campaigning further to ensure that claimants do not miss out on backdated money that they are entitled to. Watch this space!

NAWRA news is for members only – find out how to join.

 

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Impact of welfare reform

The Equality and Human RIghts Commission have published their final  cumulative report on the impact of government Welfare Reforms.  The report suggests that children will be hit hardest with an extra 1.5 million being pushed into poverty.

In addition, the report finds that the child poverty rate for those in lone parent households will increase from 37% to over 62% and households with three or more children will see losses of around £5,600.  They also identify significant and disproportionate impacts on disabled families, on women and on Bangladeshi households.

The report concludes that these negative impacts are largely driven by the freeze in working-age benefit rates, changes to disability benefits, and reductions in Universal Credit rates.

David Isaac, the Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which is responsible for making recommendations to Government on the compatibility of policy and legislation with equality and human rights standards, said:

“It’s disappointing to discover that the reforms we have examined negatively affect the most disadvantaged in our society. It’s even more shocking that children – the future generation – will be the hardest hit and that so many will be condemned to start life in poverty. We cannot let this continue if we want a fairer Britain.”

The Commission calls on government to reconsider existing welfare policies and to review the level of welfare benefits to ensure that they provide an adequate standard of living.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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NAWRA meeting in Stockton on 9 March 2018

Our quarterly meetings are held around the UK and include keynote speakers, workshops and a range of networking and professional development opportunities.

Here are details of the next NAWRA meeting:

Date: Friday 9 March 2018
Time: 10am – 4.15pm (registration from 9.30am)
Location: Stockton Tabernacle, The Square, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1TE

The meeting is kindly hosted by Stockton on Tees Borough Council Welfare Rights Service.  Our guest speakers will be Alex Cunningham MP and Tracey Herrington of the Poverty Truth Commission.  There will be workshops on the benefit cap, benefits for children and local welfare assistance schemes. This meeting is also our AGM.

Download the full agenda along with information about travel, accommodation and our social evening.

NAWRA meetings are free for members to attend. There is no need to book a place. Please contact Kelly Smith (NAWRA secretary) you have any access requirements or questions about the meeting.

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