Welfare to Work

DAILY MONITOR: only 5 families claim £100,000 in housing benefit, and much more….


Clampdown on benefits for addicts

The Daily Telegraph

Drug addicts and alcoholics who claim sickness benefits could be stripped of their handouts if they do not seek treatment.

Currently, anyone claiming sickness benefits has to obtain medical evidence of entitlement. Under the scheme, anyone with a treat-able ailment will have to agree to seek regular treatment or lose the hand-out.

Trials across the country, costing £25 million, will be announced by Mark Hoban, the work and pensions minister, before Christmas.

would see alcoholics denied benefits unless they attended regular meetings at a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Similarly, drug addicts would be denied payment if they refused to be treated.

The changes will apply to the employment support allowance, which is worth £105 a week. Figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions in July showed that nearly 22,000 people with drug or alcohol problems were claiming the allowance, which pays out £7 billion a year.

The future’s orange. Fake tans for young job seekers

The Daily Telegraph

In a scheme backed by a Jobcentre in Aberdare, Glamorgan, Young jobseekers are being offered fake tans and beauty treatments to help them find employment.

Child benefit may apply only to first two children

The Daily Telegraph

CHILD benefit could be limited to the first two children in a family under plans being considered by the Government.

The change is understood to be one of several options ministers could introduce as they try to rein in the welfare bill. The plan would apply to all parents and not just those out of work. If introduced, it would not affect existing families.

British economy to grow faster than all major countries in Europe

The Daily Telegraph

The Centre for Economics and Business Research said Britain would grow by 0.8pc. The think tank say that Britain’s economic growth will outpace that of any other major European country which is predicted to grow by 1.4pc over the next couple of years.

Bank of England policymakers are expected to vote against pumping more money into the economy this week. The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee is expected to leave quantitative easing unchanged at £375bn and interest rates on hold at 0.5pc on Thursday after the economy grew 1pc in the third quarter.

Iain Duncan Smith adviser being paid by thinktank lobbying his department

The Guardian

The work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s adviser Phillippa Stroud is being paid by the CSJ to be co-chair of its board of advisers. Stroud was formerly executive director at the CSJ, and the arrangement was cleared by both her department and the Cabinet Office, but her continued paid work for the thinktank has now drawn criticism because of the potential for a direct conflict of interest. A CSJ spokesperson said: “Alongside Labour MP David Blunkett, Philippa Stroud is entitled to remuneration in her capacity as co-chairman of the CSJ advisory council.

How many families are claiming £100,000 per year in housing benefit?

Answer; only 70

London councils were preparing to rehouse tenants outside the capital as they could no longer find enough accommodation locally that fell within the £400-per-week limit. Full Fact found that the average claim was around £85 per week. As a result of a FOI request, Full fact have recieved figures showing that over four out of every five Housing Benefit claims are below £100 per week (the equivalent of £5,200 per year) according to the September 2010 figures, while only 70 out of over 4.5 million recipients claimed over £1000 per week, around 0.001% of the total.

Previous FoI responses from the Department have suggested around five families benefited by this amount.

Apprenticeships at DBIS

Shropshire Star

There should be as many apprenticeships on offer to school leavers as there are university places, a former minister has said.

Lord Adonis called for a “revolution in apprenticeships” for those youngsters who do not want to go on to higher education.

These apprenticeships should be “marketed like UCAS markets university places,” said Lord Adonis, who served as schools minister under the last Labour government. “I think we can crack this problem of this very, very long tail of lack of competitiveness, lack of achievement, lack of motivation.”

Lord Adonis also condemned the lack of apprenticeships within government. “The state should never preach about what it is not prepared to practise itself.”

Half of Whitehall departments do not have a single apprentice, he claimed.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which is responsible for “preaching apprenticeships to the private sector” has 3,500 civil servants and 13 apprentices, with just one aged under 21, Lord Adonis claimed. He added that the Department for Education has even less. “It is not a satisfactory state of affairs.”

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