Scheme will give claimants 14 days to explain infringements before benefits are docked after MPs criticise system as overly punitive
An early warning system for benefit claimants facing sanctions is to be trialled in response to claims that an excessively punitive and bureaucratic system is driving some claimants deeper into poverty.
The work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, has announced that claimants will be given a “yellow card” 14 days before their benefits are reduced. The warning allows them time to give a good reason for failing to meet the commitments they must make in return for getting benefits. Under current rules, sanctions are applied immediately.
Also in the news
Tax credits: Opponents can win vote killing off plans says peer (BBC News)
Opponents of tax credits cuts will "probably" win a vote in the House of Lords killing off the changes, a leading Liberal Democrat peer has said.
Lib Dem peers have tabled a so-called "fatal motion" which, if passed, would mean the changes could not proceed. Chief Whip Lord Newby defended the rare move, saying ministers were pushing through the policy "without debate".
Angus Ritchie: “Public sector employers should pay all their staff the real living wage” (The Guardian)
What’s the difference between the government’s new “national living wage” and a real living wage?
You’ll get the first automatically from April 2016, while you’re in danger of being sacked if you ask for the second.
As the cuts in tax credits kick in, it is going to become painfully apparent that the new “national living wage” is not enough to live on. This will be politically as well as economically toxic, and Osborne is now expected to row back on some of the cuts in the autumn budget statement.
Welfare cuts: Cancer patients face losing up to £120 a month in Government support, warns charity (The Independent)
Thousands of cancer patients could lose support payments used to pay for daily living costs like heating, transport and special dietary needs because of the Government’s welfare cuts, the country’s leading cancer charity has warned.
Macmillan said the reforms, which would see some cancer patients who are too ill to work losing up to £120 a month in Government support, could push vulnerable people “over the edge financially”.
Worcester's MP defends controversial tax credit cuts - saying it's better than reducing school or NHS funds (Worcester News)
WORCESTER'S MP has defended a move to slash tax credits - saying he finds it a better option than cutting NHS or school funding.
Robin Walker has responded to the fierce criticism directed towards Chancellor George Osborne by insisting he believes most people back lower welfare spending.