Jenny Pennington

By Jenny Pennington

The benefit cap: this changes everything

The Welfare Reform and Work Bill will have its second reading this evening. One of the major components of the bill is a provision to lower the benefit cap.

The benefit cap restricts the amount of benefits that families who aren’t working can claim. Currently, a family not eligible for Working Tax Credits can claim a maximum of £26,000 a year in benefits. The bill will slash this total to just £20,000 for families outside of London and to £23,000 … MORE...

John Bibby

By John Bibby

Changes to Support for Mortgage Interest mark fundamental shift in welfare provision

With all of the massive changes to welfare and benefits in the emergency budget, the changes to Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) were largely lost amongst other louder headlines. But despite going relatively overlooked, the Council of Mortgage Lenders described them as the most significant changes for mortgages in the budget. And they will mark a significant shift in the way the benefit is provided, which may have wider ramifications.

The changes set to hit SMI are twofold:

It’s… MORE...
Scott Dawes

By Scott Dawes

The Welfare Bill – Cause for Concern

This afternoon, MPs will be debating the Welfare Reform & Work Bill in the House of Commons. Despite this being “2nd Reading”, it is the first official opportunity for politicians to welcome the bits they like and raise concerns about the ones they don’t.

Meanwhile, ministers will be present in the Commons to listen to all of the concerns raised – from their own MPs, the Opposition and the smaller parties. And, crucially, having listened closely to the debate, the … MORE...

Caroline Aliwell

By Caroline Aliwell

Nimbys back on the planning agenda?

A week ago, George Osborne announced some radical planning reforms as part of the Summer Budget, in response to the fact that, as he put it, “Britain has been incapable of building enough homes.” However you look at it, a big part of the problem with planning is that 52% of people either do not actively support housebuilding in their local area, or are neutral on the issue. So the question is, how do you mobilise more than half the … MORE...

Kevin Garvey

By Kevin Garvey

The number of homeless households in B&B is on the rise again

The latest government statistics show that the use of Bed and Breakfast (B&B) to accommodate homeless families with children is making an unwanted comeback. Over the last 5 years the number of households accommodated in B&B has more than doubled, from 2,050 to 5,270. The rise in B&B use is even more acute in London, where the number of households has more than tripled. One inner-London borough has reported a 1500% increase in B&B use over a two year period … MORE...