Small-scale Universal Credit pilot dodges crucial tests

If Betsy Duncan Smith had been in a humorous mood when the Work and Pensions Secretary arrived home on Monday night, she could have screened the movie Ghostbusters.

Day one of Universal Credit reminded me of that scene where the office has opened, the staff are primed – and then they wait and wait for the phone to ring.

So far no one has come forward to actually claim Universal Credit, the cornerstone of the coalition’s welfare reform policy.

This … Read more

Growing up renting

Imagine living in nine different homes before the age of eight. Then picture attending two different schools in the first three years of your education with another school move looming because your landlord has defaulted on his mortgage and there is nowhere else to rent by your school. This is the reality for the daughter of one family Shelter has spoken to and this isn’t out of choice.

A new survey of 4,000 private renters, out today, shows quite starkly … Read more