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Philip Hammond will announce a £2 billion increase in funding for mental health services as he delivers what is expected to be his final Budget before Britain leaves the EU. After weeks of turmoil over Brexit, Tory MPs will be looking to the Chancellor to raise party morale with his…
Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey has acknowledged further change is needed to the system of Universal Credit (UC) amid fresh warnings it is causing "unacceptable" hardship to claimants.Ms McVey (pictured) denied presiding over a culture of "indifference" after a committee of MPs accused her department of turning a "deaf…
Universal Credit is causing unacceptable hardship for many of its claimants, according to a report from a public spending watchdog.It suggested the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) appears to be turning a "deaf ear" to these concerns.The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said the department's "fortress mentality" is failing claimants…
Tens of thousands of cancer patients, including many who are terminally ill, will face further "hardship, stress and anxiety" if they are forced to transfer to Universal Credit (UC), a leading charity has warned.Some 26,000 sufferers receiving benefits face financial difficulty and worry if they are forced to move to…
A Scottish Conservative MSP has defended welfare reforms, claiming those who do not work “cannot have as many children as they like”.Michelle Ballantyne also told the Scottish Parliament’s chamber that Universal Credit was a “key part of reducing inequality in this country”.She said the six-in-one benefit payment was “working for…
Britain is in danger of becoming a "two-speed society" with some groups excluded from the prosperity and rights enjoyed by others, the country's equality body has warned.At-risk groups are in danger of being forgotten and "trapped in disadvantage", said the Equality and Human Rights Commission.Its study found that progress made…
The handling of Universal Credit has been a "slow-motion disaster" which risks plunging hundreds of thousands of people into poverty, Sir Vince Cable has claimed.The Liberal Democrat leader, who was in the coalition government which launched the welfare reform project, said the system was now on "life support" and needed…
An extra £1.67 billion is to be paid to tens of thousands of disabled benefit claimants after years of underpayments, the Government has revealed.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was criticised for its handling of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) after revealing an estimated 180,000 recipients are due arrears…
Actor Alun Armstrong branded a disability benefit only given to people unable to walk more than 20 metres a "cost-cutting exercise", as he joined a protest against the rule.People with multiple sclerosis (MS) and activists chained themselves to model brick houses opposite Parliament to protest against the Government's "arbitrary" 20-metre…
Charities and companies working with Universal Credit (UC) claimants have been required to sign clauses pledging not to damage the reputation of Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey, it has been reported. The Times said that at least 22 organisations - covering contracts worth £1.8 billion - have been required…
Nearly half of women involved in work capability benefits tests have attempted suicide, the Commons has heard. SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford demanded the assessments, used to decide whether people are eligible to claim support for ill health, be scrapped to mark World Mental Health Day. Referring to reports in…
A debt help charity is seeing growing numbers of people falling behind with fuel bills and a resurgence in the proportion of clients with high-cost credit such as payday loans. StepChange Debt Charity said the proportion of clients in arrears with council tax is also "stubbornly high". In the first…
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