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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…
Thousands of people across Scotland are being forced into poverty due to welfare cuts, according to an official report. The Scottish Government’s paper finds that the benefit freeze alone has led to reductions in spending of around £190 million in 2018/2019, rising to around £370 million by 2020/21. It also…
Disability benefit assessments in Scotland will be more flexible than the current system and carried out in-house by the new national social security agency, the Scottish Government has announced. Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville announced in a parliamentary statement that assessments will be carried out at a time and location…
More than one in 10 people in the UK live in "persistent poverty", according to a report that takes a fresh look at the way financial hardship is measured. A major study by the Social Metrics Commission (SMC) found that 7.7 million people, 12.1% of the UK population, have spent…
The Prime Minister has been accused of "abandoning" promises she made to help working families after new research revealed that households have been pushed £1,250 into the red since her arrival in Downing Street. The TUC criticised Theresa May's promise to help so-called just-about-managing families, saying they had been pushed…
Demand for help with debts is expected to reach a five-year high across 2018 as people increasingly find themselves struggling with everyday household bills, according to a charity. National Debtline, which is run by the Money Advice Trust (MAT), predicts it will have received 189,000 calls by the end of…
Couples raising two children while working full-time on the minimum wage are falling £49 a week short of being able to provide their family with a basic, no-frills lifestyle, research has found. The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) called for an increase in the so-called national living wage to allow…
Lack of action to tackle child poverty is creating "a generation of invisible boys and girls", according to former prime minister Gordon Brown. He accused both the Scottish and UK governments of ignoring what he described as "a national disgrace", and called for increases in welfare payments to address the…
The Government has committed no new money to pay for its flagship £100 million fund to eradicate rough sleeping within the decade, Housing Secretary James Brokenshire has admitted. The fund was welcomed by homelessness charities as a significant step towards helping the estimated 4,751 people sleeping rough on English streets…
The UK's largest provider of women's refuges has welcomed ministers' decision to ditch plans to devolve funding for the network to local councils. The charity Refuge said that the proposal could have led to the collapse of provision of accommodation for women fleeing violent partners across the country. Plans were…
Universal credit claimants are losing out on hundreds of pounds a year if their payday falls too close their assessment date, a charity has warned. Being paid early as a result of weekends or bank holidays makes it look like a worker has earned more because they receive two payments…
Labour's next manifesto could include radical plans for a universal basic income (UBI), John McDonnell said. The shadow chancellor said the policy, which replaces means-tested benefits with a flat rate paid to all citizens, was an idea that "a lot of people are pressing for". Supporters of UBI claim it…
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