Latest Department of Work and Pensions news

  • Government Apologies For Telling Coma Patient Sheila Holt to Find Work
    Government Apologies For Telling Coma Patient Sheila Holt to Find Work Fri, Feb 28, 2014

    A government minister has apologised to a woman in Rochdale after she received a letter from the government demanding she look for work, despite being in a coma. Mike Penning, minister for disabled people, told the House of Commons he apologised "unreservedly" to the family of Sheila Holt after she was invited to a Department of Work and Pensions "intensive job-focused activity" despite being critically ill in hospital. Penning said clearly something had "gone wrong" after he was challenged in the Commons by Holt's Rochdale MP, Simon Danczuk. Holt was sectioned under the Mental Health Act in December after a "manic episode" when she struggled to cope with an eight-day back-to-work scheme run by Atos. More »

  • Child poverty strategy condemned
    Child poverty strategy condemned Thu, Feb 27, 2014

    The Government's new draft child poverty strategy has been branded "a serious missed opportunity" by David Cameron's social mobility tsar Alan Milburn. More »

  • Disabled claimants 'waiting longer'
    Disabled claimants 'waiting longer' Thu, Feb 27, 2014

    Disabled people are facing "distress and financial difficulties" as a result of the slow processing of claims under a new Government benefit scheme, a spending watchdog's report has found. More »

  • Archbishop of Westminster Launches Scathing Attack on UK Government Benefit …
    Archbishop of Westminster Launches Scathing Attack on UK Government Benefit … Sat, Feb 15, 2014

    The most senior Catholic cleric in England and Wales has described the government's welfare cuts as a "disgrace" because they threaten the country's most vulnerable with "hunger and destitution". The Archbishop of Westminster, cardinal-designate Vincent Nichols, said the UK coalition government's social reforms have "torn apart" the safety net for the country's poorest families, leaving them with nothing if they fail to deal correctly with state bureaucracy. More »

  • Catholic archbishop slams UK welfare reform Fri, Feb 14, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — The leader of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales has called government cuts to welfare a "disgrace" and said they have left people facing hunger and destitution. More »

  • The curse of universal credit: Bronchitis adds to IDS' woes
    The curse of universal credit: Bronchitis adds to IDS' woes Tue, Feb 4, 2014

    The curse of Iain Duncan Smith's universal credit system continued yesterday after it was revealed that the man brought in to stabilise the project had got bronchitis. More »

  • 'Scrap Bedroom Tax' Report Dismissed as Marxist Diatribe by Whiteha …
    'Scrap Bedroom Tax' Report Dismissed as Marxist Diatribe by Whiteha … Mon, Feb 3, 2014

    The government has rejected the recommendations of a United Nations report that called for bedroom tax to be scrapped as "misleading Marxist diatribe". The report, drawn up by the UN's special investigator on housing Raquel Rolnik, recommended that Whitehall drops the controversial bedroom tax. On visits to Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester and London, Rolnik found that the bedroom tax forced some recipients to face "hard choices between food, heating or paying the rent". The report added: "While in principle the [bedroom tax] policy does not force people to move, the reality of peoples' experience, many of whom are working people with no income to spare, left no doubt in the special rapporteur's mind that many have no other option, which has left them in tremendous despair." More »

  • Tory Iain Duncan Smith and Labour's Rachel Reeves Locked in "Ill-Informed" …
    Tory Iain Duncan Smith and Labour's Rachel Reeves Locked in "Ill-Informed" … Mon, Jan 20, 2014

    The government and opposition are locked in a fresh battle over welfare to prove to the electorate which of them will be toughest on the workshy, migrants and benefits cheats. Ministers Iain Duncan Smith and Theresa May have outlined plans to ban unemployed migrants from claiming housing benefit as well as jobseekers' allowance. The policy was first mentioned by prime minister David Cameron at the end of last year. Meanwhile, shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves, in her first major speech since getting the job, announced that a Labour government would ban unemployed youngsters from benefits if they lacked basic maths, English and IT skills and put them into further education training instead. More »

  • 'Bedroom Tax' Suicide: Grandmother Was Exempt
    'Bedroom Tax' Suicide: Grandmother Was Exempt Sat, Jan 11, 2014

    A woman who killed herself and left a note blaming the Government’s so-called "bedroom tax" would in fact have been exempt and eligible for a refund, it has emerged. Stephanie Bottrill would not have had to pay the tax due to a loophole in the legislation, drafted by the Department of Work and Pensions , according to Sky sources.  Ms Bottrill had lived in her £320-a-month home for 18 years. Ms Bottrill, 53, wrote in her final letter, in May 2013: "I don’t [blame] anyone for me death expect [sic] the Government." More »

  • Bedroom Tax: Thousands Wrongly Liable In Government Error
    Bedroom Tax: Thousands Wrongly Liable In Government Error Fri, Jan 10, 2014

    As many as 40,000 people could be wrongly asked to pay bedroom tax, due to a mistake made by the Department of Work and Pensions. The mistake occured when the housing benefit regulations dating from 1996 failed to be updated by the department, when the bedroom tax legislation created under the Welfare Reform Act 2012. The bedroom tax does not affect private sector tenants and the coalition government has estimated that 660,000 households will see their benefits cut. The policy currently inflicts a charge of between £14 and £22 a week on those deemed to have a "spare" bedroom. More »

  • 'Bedroom Tax' Leaves Disabled Fearing Eviction
    'Bedroom Tax' Leaves Disabled Fearing Eviction Wed, Nov 27, 2013

    Thousands of disabled people are cutting back on food and heating to pay for the so-called "bedroom tax", according to a group of leading charities. The chief executives of leading groups including Disability Rights UK, Scope, Carers UK, The Royal National Institute of Blind People and the Council For Disabled Children say the policy is having a "devastating impact" on people with disabilities. More than 50 organisations have signed a letter to Iain Duncan Smith calling for immediate action to exempt disabled people from the Spare Room Subsidy. More »

  • Lord Foulkes of Cumnock: Letter to Alex Salmond on independence Mon, Nov 25, 2013

    In a letter to Alex Salmond, Labour's former Scotland Minister Lord Foulkes sets out the 'fundamental questions' that the First Minister's white paper on Scottish Independence must answer. More »

  • IDS no-show for bedroom tax debate
    IDS no-show for bedroom tax debate Tue, Nov 12, 2013

    Iain Duncan Smith is refusing to attend a debate on the bedroom tax today, in a move which has sparked outrage on the Labour benches. More »

  • Hammond Hits Back Over £2bn MoD Underspend
    Hammond Hits Back Over £2bn MoD Underspend Sat, Oct 12, 2013

    The Defence Secretary has hit back at criticism of a £2bn underspend by the Government department he oversees, saying the money will be spent on future kit for soldiers. More »

  • The chancellor's reshuffle: Osborne extends his control
    The chancellor's reshuffle: Osborne extends his control Mon, Oct 7, 2013

    Allies of George Osborne were given noticeable promotions in today's government reshuffle, as the chancellor extended his control over ministerial appointments. More »

  • OFT agrees reforms to UK's defined contribution pensions market Thu, Sep 19, 2013

    LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Office Of Fair Trading has unveiled a raft of reforms to shake up the 275 billion pound defined contribution pensions market, parts of which are offering poor value for money for up to 5 million savers, the watchdog said on Thursday. The OFT and the Pensions Regulator have agreed to assess which smaller trust-based schemes, currently managing around 10 billion pounds of pensions savings, could be failing their members due to low levels of trustee engagement or capability. ... More »

  • Axe 'Bedroom Tax', Says UN Investigator
    Axe 'Bedroom Tax', Says UN Investigator Wed, Sep 11, 2013

    A United Nations official has refused to back down after enraging the Government by attacking its so-called "bedroom tax". More »

  • Paralympics 'failed to boost attitudes to disabled'
    Paralympics 'failed to boost attitudes to disabled' Thu, Aug 29, 2013

    A year on from the London Paralympics, 81 percent of disabled people in Britain say attitudes towards them have failed to improve, according to a survey by the disability charity Scope. More »

  • Jamie Oliver: Poor Have Big TVs But Eat Junk
    Jamie Oliver: Poor Have Big TVs But Eat Junk Tue, Aug 27, 2013

    Jamie Oliver has said he struggles to talk about modern poverty after seeing families living on junk food but spending money on enormous televisions. More »

  • Benefit cheat who said he 'could barely walk' is exposed as cross-dressing drag … Thu, Aug 22, 2013

    Scrounger Hawthorn, 49, frolicked on stage in his nightclub cabaret drag-act while pocketing £84,000 of taxpayers' cash in disability benefits More »

  • Benefits cheat who said he 'could barely walk' is exposed as cross-dressing …
    Benefits cheat who said he 'could barely walk' is exposed as cross-dressing … Thu, Aug 22, 2013

    Scrounger Mark Hawthorn, 49, frolicked on stage in his nightclub cabaret drag-act while pocketing £84,000 of taxpayers' cash in disability benefits More »

  • Welfare Reforms 'Chaos' Attacked By Labour
    Welfare Reforms 'Chaos' Attacked By Labour Wed, Aug 21, 2013

    Labour has claimed the coalition's flagship welfare reforms are in chaos and are set to cost the taxpayer £1.4bn by 2015. More »

  • Welfare reform 'will cost taxpayer �1.4bn'
    Welfare reform 'will cost taxpayer �1.4bn' Wed, Aug 21, 2013

    The government's flagship welfare schemes are in "chaos" and set to cost taxpayers �1.4bn Labour will claim today. More »

  • Whitehall Spends £500m On Consultants
    Whitehall Spends £500m On Consultants Thu, Aug 15, 2013

    Central government departments spent more than £500m on consultants and short-term staff last year, according to Cabinet Office figures. More »

  • Welfare Cuts 'Will Widen North-South Divide'
    Welfare Cuts 'Will Widen North-South Divide' Thu, Apr 11, 2013

    People living in northern England will be hardest hit by the Government's welfare reforms, according to new research. More »

  • Disability Benefits: New System Rolled Out
    Disability Benefits: New System Rolled Out Mon, Apr 8, 2013

    A petition calling on Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to live off £53 a week has been handed in to his office - as major changes to disability benefits are rolled out. More »

  • IDS' emergency jobseeker law sparks civil liberties outrage
    IDS' emergency jobseeker law sparks civil liberties outrage Tue, Mar 19, 2013

    An emergency law being rushed through parliament by Iain Duncan Smith today has raised serious concerns about its effect on Britain's civil liberties and legal traditions. More »

  • Poundland Graduate Cait Reilly Wins Appeal
    Poundland Graduate Cait Reilly Wins Appeal Tue, Feb 12, 2013

    A graduate who was forced to work at Poundland for free has won an appeal, in a blow for the Government's back-to-work schemes. More »

  • Man with terminal brain cancer told he's 'fit for work'
    Man with terminal brain cancer told he's 'fit for work' Mon, Nov 12, 2012

    A man with terminal brain cancer is among those being told they are 'fit for work' under the government's work capability assessment programme, new research has discovered. More »

  • One Million More Brits Now 'Under-Employed'
    One Million More Brits Now 'Under-Employed' Tue, Sep 4, 2012

    At least one million more workers are 'under-employed' now than on the eve of the recession in early 2008, according to new figures. More »

  • Hack Attack On UK Websites Over Assange
    Hack Attack On UK Websites Over Assange Tue, Aug 21, 2012

    British Government websites have been attacked by hackers angered by the country’s stance on the extradition of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange to Sweden. More »

  • New Fraud Investigation Into Work Firm A4e
    New Fraud Investigation Into Work Firm A4e Fri, Mar 9, 2012

    The Government has launched an investigation into an allegation of attempted fraud against the welfare to work company A4e. More »

  • Reform For GPs Giving Long-Term Sick Notes
    Reform For GPs Giving Long-Term Sick Notes Sat, Nov 19, 2011

    Doctors may no longer be able to issue sick notes for workers who are on long-term leave from their jobs, a new review says. More »

  • No dogs, no congregating: Govt to unveil anti-gang law
    No dogs, no congregating: Govt to unveil anti-gang law Tue, Nov 1, 2011

    Government plans to cut down on gangs in the wake of the summer riots could see youths banned from walking "aggressive dogs" or congregating in certain areas. More »