Benefit cap could drop 40,000 children into poverty, leaked memo warns

Pubished on The Guardian, by Patrick Butler and Shiv Malik, May 29, 2015: Internal government assessment seen by the Guardian shows lowering of welfare cap will be disastrous for families if parents are unable to find extra work.

Tens of thousands of children face being plunged into poverty by government plans to lower the household benefit cap, leaked advice to ministers shows.

The reduction in the upper limit of what families will now be able to claim annually from £26,000 to £23,000 was announced in Wednesday’s Queen’s speech.  

Ministers claim changes to the cap contained in the forthcoming employment and welfare benefits bill will deliver fairness for the taxpayer “while continuing to provide support for those in greatest need”.

But an internal government assessment, seen by the Guardian, shows that if parents are unable to find extra work the policy will put 40,000 more children on or below the official poverty line, on top of the 50,000 already affected under the current rate … //

… The leaked DWP memo warns that it is vital ministers increase the amount of temporary cash help to capped tenants to prevent immediate eviction. However, the DWP cut the discretionary housing payment budget, which also covers households affected by the bedroom tax, from £165m to £125m from April.

A spokesperson for the government accused housing associations of “scaremongering” and claimed the cap had encouraged people to get a job.

The government believes that the principle of the cap is popular with voters. In January the prime minister, David Cameron, said the benefit cap “tells you everything you need to know about our values”.

The latest official figures show 59,000 households were hit by the £26,000 cap in the 22 months since its April 2013 introduction. Work and Pensions research from December found that 11% of households just below the cap level moved into work. This figure rose marginally to 15.7% for households who were capped.

A DWP qualitative impact study into the cap published that same month showed most capped tenants struggled to afford basic necessities and often went without food or borrowed cash from loan sharks, while a quarter reported being under threat of eviction as a result of running up rent arrears due to the cap.

(full text).


Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht jailed for life, on Irish Times, May 30, 2015: Ulbricht described as kingpin of worldwide digital drug-trafficking enterprise;
on en.wikipedia: Katherine B. Forrest, /Significant cases … In January, 2015, Forrest began presiding over a jury trial in U.S.A. v. Ulbricht, where Ross William Ulbricht as accused of running the Silk Road online drug marketplace.[15] She ruled that emoji are permissible court evidence. [16] She sentenced Ulbricht to life in prison …;

France – Impôt sur le revenu: Avec le revenu de base osons une véritable révolution fiscale, dans, par My-Karol, le 30 mai 2015;

Report from The War Front – Ukraine, Yemen and Iraq (with video, 2.01 min), on Global, by South Front, May 30, 2015;

Review: Four new books look at economic inequality (including Joseph Stiglitz’s The Great Divide), on The Globe and Mail, by Drew Nelles, May 29, 2015;

The Cryptocurrency-Based Projects That Would Pay Everyone Just for Being Alive, on vice, by Nathan Schneider, May 29, 2015;

The “Socialist Roots” of the UK’s Labour Party, on Dissident Voice, by Richard Layton, May 29, 2015;

on en.wikipedia: Perry Mehrling (born August 14, 1959) is professor of economics at Barnard College in New York City. He specializes in the study of financial theory within the history of economics;

A Lost Opportunity for Change, the UK lurches further to the Right, on Dissident Voice, by Graham Peebles, May 28, 2015;

FCC Proposes Internet Subsidy for Low-Income Users, on WSJ, by Gautham Nagesh, May 28, 2015: Government’s Lifeline program for phone bills would be expanded to provide broadband access;

Suisse: L’initiative sur les bourses d’études encourage une mentalité d’assisté, dans, le 28 mai, 2015; Un comité interpartis de droite s’est réuni jeudi et rejette l’initiative sur les bourses d’études soumise au peuple le 14 juin prochain. Selon lui, le texte encourage une mentalité d’assisté;
(mon commentaire: les bourgeois ne commprennent toujours pas que c’est EUX les premiers assistés … de par leur fric qu’ils ont en plus de ceux assistés officiellement … puisqu’il leur reviennt souvent par ces intérêts à cause desquels les ouvriers n’ont JAMAIS tout le retour de leur travail – Heidi);

Succès de Podemos en Espagne, les leçons d’un séisme électoral, dans l’, par Catherine Gouéset, le 26 mai 2015;

US Senator Gravel on UFO’s, Disclosure & Politics on Dr J Radio LIVE, 67.24 min, uploaded by DrJ Radio Live, May 22, 2015;

FINANCIAL REFORM, part one: TBTF, on Perry G. Mehrling, by blog owner, May 22, 2015;

Video: … la dissidence pour se libérer de l’esclavage du libre marché, 95,38 min, dans Paradism, par Jarel, le 17 mai 2015 … (à partir de 1h05 il parle de sa proposition, de son projet d’action concrête) – dans son message à la dissidence, sur comment libérer l’humanité de son asservissement par le travail et l’argent, Jarel met à jour les illusions de liberté qui font de nous des esclaves soumis au système du libre marché et propose à la dissidence une action concrète pour se libérer;
aussi sur YouTube, mise en ligne par, le 17 mai 2015;

Palestinians and the dilemmas of solidarity, on The Electronic Intifada, by Joseph Massad, May 14, 2015;

UK forces US to confirm UFO incident on Dr J Radio LIVE 3-14-15 – Linda Moulton Howe, 118.15 min, uploaded by DrJ Radio Live, April 2, 2015;

Etude de connaissance et d’opinion, questionnaire sur les OGM (organismes génétiquement modifiés), dans Q qualtrics, 2015 … et lancez le questionnaire;

Received by e-mail from Helen Wallis (thanks a lot): Farming in the UK, by Farm Machinery Locator: an interesting overview-tool;
See also: Sustainable intensification – miracle or mirage? on Berhane Tewolde’s Development Blog, March 3, 2013 (first on Global Food Security);

… and this:

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