GMWRAG isn’t tracking the general election but…

GMWRAG has exhausted itself electing a new GM (Greater Manchester NOT genetically modified!) Mayor and has little enthusiasm for closely tracking the forthcoming General Election. However, we’re happy to point our members to a few resources which will help you do so if you wish. It is already very noticeable that this is not going to be an election in which welfare reform and poverty are at the top of anyone’s list.

The BBC have helpfully produced an election tracker, which you can find at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2017-39844115 or by clicking the magic words in this sentence. “Welfare” comes in at 11th on the number of things they’re tracking although you could argue that “Pensions” coming in at 5th has some significance! Lots of tabloids are tracking little more than who the pundits think will win but you could invest some of your diminishing faith in pollsters following the excess of statistics at Electoral Calculus.

Of more interest our friends at Rightsnet have identified at least three suggestions for manifestos. GMWRAG thinks it’s worthwhile digesting all three but may wonder out loud whatever happened to campaigning to change things rather than asking for tweaks to the status quo? Can Universal Credit ever be made to work, or make work pay (as opposed to merely function in the former case!)? No mention of the mess which is the Benefit Cap or even DHPs!

– Citizens Advice: Citizens Advice has 5 big asks for the next government
– CPAG: Election 2017 manifesto
– The Law Society: Law Society unveils election manifesto for Brexit Britain

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GMWRAG recommends…

GMWRAG recommends this blog by Rightsnet contributor Sarah Batty. You can read the full article at https://medium.com/uncertain-futures/social-insecurity-a-welfare-rights-advice-perspective-f5e3aa27437b#.tiyg1e35y but the title “Social Insecurity: a Welfare Rights Advice Perspective” should give you enough of a taste to know what’s coming.

You can also follow Sarah on Twitter @sarah_batty.

If anyone wants to blog similarly for GMWRAG on matters of welfare rights please contact us.

CPAG looking for case studies on Bedroom Tax and DHPs.

is urgently looking for case studies following the Court of Appeal’s decision in R(Rutherford) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2016] EWCA Civ 29, which is to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

They are keen to hear if any advisers have come across the following situations with regards to Bedroom Tax and Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs):

  • Families with disabled children who have been affected by the Housing Benefit size criteria (or ‘the Bedroom Tax’) because they need an extra room for a carer or carers to stay overnight.
  • Instances where families have been refused DHPs because the local authority has exhausted its fund for these particular payments.

The families may be renting in the private or the social rented sector.

If you are an adviser who has seen people in either situation, please send a private message or email CPAG on testcases@cpag.org.uk before the 10th of February 2016.