Universal Credit has more than just an IT problem

There has been another setback for the government’s flagship welfare reform programme, Universal Credit. David Finch explains the issues, writing that under the current plans for UC, some of the information that claimants will be required to provide will be difficult to get right. 
The program to deliver Universal Credit (UC) has already been reset by the Major Projects Authority, and now […]

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    The idea that there is a welfare-dependent underclass is wrong

The idea that there is a welfare-dependent underclass is wrong

A new book by John Hills explores key issues in the current debate about ‘welfare’ and the welfare state. The debate contrasts a stagnant group of people benefiting from it all with the rest who pay in and get nothing back – ‘skivers’ against ‘strivers’. John explains how, because people’s lives and circumstances change, most of us get back something at least close […]

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    Single parents owed child maintenance arrears should not get their hopes up following the government’s latest announcement of tough new action

Single parents owed child maintenance arrears should not get their hopes up following the government’s latest announcement of tough new action

The government announced that parents who default on child maintenance payments will be referred to credit reference agencies, potentially leading to the refusal of loans and other credit instruments to parents in arrears. We should temper our optimism, however, says Janet Allbeson. There is a very clear danger that the new Child Maintenance Service will prove reluctant to use the new enforcement […]

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    Addressing the cost of living from a poverty perspective requires a multipronged approach

Addressing the cost of living from a poverty perspective requires a multipronged approach

In this article, Adam Tinson summarises a report into how those in poverty experience the cost of living. It finds that the interaction between poverty and the cost of living is complicated and multi-faceted. The response will therefore require a range of action from regulators, private companies, consumers and the third sector.

Even though CPI inflation is currently running well below target […]

Five reasons why it’s difficult to privatise the police

The coalition government’s austerity drive has hit the police service particularly hard, leading to radical change. Here, Adam White explains why the policy of privatising front-line services to save money has been so difficult.

Over the past few years, the police have been thinking the unthinkable. Faced with a 20 per cent budget cut courtesy of the coalition’s severe post-financial […]

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    Why ‘privatisation of the NHS’ (the term not the concept) should be banned

Why ‘privatisation of the NHS’ (the term not the concept) should be banned

The heat of the debate about the ‘privatisation’ of the NHS has been intense. The role of the private sector in the NHS is a development which needs serious consideration, but only by resisting the temptation to use generalisations, miscommunications and allegations will we be able to have a proper and nuanced discussion of both the concerns and the possibilities, argue […]

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    The cuts in local government funding have had a significant impact on London’s most deprived communities

The cuts in local government funding have had a significant impact on London’s most deprived communities

How has the significant cuts to local authority funding affected front-line services? There had undoubtedly been enormous strain on services and front-line staff, with councils have argued that the limits to efficiency have been reached. Amanda Fitzgerald presents findings from a new report for the Trust for London into the most deprived communities in London.

The local government funding cuts announced […]

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    Reducing inequalities in mental health is a task for the whole of government and all sectors

Reducing inequalities in mental health is a task for the whole of government and all sectors

While mental disorders may affect anyone in society, there is a social gradient in common mental disorders (depression and anxiety) with a higher prevalence found among those living in poorer households. What can be done? Early identification of people at risk and action on the social determinants is essential, writes Ruth Bell.

Thankfully, there is now increased attention on improving access to therapeutic treatments […]

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This work by British Politics and Policy at LSE is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.