A busy week at the Department for Work and Pensions

Well done IDS


Yesterday new figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) revealed that the so-called ‘Bedroom Tax’ now costing each household it affects £66 a year more than originally predicted,

The policy, referred to as ‘removing the spare room subsidy’ by Iain Duncan Smith, costs 442,000 homes £15.27 a week each, 9 per cent more than the original estimate of £14. That works out at £794 a year, compared to £728 in the 2013/14 official impact assessment.

Then there was the news today that the phone number claimants will need to call to access IDS’ new Universal Credit will be premium rate. That means it will cost callers at least 45 pence per minute to call from mobiles, and 12p a minute to call from landlines. These rates will be especially high for people who have ‘pay-as-you-go’ phones – top-ups typically used by people who cannot afford contracts.

A call to the DWP typically lasts about 40 minutes, which could work out at around £18 –  about a third of the youth rate of Jobseekers’ Allowance. This is supposed to last for a whole week.

Then there’s the story today that a 16-year-old boy who has no arms or legs faces losing his Personal Independence Payment unless he can ‘prove’ that he is disabled.

After filling in a form to request the renewal of benefits after their son turned 16, in which they detailed his condition, Edward Bright’s parents were shocked to receive a reply telling them to attend a face-to-face meeting. The family were told that if Edward did not attend the meeting in a different town, his benefits could be stopped.

All in a week’s work for the Compassionate Conservatives…

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