Our reforms are necessary to restore fairness to the system and make a better use of social housing. Unreformed, the Housing Benefit bill would have grown to £26 billion in 2013/14.We have given councils £345 million since reforms came in last year to support vulnerable groups, especially disabled people.
The removal of the spare room subsidy means we still pay the majority of most claimants' rent. But we are saving the taxpayer £1 million a day which was being paid for extra bedrooms and are freeing up bigger homes for people forced to live in cramped, overcrowded accommodation.
A Department for Work and Pensions minister has said he is 'pleased' that Atos will receive no compensation after it ended its contract with the Government over controversial assessments of whether benefits claimants are fit to work.
Responding to the Government’s admission that Universal Credit behind schedule, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves MP labelled the Coalition as "out-of-touch".
Iain Duncan Smith has today admitted what everyone has known for months – that Universal Credit is massively behind schedule. But just a couple of weeks ago he was telling Parliament the Government would 'roll out Universal Credit on the plan and programme already set out'.
It’s clear that David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith have completely failed to get to grips with their flagship welfare reform and millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money have been written off as a result. Families facing a cost-of-living crisis deserve better than this.
– Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves MP
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has said the Government is going to get Universal Credit right by bringing it in "carefully and responsibly". His comments come after he admitted the scheme may not be fully rolled out until 2017.
This is a once in a generation reform. And we’re going to get it right by bringing it in carefully and responsibly.
Our approach will ensure that while we continue to enhance the IT for Universal Credit, we will learn from and expand the existing service, so that we fully under stand how people interact with it, and how we can best support them.
Early indications show that people are positive about the new benefit, and my Department is working hard to ensure this good progress continues.
A cricketer who claimed more than £22,000 in disability benefit was handed a four-month suspended jail sentence after being filmed by the Department for Work and Pensions playing for his local club.
Grandfather Stewart Lorains, 53, began claiming benefits for asthma, diabetes and an arthritic condition in 2008, saying he needed help to perform everyday tasks and even struggled to get out of bed.
But when his condition improved in 2009 he failed to tell the DWP, and played cricket for Boosbeck in the Cleveland Cricket League for three years before being found out.
Investigators filmed Lorains keeping wicket, bending over to pick up a ball and smiling in his whites. According to Boosbeck's website, from 2009 to 2012 he scored 614 runs including a high score of 64 not out.
Lorains, of St Cuthberts Walk, Liverton Mines, east Cleveland, pleaded guilty to failing to notify a change of circumstances at a previous hearing. He was handed a four-month jail sentence, suspended for a year, at Teesside Crown Court.