The Habitual Residence Test is applied to people (unless they are exempt categories) who have recently arrived in the country and who make a claim for certain means-tested social security benefits, or seek housing assistance from a local authority.
On 11 November 2010 the Government set out plans for a 'Universal Credit' to replace most in work and out of work benefits for people of working age. This note gives an overview of the main features of the Universal Credit and looks at some of the issues raised by the proposals.
The June 2010 Budget announced that from April 2011 the Sure Start Maternity Grant would be restricted to the first child only in a family, saving around £73 million a year. The Social Security Advisory Committee believes that the measure "lacks a coherently argued rationale", and the House of Lords Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee has suggested that the Government needs to set out more clearly the rationale for the change and its anticipated impact. A particular concern is that changes to the Social Fund Budgeting Loans scheme to mitigate the impact on families will not come into effect until early 2012.
Cold Weather Payments are made to certain claimants of means-tested benefits during periods of very cold weather. To trigger the £25 payments, the average temperature in an area must be recorded as, or forecast to be, 0Â°C or below for seven consecutive days.
At the Conservative Party Conference in October 2010 the Chancellor announced that from January 2013 Child Benefit would be withdrawn from families with a higher rate taxpayer. This note looks at the background to the announcement and at reactions to it. Revised proposals for a “High Income Child Benefit Charge” were presented in Budget 2012 under which Child Benefit would instead be clawed back from families where the highest earner had an income in excess of £50,000. Further details can be found in Library briefing SN06299, Child Benefit for higher income families.
By April 2011 most lone parents with a youngest child aged seven or over will no longer be able to claim Income Support but will instead have to claim Jobseeker's Allowance and be available for and seek paid work.
The Welfare Reform Act 2009 includes provisions to enable piloting of mandatory 'work-related activity' for lone parents on Income Support and partners of benefit claimants with a youngest child aged 3-6. The Labour Government announced proposals to run 'pathfinders' in four Jobcentre Plus districts in England from October 2010.
This note sets out financial support available to domestic energy consumers, including grants for central heating, insulation, microgeneration equipment and social security measures. It also explains how to seek advice or information about gas and electricity problems from Consumer Direct and the Energy Ombudsman.
The Bill fulfils the Government’s commitment made in September 2008 to enshrine the 2020 child poverty target in legislation. It establishes four separate child poverty targets to be met by 2020/21, requires the UK Government to publish a regular UK child poverty strategy, requires the Scottish and Northern Irish Ministers to publish child poverty strategies, establishes a Child Poverty Commission to provide advice, requires the UK Government to publish annual progress reports, and places new duties on local authorities and other “delivery partners”’ in England to work together to tackle child poverty.