Topic: Welfare and equalities

Poverty and inequality are financial challenges for local authorities and threaten the cohesion of their communities.

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Census – key statistics published December 2012

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published significant further details of the 2011 census on 11th December 2012. This included Key statistics for England and Wales covering age, health, ethnicity, religion, marital status, accommodation, skills etc., supported by 44 data tables; three reports on international migration, religion, and ethnicity and national identity; and a comparison…

England & Wales Briefing
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Housing Report 3

In mid-November, the Chartered Institute of Housing, the National Housing Federation and Shelter published the third in a series of reports, Housing Report 3, which examine the government’s responses to the housing challenges it identified when it took office. All the reports assess progress by using a traffic light system to identify how things have…

England & Wales Briefing
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Welfare Reform Update

The Welfare Reform Act received Royal Assent on 8 March 2012. Since then, more detailed regulations have appeared which flesh some of the details of its main provisions in addition to a wealth of analyses that attempt to predict its impacts. This briefing summarises main developments since the Act received Royal Assent, covering the period…

England & Wales Briefing
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Autumn Statement: details and analysis

The Autumn Statement was announced by the Chancellor on Wednesday 5 December laying out changes to economic forecasts and budget proposals for 2013/14 and 2014/15. The statement had good news and bad news for local government, with some protection for 2013/14 but further cuts in 2014/15. Local government has welcomed some of the measures on…

England & Wales Briefing
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Local Government Finance Act 2012 – Council Tax Reforms

The Local Government Finance Act 2012 brings in arrangements for localised council tax support schemes to replace council tax benefit from April 2013. It also provides local authorities flexibility on the council tax that can be charged on empty homes and provides them with the freedom to publish council tax information on-line. This briefing will…

England & Wales Briefing
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Taking Possession: councils use of bailiffs: new report from the Local Government Ombudsman

The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) published (on 28 November 2012) Taking Possession: councils use of bailiffs, highlighting issues that have arisen from complaints about bailiff action by councils. The report is about the recovery of council tax, business rates and road traffic debts. The report outlines cases where they say inappropriate or unreasonable fees and…

England & Wales Briefing
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Gaining from growth: The final report of the Commission on Living Standards

This report shows how income growth for low-to-middle income households in the UK virtually stagnated over the past decade, despite steady GDP growth. The group comprise about one-third of the population of working age. Only the enlargement of in-work benefits prevented the income position of the group from falling further behind. Given current policy settings,…

England & Wales Briefing
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On Your Radar November 2012

On Your Radar looks back over the last period, ahead at what could be hitting the headlines and comments on issues relevant to local government that will be influencing the political landscape over the coming months. This edition covers: Upcoming briefings Focus on the local economy Government consultations Oral questions to the Secretary of State…

England & Wales Briefing
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Final report of the Independent Reviewer of Social Mobility and Child Poverty – “University Challenge: How Higher Education Can Advance Social Mobility”

This briefing summarises the final report of the Independent Reviewer on Social Mobility and Child Poverty by Alan Milburn MP. It also welcomes and provides commentary on its various recommendations from a local government perspective. Milburn focuses on universities in England and explores what they are doing to ensure their doors are open to the…

England & Wales Briefing
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Public Accounts Committee – Affordable Homes Programme

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has published a report on the affordable homes programme (“Financial viability of the social housing sector: introducing the Affordable Homes Programme”) informed by a detailed National Audit Office study (NAO). This briefing draws from both. - The Committee concluded that it is not yet clear whether the Programme will deliver…

England & Wales Briefing