In their report on the Employment and Support Allowance Work Capability Assessment (WCA), published today, the Work and Pensions Select Committee has concluded that the system’s flaws are so serious that a fundamental redesign is necessary for it to properly serve it’s intended purpose.
Z2K is proud to have contributed to the committee’s conclusion by submitting both oral and written evidence. We have been consistent in our highlighting of WCA’s endemic problems and hope that the government will finally see sense and do away with this utterly discredited system. Continue reading
For the twenty years from the establishment of the Council Tax system in 1993 to the coalition Government’s abolition of Council Tax Benefit a consistent principle of local taxation was that those who couldn’t afford to pay shouldn’t have to. Since April 2013 however that has all changed and councils up and down the country have resurrected the idea that ‘everyone should pay something’, one of the driving ideas behind Margaret Thatcher’s hated Poll Tax. Continue reading
As we posted last week Z2K ran a training workshop in Enfield to guide advisers through the benefit appeals process and prepare them for representing clients at tribunal hearings.
Z2K caseworkers and volunteers have been supporting people with benefit appeal hearings in the First-Tier Tribunal for many years. Since the cuts to legal aid in the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, funding has been removed for benefit advice and appeals to the first-tier tribunal, which hears cases on issues including housing, debt and welfare entitlement decisions. We have seen a huge increase both in the number of client seeking support with benefit appeals and a growing interest from law firms seeking guidance on how to manage the rise in demand for pro bono services at these hearings. Continue reading