New research from Money Advice Trust published today has revealed that local authorities in England and Wales used bailiffs to collect debts 2.1 million times in 2014/15. This is a rise of 16 per cent from 1.84 million 2012/13.
With 1.27 million referrals council tax arrears accounted for the vast majority of bailiff use, followed by 714,670 times for parking offences and 39,516 housing benefit overpayments. The remainder was made of up of unpaid business rates and commercial rents. Continue reading
Over the last few weeks, Z2K has been taking a closer look at the amendments tabled so far to clauses 7 and 8 of the Government’s Welfare Reform & Work Bill which lower the Benefit Cap in the Capital to £23,000. The amendments tabled to these clauses are 11, 12, 13, 14 and New Clause 1 from the Labour Shadow DWP Team, and amendments 25-37 from the Scottish Nationalist Party.
At the time of Labour’s very public wrangling over its position on the Bill’s Second Reading, those MPs objecting to the lower £23,000 a year cap in London (and £20,000 elsewhere) were assured that amendments would be tabled at committee stage. The Front Bench Team has been true to the letter of its word. But it is questionable whether they have been true to the spirit. None of these amendments are really worth the paper it will be printed upon. Continue reading
Z2K team on the London legal walk
Over the last year we have had 8 social work students complete a placement at Z2K, most of whom are studying at the same university I completed my social work degree at. I also completed a placement at Z2K whilst studying, which has meant that I have been able to use this experience and knowledge of the degree and placement process to support and guide them through their time at Z2K. It has been extremely rewarding to contribute to their journey and watch them grow in knowledge and confidence.
Each of the students have had their own successes on behalf of clients, but I would like to concentrate on just one example. Emma completed her placement with us from January to July. During this period she took on a number of cases dealing with a variety of issues. There is one case that sticks out in my mind, purely because I was amazed at the time, effort and hard work Emma put into it, and the huge impact she had on the clients’ life. Continue reading