Kate Green MP thanked Paul Nicolson, along with some of our partners, in her speech on minimum income levels during the report stage of the Welfare Reform Bill.
The government has tabled an amendment to prevent incomes falling below a set level in the case of the government reclaiming overpaid benefits. While Z2K and others think that enforcing such debts against such incomes is unfair and regressive, we were pleased to see the government finally indicating that it accepts there is such a thing as too small an income.
What do you think? Is this a step in the right direction?
On the fault lines of fractured Britain
Behind the Department for Work and Pensions press release about benefit fraud of £l.5bn (Chav: the vile word at the heart of fractured Britain, 31 May) has been debate in the welfare reform bill committee about the £2.6bn of benefit claimants’ debts which are the result of overpayments made in error. Administrative errors in tax credits are not recorded by HMRC but have been very substantial. Enforcement of these debts against claimants has been illegal since 1975, if they were in no way their fault, a law endorsed by John Major’s government in 1992 – but it will be allowed in the welfare reform bill at the discretion of the same officials unless peers maintain the status quo when the bill reaches them. Continue reading