The proposed welfare reforms have been widely described as the most radical shake up of the social security system in over 40 years. The aim of the reforms and subsequent Bill is to simplify the benefits system, improve work incentives to encourage claimants to move from benefits to work and reduce administration costs. However, the implementation of the changes will impact upon a significant percentage of the working age population in Northern Ireland.
With the Welfare Reform Bill now fallen in Stormont and the Assembly entering “unchartered waters” everyone is still unsure of what will happen next with the Bill and the Assembly.
DWP says sanctions are a "last resort" and encouragement to work - but some reported examples make that description look laughable, and could make them the biggest danger to Welfare Reform. Scope takes a look.
The general election result means Welfare Reform will come to Northern Ireland, one way or another. Scope looks at two reports examining its impact in Scotland - both on the public and the third sector.
Presuming the near-inevitable happens and Welfare Reform (eventually) passes the Assembly, does Stormont need a dedicated committee for oversight? Scope speaks exclusively with Michael McMahon MSP, who convenes just such a group in Holyrood.
This is NICVA's response to the Department of Finance and Personnel's consultation 'Long-term Options for Rates Rebate Replacement Scheme'
Previously, we summarised the amendments made to the Welfare Reform Bill at Consideration Stage. This time, we look at the 27 amendments debated at Further Consideration Stage (on 24 Feb) – the last opportunity for the Assembly to change the Bill.
In 15 Asks for the Executive we focus on a range of issues the current Executive can either complete or significantly progress before the June 2016 Assembly elections.