The Cuts are Coming.
The cuts are coming.
Expect more sanctions, and misery.
This (pre-Queen’s speech) was only a foretaste:
— I'm a JSA claimant (@imajsaclaimant) May 28, 2015
The BBC reports,
Government spending cuts will see unprotected parts of the social security budget fall to their lowest level for 25 years, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned.
The IFS said protecting pensioner benefits meant cuts of almost 10% over two years to the welfare budget.
That would take welfare spending as a share of GDP to its lowest since 1990.
The government has committed to taking £12bn out of social security spending by 2018.
The Guardian gives some details.
Work and Pensions
The Department for Work and Pensions will have to make a £105m cut this year, which comes in addition to the £2bn savings to the department’s running costs made between 2009-10 and 2014-15.
These “efficiency savings” will be to departmental spending rather than cuts to benefits payments and are separate from the planned £12bn in welfare cuts, the details of which have yet to be revealed by the government.
But the savings will still be generated by increasing pressure on claimants and former claimants. Officials said they would be stepping up “debt recovery”, making extra effort to secure the repayment of loans issued under the social fund – the system by which benefits claimants are given a loan when they are deemed to be facing a crisis situation.
Currently this money is repaid by deducting money from benefits payments, but there is no system to reclaim money from ex-claimants who have found work and are therefore no longer claiming benefits. The DWP will be given new powers to get that money repaid, a spokesperson said, although details of how this new system will work have not yet been released.
It was not clear how much money could be saved by this measure given that the social fund is not well-advertised by the DWP, and fewer loans are being given out as a result.
The rest of the money would come from making administrative savings, focused on back office functions – with officials looking at ways they can reduce IT contracts and telephone costs. There would be no impact on staff levels at Jobcentre Plus offices this year, a spokesperson said.
This is on the wider picture:
The Government’s pledge to find £12bn in savings from the welfare budget will require ‘significant cuts’ to non-protected benefits, says the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).
Outside of protecting spending on state pension and universal pensioner benefits, the Conservatives would need to find savings on the a scale amounting to almost 10% of unprotected benefits, just to meet their 2015 manifesto pledge.
The IFS says, “finding the sought after £12 billion of cuts in just two years will not be easy”.
“Finding such a reduction without cutting child benefit, which has been pledged this week, would mean that even more significant cuts would likely be required to spending on one or more of tax credits, housing benefit and disability & incapacity benefits”.
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