Noted for his non-answers to Commons questions on the DWP, minister for welfare delivery Will Quince has been challenged to get face-to-face with the SFHA over anti-poverty initiatives.
The invitation is attached to six key changes to ‘welfare reform’ SFHA says need to be made with so many claimants now in survival mode.
“Like our sister organisations across the UK, we have major concerns over the current system.
“It is not fit for purpose and is leaving many at risk of, or living in, poverty – and this must be addressed urgently,” said Sally Thomas, SFHA Chief Executive.
The changes are:
- End the five-week wait for money. People should be able to get a payment in the middle of this period, and there should be greater flexibility on payment frequency for all
- More data sharing between DWP and social landlords and the restoration of implicit consent will mean landlords can better support tenants and prevent problems. This is key to the success of managed migration
- Where benefit is paid directly to the landlord, we need a system that is fit for purpose, with the landlord receiving the payment on the same cycle as the tenant
- Increased funding for support and advice to make sure people do not miss out on entitlement, including allowing backdating for more claims
- Making sure that work pays for everyone by matching monthly assessments to earnings within that period, improving work allowances and reducing the taper
- Restore inflation linked uprating to working age benefits from April 2020
“These six asks must be delivered, and we have challenged Mr Quince to do this.
“We have also invited him to visit us in Scotland, where we can showcase some of the great work our members do and discuss further how we could work together to combat poverty and improve opportunities,” said Thomas.