Welfare Reform

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.


The cost of living crisis

The cost of living crisis is causing devastation for the least well off.

The cruelty and lunacy of cutting Universal Credit

The £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit planned for October will be the biggest overnight drop in the basic rate of social security since the foundation of the welfare state, according to analysis from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.  

Being on benefit: an abusive relationship with the state ?

Kevin Higgins, Head of Policy at Advice NI on the past, present and future of social security in the UK. 

Omens are grim as Universal Credit arrives

Next week sees the beginning of the roll out of Universal Credit in Northern Ireland. 

Welfare sanctions in NI: the facts

Adam Tinson, senior research analyst at the New Policy Institute analyses the growing gap between benefits sanctions in Northern Ireland and GB. 

Up the sanction - Welfare Reform's teeth could bite itself

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.

Welfare Reform: the view from Scotland

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.

Welfare Reform: overseeing the inevitable

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.

How to survive the cuts

Northern Ireland is yet to feel the full force of austerity cuts and Welfare Reform is still not implemented. We spoke to the leader of England's charities to find out exactly what we can expect.

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