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Welfare reform

(124 Posts)
sarah293 Thu 11-Nov-10 16:52:00

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Jellykat Thu 11-Nov-10 17:45:02

When i was on Income support,there was no way i could afford internet access!

I also wonder if they are considering people who suffer from Dyslexia/Dyspraxia etc.. under the current system you can go into the Job centre and have help filling out forms!

It all stinks IMO.

vesela Thu 11-Nov-10 18:53:31

Carers allowance was in there as something that was being kept separate, but can't find where I saw that now. According to BBC there will be support for people who can't do it online.

Chil1234 Thu 11-Nov-10 18:57:35

Libraries provide internet access at the moment and, presumably, so would Job Centres in the future, if that's how they'd prefer to have things administered. Anyone with learning difficulties would still be able to get help from staff. Someone must have calculated that operating the system more on a paperless basis will save a huge amount of money. Makes sense.

In the fairly recent past when it was proposed that benefits were paid straight into bank accounts the cry went up that people didn't have bank accounts, couldn't work a PIN number and would get horribly confused. That one got resolved without too much fuss.

sarah293 Thu 11-Nov-10 19:04:13

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vesela Thu 11-Nov-10 19:06:51

The white paper mentions carers allowance from point 23 down. It looks as if they're still working it out (but that they might raise the earnings limit).

23. Carers provide an invaluable service to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and the Government wants to make sure they get the support they need.

24. For too long, the current system of carer benefits has failed to meet the different needs of carers and has trapped some people on benefits. The key issues are:

a. People receiving Carer’s Allowance can only earn up to the earnings limit (currently £100 per week) – but above that limit all of the Carer’s Allowance is lost.

b. Carer’s Allowance is paid at a lower rate than other income-replacement benefits (currently £53.90). All governments, since 1976, when Invalid Care Allowance was introduced, have faced the dilemma that increasing the level of benefit is neither affordable nor cost effective. Hence Carer’s Allowance has stayed at this level, playing an ineffective role, neither effective in poverty prevention nor in meeting the wider needs of carers. We can only deliver proper support for carers with the greatest financial burden by addressing the current confusing interactions between Carer’s Allowance and other benefits.

25. Most carers of working age want to retain a foothold in the labour market, not just for their financial well-being, but also to enhance their own lives and the lives of those for whom they care. We intend as part of these reforms to provide support
for carers and improve their opportunities to maintain links with the world of work.

26. Carers will also continue to be eligible for National Insurance credits, to protect their financial position in retirement.

27. The Government is carefully considering whether changes to Carer’s Allowance will be necessary to take account of the introduction of Universal Credit and provide clearer, more effective support for carers.

sarah293 Thu 11-Nov-10 19:09:00

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MumInBeds Thu 11-Nov-10 19:12:51

Didn't they also recently announce that Post Offices would have limited computer/internet access as part of the changes to their remit? Maybe they are planning to get that involved.

Jellykat Thu 11-Nov-10 19:54:15

In rural areas like here in Pembrokeshire our village post office closed last year, and our nearest library is 17 miles away,but that may close too we think..There are many villages here still that cannot receive broadband (or even freeview) because of their positions.

I would presume that if they are going to carry out more online, it's not just to save money on stamps and paper! presumably Job centre staff will go too...

I just hope they've thought of the practicalities for some people,but seeing how all this seems to be going, the real life details don't seem to be a priority for this government!

Chil1234 Thu 11-Nov-10 22:34:49

There are bound to be exceptions. But if the standard is 'internet' that's the norm. Anyone that can't access it because they live up a mountain or in the middle of nowhere would presumably be offered a paper alternative - but they would be the exception. It wouldn't be Job Centre staff that went as a result of cutting out a lot of paperwork but the DWP more generally. Those huge tax credit forms that get sent out every year must cost a fortune in postage, paper and printing... and that's only one benefit.

thereiver Fri 12-Nov-10 00:19:02

wrong chil millions dont have internet and many more cant use it, we dont all live in cities. people in rural areas should receive an increased allowance say 30% on all benefits/tax allowances to make up for reduced services

MaMoTTaT Fri 12-Nov-10 00:28:54

blimey - we have 19 computers in our local library. Every time I go in they are always in use, with a queue of people waiting to use them. No internet cafe.

POst offices - well we now have 3 in town - 2 at the edge of town - you can only get to them if you have transport, the town one is always packed as a result.

God could you imagine - you pay out £3 on the bus to go to the library to use the internet to check whether your benefits have gone find they haven't. And you have to keep going back.

MaMoTTaT Fri 12-Nov-10 00:35:11

according to the NSO - 9.2 million adults have never accessed the internet.

73% of households have internet access

97% of adults educated to degree level had accessed the internet

45% of those without formal qualifications had

Of those that haven't accessed the internet 21% said it was because of a lack of a skills.

And there are also huge regional variations on internet access (83% in London, 59% in the NE).

MaMoTTaT Fri 12-Nov-10 00:42:40

recetn news articles about library closures/reduction in hours from around the country

500 Job Centres have been closed since 2002

1000's of post offices have been closed in recent years too.

Where exactly are people going to access this internet??

gaelicsheep Fri 12-Nov-10 00:55:06

Where I live the dial up is plain hopeless and the slowest of the slow broadband (0.5 MB)is by satellite costing at least £25 a month, and then only if you took advantage of the Broadband Reach offer when it was available. Nearest library (4 computers) is 16 miles away. I hate how it's assumed that everyone can get cheap, fast internet access - they can't!

Chil1234 Fri 12-Nov-10 06:30:24

"Of those that haven't accessed the internet 21% said it was because of a lack of a skills"

And 39% (the most common response in the same report) was that 'they didn't need it'... Usage is going up every year and this sort of thing would be a big motivation for change. It's recognised that not having internet access puts people at a disadvantage in many ways ranging from paying too much for goods to finding employment - so there's theBroadband Delivery UK working with providers and to narrow the gap. The underspend on the digital switchover, for example, is being allocated to improving access in rural areas.

It's a hurdle, but I don't think it's a show-stopper.

sarah293 Fri 12-Nov-10 07:30:58

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Jcee Fri 12-Nov-10 08:02:37

I think internet access is a massive barrier on a number of fronts - accessibility, cost, IT skill required, literacy, numeracy etc...

I used to work for an organisation delivering employment advice and training for the unemployed on central London estates and lack of very basic IT knowledge/skills followed by literacy and numeracy were the biggest issues.

Whilst there have been lots of publicly funded initiatives over the last 10 years encouraging people to get online or to get IT skills, most are run by charities delivering training contracts for Govt and, as such, if they haven't closed already, are likely to do so as their funding streams come to an end.

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 12-Nov-10 08:07:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Litchick Fri 12-Nov-10 09:07:44

Surely there will be a clause saying that if you can't for whatever reason access the internet, you can still use snail mail?

I mean, come on, it's not beyond the wit of man is it?

sarah293 Fri 12-Nov-10 10:08:13

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Jellykat Fri 12-Nov-10 10:20:26

Litchick-Yes! Because the Conservatives have a reputation for considering and understanding the lives of the unemployed, and vulnerable... Not!

Marjoriew Fri 12-Nov-10 10:32:10

No mention of the thousands of grandparents who take on grandchildren, I see.

Pension+Child Benefit.

almost3 Fri 12-Nov-10 10:38:42

Riven- Which paper is that?

salizchap Fri 12-Nov-10 10:55:26

Have any of you ever tried taking a toddler into a public library in order to access the internet?

I tried it when DS was 2, we became homeless and we were put in a B&B miles away from friends and family. I was trying to access the net, while getting up every few seconds to try to stop DS from running out the library or ransacking the place.


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