Surrey Squeezed By Tory Welfare Cuts
SURREY COUNTY LABOUR PARTY
Surrey Squeezed by Conservative Welfare Cuts
Research by the Surrey Welfare Rights Unit presents a grim prospect for the New Year for thousands of people here who depend on benefits or tax credits for a civilised life.
Married couples without children who are in receipt of housing benefit and are aged between 25 and 35 are to have their housing benefit reduced to the single room rate.
Checks are to be made on anyone on Jobseeker's Allowance to ascertain whether they are spending at least several hours each day looking for work. Further, the radius within which they will be expected to look for work is to be extended to 90 minutes from where they live. Failure to comply with these and other conditions could incur up to three years removal of the allowance.
The time limit for returning a form to claim Employment Support Allowance has been reduced from 6 to 4 weeks.
In April, families with one child claiming Child Tax Credit, whose annual income is more than £26,000 will lose this benefit. For families with two children the maximum income allowed is £32,000 per year to continue to receive the benefit. Some exception may be made for claimants above these amounts if they pay for registered child care or approved child care.
In April a working couple with children will need to work 24 hours per week to get Working Tax Credit as opposed to 16 hours at present. With so many families here dependent on part time work this poses a real threat to family income.
Backdating a new claim has been reduced from three months to one month. Presently if there is backdating due to changed circumstances this can be paid for three months. From April any higher amount claimable will only be paid for one month.
Surrey’s scheme Money Matters for Every Child has been operating for three years. It is designed to assist children from poorer families. The recent surge in demand for food parcels for poor families throughout Surrey indicates how necessary a scheme of this kind is now.
Details of families needing support should be communicated to the Surrey Welfare Rights Unit 0800 2948148 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org