William Eichler 28 October 2022

Benefit cuts leave council welfare schemes ‘over-burdened’

Benefit cuts leave council welfare schemes ‘over-burdened’ image
Image: N Crittenden / Shutterstock.com.

Cuts to benefits have left local authority-administered discretionary welfare support funds ‘over-burdened’, think tank warns.

A new briefing note on discretionary welfare support, which provides ad hoc help to individuals and families facing acute needs, has found that in recent years these payments have been used to ‘compensate some for cuts to benefit entitlements.’

The briefing note, published by the Resolution Foundation, found that discretionary crisis support fell significantly in the lead up to the COVID-19 pandemic, while spending on Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) has increased seven-fold.

It also noted that increases in discretionary support – notably, increases to DHPs in 2013 and to the Household Support Fund in 2021 – have coincided with £29bn of cuts to entitlement-based benefits, which led the think tank to conclude that despite the increases, discretionary support is ‘over-burdened.’

The report also found that devolution has led to ‘stark differences’ in the provision of discretionary support, with Scotland providing over six-times as much support per person than England.

Localisation of crisis support in England has also led to one-in-four local authorities offering no discretionary crisis support at all.

‘Overall, we find that discretionary welfare support has undergone a significant change in recent years, with locally-delivered support increasingly used to soften the sharp edges of large-scale benefit cuts,’ the report says.

‘As a result, crisis support schemes are often overburdened; can be arduous to administer; and provide very different support depending on where an applicant lives.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Early Years Entitlement and Sufficiency Officer

City of York Council
Grade 7 Level 1 - 4 (£29,230 to £31,391 per annum) reduced pro-rata
Are you experienced in Early Years Education Funding and looking for a new challenge? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Administration Apprentice

Essex County Council
Up to £12348 per annum
Administration ApprenticeFixed Term, Full Time£12,348 per annum rising to £22,072 per annum on the second yearLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Finance (Deputy S151 Officer)

Babergh & Mid Suffolk
£60,757 - £73,775 (plus national pay award)
Together we are building a more resilient, sustainable future. Suffolk
Recuriter: Babergh & Mid Suffolk

Community Care Business Unit Assistant

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Band D, SCP 9 -17 (£25,119 - £28,770 per annum)
An opportunity has become available for four Community Care Business Unit Assistants, based in Finance. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Social Worker

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£36,426 - £49,503 per annum

Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Linkedin Banner

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.