Thomas Bridge 30 September 2014

Pre-paid benefit card plan outlined by Iain Duncan Smith

Pre-paid benefit card plan outlined by Iain Duncan Smith image

Welfare claimants could receive benefits on a pre-paid card to curb spending on ‘destructive habits’, work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has announced.

The Government was today accused of stigmatising claimants after announcing plans to block spending on alcohol, cigarettes or gambling.

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Smith said the measure would provide support for ‘families on the margins’.

‘I have long believed that where parents have fallen into a damaging spiral – drug or alcohol addiction, even problem debt, or more – we need to find ways to safeguard them – and more importantly, their families, their children, ensuring their basic needs are met,’ he said.

‘That means benefits paid should go to support the wellbeing of their families, not to feed their destructive habits.

‘I am testing prepaid cards, onto which we will make benefit payments, so that the money they receive is spent on the needs of the family – finally helping break the cycle of poverty for families on the margins, change we can be proud of.

‘In all of this, our undertaking is hardly a small task – indeed, the easy option would have been to paper over the problem opting instead for a sticking plaster or another patch-up job. Yet I believe the biggest mistake would be, in the pursuit of short-term gain, not to see this task through.’

Responding to the speech, chief executive of single parent’s charity Gingerline, Fiona Weir, warned the scheme ‘capitalises on and reinforces negative stereotypes of people who need support from benefits’.

‘Single parents, both in and out of work tell us they are struggling financially, but budgeting isn’t the problem: low wages, benefit cuts and rising costs of the essentials are,’ she told the Independent.

Collaboration is the key to tackling homelessness image

Collaboration is the key to tackling homelessness

With the support of stakeholders, including forward-thinking local authorities, Beam’s innovative support model ‘swiftly removes every barrier faced by homeless people from entering the workforce’, says Seb Barker.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Head of HR/OD

Babergh & Mid Suffolk
£60,000 circa
The role will involve working closely with the Senior Leadership Team and Chief Executive to lead our People Strategy and... Ipswich, Suffolk
Recuriter: Babergh & Mid Suffolk

Senior Systems Officer Case Management - Northallerton

North Yorkshire County Council
£32,029 - £34,788 per annum
Do you put quality of service and customer care at the heart of what your team delivers? Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Residential Assistant - Magdalen Close

Essex County Council
£17675 - £20200 per annum
This is a part time role for 30 hours a week and these hours can be worked across day or night shifts for which the appropriate FRA will be applied. E England, Essex, Clacton-On-Sea
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Commissioning Officer - Commissioning Delivery Team

Essex County Council
£30300 - £34340 per annum
Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, serving a population of 2 million residents, and has a England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Registration Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£25,327 - £36,036 depending on skills
Are you seeking working arrangements that enhance your work-life balance? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine