Benefit pay-out delay ‘unfair’
Reporter: Dawn Marsden
Date online: 17 June 2014
PLANS to make new benefits claimants wait seven days rather than three before they receive any money are “grossly unfair”, says Oldham’s Liberal Democrat leader.
Councillor Howard Sykes has slammed proposals by Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan-Smith that would mean delays for claimants of job seekers’ allowance (JSA) and employment support allowance (ESA).
Councillor Sykes has written to the secretary of the Social Security Advisory Committee, the parliamentary body that advises the Government on social security.
The Lib-Dems are concerned that JSA claimants will lose £40 on average while disabled people claiming ESA will lose £50. The Government’s own estimates indicate that 1.3 million people a year will lose out.
Claimants leaving work through dismissal or redundancy after short periods of employment will receive no statutory compensation from their employer.
Councillor Sykes said: “This change will make it less likely that jobseekers will accept offers of short-term employment as they may be penalised twice when they sign back on.
“The change is grossly unfair on new claimants making a claim on the basis of National Insurance contributions.
“These claimants are only entitled to benefit for a maximum of six months and are thereafter disbarred from receiving benefits because of savings or spousal earnings. This change will eat into this entitlement by a further four days. National Insurance is in fact a tax in all but name, rather than a passport to benefit entitlement.”
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