The Social Security Advisory Committee is consulting on the government’s latest wheeze to cut working-age benefits. This time it’s a proposal to extend the number of waiting days that a benefit is payable, from three days to seven. This will ‘save’ (that is, cut benefit by) £40-50 per claim. Benefits are already paid fortnightly in arrears, so in practice this will mean that people will typically have to wait three weeks for a payment. (The references to ‘days’ and ‘weeks’ are all anomalous, because the government is supposed to be moving to monthly benefits.) Those who are desperate will have to apply for a ‘short term benefit advance’.
The policy is due to start in October. The equalities assessment notes that 82% of those affected by the change to Employment and Support Allowance have protected status in terms of the Disability Discrimination Act. Much good may it do them.