Housing puts amendments to benefits plans
Saturday 21st September 2013, 11:30AM BST.
HOUSING is already seeking to amend Social Security’s proposed changes to the benefits system, labelling them ‘undercooked and lacking’.
In an unprecedented move, Housing announced on the day they were published that it would be laying amendments to the proposals, claiming they do not go far enough. The move effectively withdraws Housing’s so-called ‘reluctant support’ of the Social Security plans, which it had criticised already for focusing too heavily on moving people from rent rebate onto the supplementary benefit system.
Housing’s proposed amendments include a completely alternative set of supplementary benefit rates linked to what is called the Minimum Income Standard methodology. The amendments also call for the benefit limitation – which caps the amount of money someone on supplementary benefit can receive from all sources – to be increased to £650 a week in 2015, one year earlier than Social Security has proposed.
Housing predicts its proposed amendments will cost £6.58m., which would be £2.83m. more than Social Security’s proposals. However, Housing’s deputy minister, Mike Hadley, pictured, said the board felt it had the right to speak up on behalf of low-income households. ‘This is about doing more than SSD are prepared to do to help those in Guernsey and Alderney who struggle to make ends meet,’ he said.
As well as Housing’s criticism and amendments, the Social Security proposals have been met by further concerns from Treasury and Resources and the Policy Council, including reservations over the proposed increase in employers’ contributions.