Benefits changes timeline

Use this timeline to help you check what’s changing at a glance. If you need to get in touch with any of the below you can call them such as this ESA phone number site

when which benefit what’s changing
1 April 2013 Housing Benefit logo Housing Benefit ‘bedroom tax’ for social housing tenants is introduced. Housing Benefit will appear reduced for working age folks who suffer from an extra bedroom beneath the new rules.
1 April 2013 Council Tax Benefit logo Council Tax Benefit is replaced by localised Council Tax Reduction schemes. Each council will run their very own scheme.

In England, pensioners will probably be protected, but the majority other people who accustomed to get full help will certainly have to pay something towards their council government tax bill.

1 April 2013 The Social Fund logo Parts of the Social Fund are going to be abolished, including Community Care grants and Crisis Loans.

In England, local authorities will likely be given money to waste on local schemes which may include things like food banks and schemes providing subsidised furniture and white goods.

8 April 2013 Personal Independce Payment logo Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is introduced in Cheshire, Cumbria, Merseyside, North East England and North West England.

PIP can be a new benefit for those who are very ill or disabled and that have trouble avoiding or require help with day-to-day living. It will eventually replace Disability Living Allowance.

15 April 2013 benefit cap logo The Benefit Cap starts in four local authority areas – Bromley, Croydon, Enfield and Haringey.

The Benefit Cap means many people of working age could have a limit about the amount of benefit they are able to get. At first, this can only affect you in case you are getting Housing Benefit. Later, it could possibly also affect you if you are getting Universal Credit.

29 April 2013 Universal Credit logo Universal Credit starts a single pilot area – Tameside, inside the North of England.

Universal Credit can be a new single benefit that may replace most means-tested benefits paid to working age people in and out of work.

For new claims, couples where one partner is of working age as well as the other has reached Pension Credit qualifying age should claim Universal Credit as opposed to Pension Credit.

10 June 2013 Personal Independce Payment logo No more new claims for DLA will be accepted. You’ll have to apply for PIP Instead.
beginning of July Universal Credit logo Universal Credit starts in three other pilot areas – Wigan, Warrington and Oldham.
15 July 2013 benefit cap logo Benefit Cap national roll-out begins.
end of September 2013 benefit cap logo Benefit Cap roll-out completed in all areas.
October 2013 Universal Credit logo New claims for Universal Credit start being rolled out to other areas of the UK.
2014 – 2017 Universal Credit logo Working-age people on other means-tested benefits will gradually be transferred to Universal Credit.
October 2013 – March 2016 Disability Living Allowance logo Some people getting DLA will be asked to make a new claim for PIP instead. Your DLA will stop if the new claim is unsuccessful.
October 2015 Disability Living Allowance logo The DWP will become contacting anyone still getting DLA and invite the crooks to make a new claim for PIP. If you don’t claim or if your claim is unsuccessful, your DLA will minimize.

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Lock down on NHS staff speaking the truth

The failure to defend whistleblowers remains a “stain” for the reputation of the NHS in England, MPs have said.

The Health Select Committee says the management of staff who raise concerns has undermined trust in the computer.

And whistleblowers that are vindicated should recieve an apology and “practical redress”, its report adds.

The MPs also the complaints system for patients is complex and confusing high should be a “single gateway” covering health insurance and social care.

The report says despite numerous inquiries and reports highlighting failings in complaint-handling and whistleblowing, serious shortcomings remain.

It emphasises the value of ensuring health insurance care workers feel supported in raising professional concerns.

“The therapy for whistleblowers can be a stain about the reputation of the NHS and possesses led to unwarranted, inexcusable pain for your courageous individuals affected,” it says.
Open culture

The report acknowledges there has been some efforts to create an empty culture, where staff should preferably raise concerns, high is a proper response.

But it concludes these initiatives are “far from common”, and warns other potential whistleblowers might be deterred from coming forward.

“This has undermined trust in the computer’s chance to treat whistleblowers with fairness. This not enough confidence around the consequences of raising concerns has implications for patient safety.”

The MPs are calling for a programme to distinguish whistleblowers whose actions are which may have been vindicated. They say they should get an apology and “practical redress”, that could mean financial recompense, or – occasionally – getting their job back.
Continue reading the primary story
“Start Quote

Patients and staff usually do not complain for financial redress but simply because they seek an acknowledgement and explanation, a timely apology if appropriate and to the NHS to lessen the chance of avoidable problems for others”

Dr Sarah Wollaston Chairwoman, Health Select Committee
‘Breakdown of trust’

They also highlight continued failings the way the NHS responds to patients’ complaints. They say despite some progress, the actual system remains “variable”.

Too many individual cases are “mishandled”, it is said, sometimes ultimately causing a “complete breakdown of trust” between patients plus the NHS, along with a failure to boost patient safety.

They argue the existing “overly complex” system really should be simplified by establishing 1 complaints gateway covering health insurance social care. They suggest this can be modelled within the Complaints Wales service run from the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.

Alongside this they are saying there is often a “strong case” for that creation of a single health insurance and social care ombudsman for England.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has welcomed the report.

“We desire to make the NHS the safest healthcare system on the globe and we are aware that listening to patients and staff is absolutely vital to further improve care.

“That’s why we’ve made hospitals legally obliged to apologise to patients when mistakes do happen, introduced complaints handling as being a crucial portion of tougher hospital inspections and possess asked Sir Robert Francis to create an independent set of how to make a more open NHS culture,” he was quoted saying.
‘Gold dust’

Katherine Murphy through the Patients Association said the NHS must demonstrate it’s prepared to listen.

“Complaints can be like gold dust – they must be welcomed, they’re telling you something is not right.”

Peter Walsh from your charity Action against Medical Accidents, said he valued the MPs’ recommendations, but warned that progress ended up being too slow.

“This is the latest inside a long brand of reports therefore we now demand action to boost what has been a failing system.”

The former NHS whistleblower Dr Kim Holt, founder of the charity Patients First, said the report was obviously a first step to make much-needed changes.

“I am really pleased that the suggestion has been produced that historic whistleblower cases are viewed and practical ways found of providing redress for the children. That is often a really amazing leap forward, but the device needs an overhaul. (official parliment site (

“We will no longer want to see people on long-term suspensions, sick leave or dismissed for speaking up. The link between bullying and raising concerns is usually a close one and our key issue to become addressed will be the one of bullying, which creates fear and desperation.”

How My Local Govment Works?

Local government may be the collective term for local councils. You may also sometimes hear them termed as local authorities. Local councils include councillors (members) who will be voted for with the public in local elections and paid council staff (officers) who deliver services. There are currently 411 councils in the UK. see this site

So what exactly do my local government do?

councils armsCouncils give you a wide array of services, either directly through their staff or by commissioning services external to organisations. They also provide responsibility for that economic, social and environmental ’wellbeing’ in their area.

Most council services are mandatory. This means that the council have to do them as they are under a duty to take action by law. Some mandatory functions are tightly controlled by central government, providing a similar volume of service in the united states (eg payment of housing benefit). Other mandatory requirements (eg libraries) leave councils by incorporating choice in the level and type of service they offer.

Other services and operations are discretionary. These are services a council can select to provide but won’t have to. They consist of large economic regeneration projects, on the removal of wasp nests. Councils use a general capability to charge of these services as long as they are not prevented from doing this by other legislation and also the council won’t make a profit. Councils can charge for arts and entertainment activities, sport and recreational facilities plus some pest control services.

What different types of councils are there?

In the UK, there are many types of local council. Each of these has responsibility for a particular variety of local services. The forms of council in your town depend on whereby the UK your house is. Many areas have two tiers of municipality: county (or city) councils and district (or borough) councils. Larger towns and cities and a few counties have just one single council providing the many functions. Many areas likewise have parish or town councils. But what on earth is most important isn’t the name directed at each council nevertheless the services it includes for you.

County and city councils are accountable for services along the whole of an county or city, like education, transport, planning, fire and public safety, social care, libraries, waste management and trading standards.

District and borough councils cover a reduced area, usually a town or rural area, and therefore are usually liable for services like rubbish collection and recycling, council tax, leisure services and housing.

Unitary authorities are councils offering one tier of town and provide all services. Confusingly, they may be called city councils or borough councils or merely councils!

congresParish and town councils operate with a level below district and borough councils. Parish or town councils are elected which enables it to help using a number of local issues, like planning applications or running local sports grounds and community halls.

This could be confusing, however the best way to learn who provides what locally is to visit your council’s website or contact their customer services. If you’re unsure who don’t know who to call, you can obtain the information from

How is my local council funded?

Local government spending is with regards to a quarter of most public spending in the UK. Local councils are funded using a combination of grants from central government, Council Tax and business rates. (In Northern Ireland, district councils still raise money by using a domestic rate along with a business rate.) They also receive income from investments, council rents, sales and charges for aervices.

Central government (or devolved government in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) provides specific and general grants allow local authorities to deliver each of the necessary services. To divide in the funding, the us government uses a system using the number and valuation on properties in each area and just how much it costs to offer services there.

Council Tax provides in regards to a quarter of local funding. Local councils set the complete Council Tax they have to raise, determined by their overall budget to the year. Each household pays a measure depending on the value in their home. The government has powers in order that increases in local authority budgets and Council Tax usually are not excessive.

Business rates undoubtedly are a property tax on businesses and also other properties that aren’t homes. The national rates are set by central government.

Councillors from different political parties make the full council. The council is divided into individual groups called committees, that contain responsibility for particular services for example education or planning. Many decisions are recommended from the committees, but ought to be agreed with the full council. After decisions happen to be made from the elected people in the council, they may be carried out through the officers whose job it is always to deliver your service.

Every council must publish ahead of time when key decisions is going to be taken and publish meeting papers at the least five trading days beforehand. The minutes from the meeting, summarising decisions, must be published. You can attend most meetings in the council, although usually you won’t be capable of speak at them.

Most enquiries about services usually are made to council officers, by contacting the location hall or local customer enquiry office on the phone, email maybe in person. The details will probably be found on the website.

The Mayor…

Councillors are elected to represent a selected geographical area, which is known as a ward. There will come to be more than one councillor for the ward. Each councillor should stand for re-election every four years. He or she is there to fully handle your case and your community. They usually are not paid a wage, but sometimes claim expenses to hide the cost of performing their duties. If you need to talk to them in regards to a problem with a council service as well as to let them know what you think with regards to a particular issue, you should be capable of get their data – for example the times and locations of the regular advice surgeries – in the council’s website.

How dothe people get there say

Councils will also possess a mayor or chairman in the council to try ceremonial duties. However, some councils have elected mayors who responsible for that day-to-day running of local services. They are voted for by people, and serve for four years. They provide political leadership on the council as well as the community, and execute the local authority’s policies.

This is different from council to council, however, many have introduced local committees (often known as neighbourhood forums or area committees) that happen to be open to you to travel along and express your views about where your home is. Some will involve you in decisions about how precisely money is spent or community action plans or supply you with the chance to have your say on planning applications. Your council office will probably be able to let you know if there is one locally.

Councils must consult their residents about certain changes like school closures or plans for redevelopment. If you have an interest, discover how they perform those consultations and how you can obtain involved. Some also conduct postal or online surveys to uncover what people think from the services they receive as well as get ideas for improvement. Look out for those. Finally, a volume of councils invite residents to stay on panels concerned with a unique service – as an illustration, housing or adult care – to find the views of people who use the service. Again, find out you are interested.

Other services

Of course there are a volume of other public organisations that are responsible with the services you receive. These include police officers service, fire and rescue service, Primary Care Trust (health services) and social housing landlords. They possess a legal duty to you and also your community and it’s worth finding out how they work, where their budgets come from and ways in which you can influence their decisions.