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express briefing @ 8

Preparing Sandwell for the Impact of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 Cllr Steve Eling Deputy Leader of the Council Cabinet Member for Strategic Resources

Melanie Dudley Director – Improvement and Efficiency


Aim of the Session • Gain appreciation of the scale of the impact of Welfare Reform. • Understand the focus of the Council response. • Feedback your views on how we can best support people.


Key Changes Housing • Private and social rented sector tenants lose benefits Work availability • More people expected to be fit for work – benefits reduced/removed • Entitlements won’t last as long, e.g. for Lone Parents and some ESA claimants Financial competence • Direct payment of housing benefit to tenants • Monthly “salary-style” universal credit payment • Assumption of computer literacy and internet access Making work pay • Pressure to find work – greater competition for scarce jobs • Some households will have to find work/increase their hours in order to avoid the benefits cap


A timeline of reforms


Key Impacts • 25,000 non-pensioner households affected. 27,000 children in those households. • Estimated reduction of £100m in Sandwell. • 7,900 affected by LHA rate changes • 4,500 households affected by Bedroom Tax • 1,000 households affected by increase in deduction for non-dependants


Key Impacts • Estimated 2,600 affected by PIP introduction. • 6,000 to lose benefit once assessed as fit for work (ESA). • 1,500 households affected by changes to WTC. • 300-400 households losing up to £1.6m due to total benefits cap.


Overall impact of welfare reductions – modelled by ward Wednesbury North

Friar Park

Great Barr with Yew Tree Charlemont with Grove Vale

Wednesbury South Princes End Hateley Heath

Newton

Great Bridge Tipton Green

West Bromwich Central Greets Green and Lyng

Estimated distribution of all benefit reductions Based on benefits received by non-pensioner Households. * £m per year, modelled to total of £100m 6.7 to 7.75 4.56 to 5.63 3.49 to 4.56 2.42 to 3.49

Oldbury

(1) (7) (7) (9)

*This map represents a modelled estimate of all welfare reductions, assuming an even rate of reduction for all non-pensioner benefit households known to Revenues and Benefits, and controlling the total reduction to the nominal total of £100m.

Tividale St Pauls

Rowley

Smethwick

Langley Bristnall

Blackheath Abbey Cradley Heath and Old Hill

Old Warley

Soho and Victoria


What the Council is doing to support people • • • • • •

Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme Local Welfare Provision Discretionary Housing Payments Coordinated approach Prioritised advice service Focused support on those households most severely impacted


What the Council is doing to support people • • • •

Preventing homelessness Helping people manage their money Supporting people into jobs Communicating key messages


Conclusion • Scale of impact needs Council-wide concerted action. • To learn more about potential impact visit Sandwell Trends/ Welfare Reform. • Give us your ideas of how we should respond in your feedback form.


Welfare Reform Express Briefing Presentation