This blog post was written by Marilyn Howard, Honorary Research Associate and Doctoral student in the School of Policy Studies, University of Bristol
Couples living together are often assumed to share income and manage finances jointly. This assumption underpins means-tested benefits, which treat a couple as if they were one unit, so that one partner’s income and assets affects the couple’s overall benefit entitlement.
Summarising existing research into money management and control in a briefing for the Women’s Budget Group , Marilyn Howard from the University of Bristol, and Fran Bennett from the University of Oxford, use these insights to explore the implications for how social security benefits are designed and delivered.
Controversial changes to disability welfare benefits have left many ill and disabled people unable to access the support they need. In his speech to the Labour Party conference, the party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn, spoke of how benefit assessments had “created a ‘hostile environment’ for disabled people”. Continue reading →
The Government’s flagship benefit reform, Universal Credit, could be sailing into choppy waters.
Universal credit aims to simplify benefits and to make work pay. It does this through amalgamating different means-tested benefits and tax credits, paid for different purposes and potentially payable to a different member of a couple. Included in Universal Credit are payments previously paid separately for housing costs and for children (Child Tax Credit). Continue reading →