P254 CEEFAX 254 Tue 15 Nov 20:10/10   4/6                POOR FAMILIES WORSE OFF Social fund officers refused 78 per cent of applications for grants and 64 per cent of those for loans, says a Citizens Advice Bureaux report. Seven per cent of people applying for loans under the new social fund were refused because they were considered too poor to meet repayments. The survey points out that social fund restrictions are making it harder for the homeless to take up rented housing and the jobless to start work. More Consumer Home+Away Fruit+Veg TV Index
P254 CEEFAX 254 Tue 15 Nov 20:20/05   1/6                POOR FAMILIES WORSE OFF Welfare benefit changes introduced in April have left 80 per cent of the poorest families even worse off, says a Citizens Advice Bureaux report. A survey last May looked at a third of the 90,000 social security cases dealt with by Citizens Advice Bureaux. The study, covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland, provides the first wide-ranging assessment of the new benefit system. More Consumer Home+Away Fruit+Veg TV Index
P254 CEEFAX 254 Tue 15 Nov 20:01/03   2/6                POOR FAMILIES WORSE OFF Changes in housing benefit and the loss of free school meals has outweighed any benefit of the new family credit scheme says a Citizens Advice Bureaux report. Over half of the people seeking advice were worse off overall than they had been on Family Income Supplement, with most losing more than £5 per week. Those on housing benefit were the worst affected group - nearly nine out of ten had lost money. More Consumer Home+Away Fruit+Veg TV Index
P254 CEEFAX 254 Tue 15 Nov 20:10/10   3/6                POOR FAMILIES WORSE OFF Key aspects of the new benefit system are having the effect of discouraging the public applying for payments, says a Citizens Advice Bureaux report. This was particularly evident in cases under the social fund - a discretionary system relying largely on loans rather than grants to meet exceptional needs. Fewer than half of potential applicants claimed, often because they feared getting trapped in debt by repayments. More Consumer Home+Away Fruit+Veg TV Index
P254 CEEFAX 254 Tue 15 Nov 20:11/00   5/6                POOR FAMILIES WORSE OFF The new welfare benefit system is undermining work incentives for some claimants, says a CAB report. Reduced allowance for child-care and work expenses in the new income support scheme discouraged some Citizens Advice Bureaux clients from seeking work. One in seven offices mentioned problems for part-time workers, some of whom had to consider giving up work because of changes in the number of working hours allowed under income support rules. More Consuler Home+Away Fruit+Veg TV Index
P254 CEEFAX 254 Tue 15 Nov 20:22/00   6/6                POOR FAMILIES WORSE OFF Less than a third of the Citizens Advice Bureaux cases eligible for family credit were receiving it. Potential claimants were often confused by the new system and the 15-page claim form, or were waiting for their application to be processed M with waiting time as long as three months. The CAB report urges the Government to amend social fund rules to improve work incentives and allow applications for deposits for privately rented housing. More Consumer Home+Away Fruit+Veg TV Index