A Hung Parliament – what does it mean for the Community Allowance?
Naomi Alexander, CREATE Consortium
It’s incredibly difficult to predict what the outcome of ongoing discussions between the political parties will mean for any area of policy, let alone one as contentious as welfare reform. We can only hope that the Liberal Democrats are able to positively influence either the Conservatives or Labour to rely less on the mantra of Lord Freud to work with large private sector providers and scrap the introduction of Work for Your Benefit, where the long term unemployed will be forced to do ‘community work’ in return for their benefit.
What is clear is that there will be a new Ministerial team at the DWP, as the former Minister for Employment, Jim Knight, lost his seat at last week’s election and presumably is now commencing his own search for employment. We will continue to make sure the Community Allowance is on their agenda, whatever their political affiliation.
News from DWP
As you probably know, we were hoping for a decision from DWP on the funding for our Community Allowance pilots at some point before Christmas!
They got in touch with us in January and asked lots more questions, which we promptly answered. This was followed by a meeting and more ‘impacting’ of a possible Community Allowance pilot within the Department. After much deliberation, they found themselves unable to make a decision before the election was called and once it was called, purdah meant they were not allowed to make any decisions. DWP officials have said they have no idea what new Ministers will decide, either about our proposal for pilots or about the whole Right to Bid scheme.
So, we’re trying to stay patient and keep the frustration at bay – in the meantime, we’re cooking up other plans which we’ll let you know about very soon!
A New Partnership with Oxfam
We are delighted to announce that Oxfam has adopted the Community Allowance as one of it’s campaigns to combat poverty in the UK. Oxfam’s campaigns team is going to be working with us to lobby and influence the new intake of MPs and hold events to promote the Community Allowance.
There will be lots of ways for you to get involved over the next few months and we’ll be in touch about this again soon.
For more info contact Louise Winterburn L.Winterburn@dta.org.uk