Policy Round Up
Council tax benefit paid to people on low incomes, pensioners exempted, will be cut by 10% with councils able to decide how these savings are made. The changes will be introduced from 2013-2014.
Following the Local Government Resource Review, DCLG has announced its intention to allow councils to keep their own business rates, which will allow them to borrow against future rate income, with legislation to be introduced later on this year. A new system of top-ups would be introduced so that there is some levelling of income for councils north or south, district or county.
Charities Minister, Nick Hurd, has announced a trial in Social Impact Bonds, a scheme that lets people invest in social projects, getting a return on successful projects based on savings in public sector expenditure. Four pilot schemes were launched in Hammersmith & Fulham, Westminster, Birmingham, and Leicestershire. Social Impact Bonds are explained in Urban Forum's Guide to Community Resilience.
New research from the Social Market Foundation says Work Programme targets, for getting people into work, can't be reached and recommends the government revise the targets or risk the payment-by-results programme collapsing. The government has disputed the findings.