Interview: Paul Gray

Issue 159 (Winter 2018)

The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) is an independent, non-partisan, statutory body of experts, set up in 1980 to advise the Secretary of State on secondary legislation and to scrutinise how social security policy will be implemented. It also carries out independent work to build an evidence base, stimulate debate and introduce new thinking. Paul Gray has chaired SSAC since 2011, following a career in the civil service which included roles as second permanent secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and chair at HM Revenue and Customs.

Evidence mounts on need for a Holyrood boost to family benefits to meet Scotland's child poverty targets

March 5, 2018

Which of the following statements tells you more?

Around 4 million of Britain’s 14 million children live in households classified as in poverty because they have below 60% of median income after housing costs.

Among the 2,200 children who live in the Notting Barns area of Kensington, site of Grenfell Tower, nearly a thousand are in families with very low incomes. Just over half a mile away, among the 2,200 children living in three wards around Kensington High Street and Cromwell Road, only 150 are in this situation.

‘Safely’ in personal independence payment

Issue 262 (February 2018)

Activities in the personal independence payment (PIP) test must be capable of being carried out ‘safely’. That word is defined in regulations, but has been the subject of an important decision of the Upper Tribunal and, most recently, updated official guidance. Ed Pybus explains.

Universal credit: defective claims and withdrawals

Issue 262 (February 2018)

Martin Williams looks at when a ‘claim’ for universal credit (UC) might not result in the claimant transferring to UC from current awards of legacy benefits.

Appeal rights and tax credits

Issue 262 (February 2018)

We now know that in benefits an appeal right still exists even where the DWP refuses to carry out a mandatory reconsideration on grounds of lateness. But what about tax credits and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)? Mark Willis explains.

Child poverty campaigners say Ministers have “no time to lose” in acting on Commission’s child poverty advice

February 26, 2018
“Investment in social security needed if targets are to be met” says independent Commission

Responding to today’s publication of independent advice on child poverty from the Poverty and Inequality Commission’s (26/02/18) John Dickie, Director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, said:

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Universal credit changes now and then

Issue 262 (February 2018)

The Autumn Budget and associated announcements herald a number of important changes in universal credit (UC), described here by Simon Osborne.

Briefing Note for Stage 2 of the Social Security (Scotland) Bill - Part 2, Chapter 3 onwards

February 2018

At Stage Two of the Social Security (Scotland) Bill, consideration of amendments to the Bill is taking place over the course of several weeks.

We have produced a series of briefings for MSPs to follow this scrutiny schedule.

The third and final briefing note for Stage 2 of the Bill, is on the the key amendments in Part 2, Chapter 3 of the bill onwards.

Parliamentary briefing: child poverty in London, February 2018

February 2018

On Thursday 22nd February, MPs will debate ‘Child Poverty in London’ in parliament. We have produced a briefing for MPs, incorporating the latest End Child Poverty statistics, released in early 2018, and the latest CPAG research. The briefing explores the main causes and solutions to child poverty, at a local and national level, and sets out why child poverty makes us all poorer.