Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law article: Socio-Economic Equality Duties and the Pupil Premium

Traditionally, equality law was seen as inappropriate to address socio economic inequality. But in the last decade, a growing number of equality duties have been introduced to address this persistent form of inequality. There is, however, little research on the principles that underpin these duties.

This is according to the March 2018 article by Dr David Barrett, which seeks to address this gap through the use of data from interviews conducted with primary school personnel implementing the pupil premium.

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government green paper: Integrated Communities Strategy

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

We need to build the capacity of our leaders to promote and achieve integration outcomes. Do you agree?

This is from the Integrated Communities Strategy Green Paper (PDF), produced by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), in March 2018.

The Green Paper invites views through public consultation on the government’s proposals to realise our vision of a society where people of all backgrounds get on with each other.

The paper proposes:

Measures to support recent migrants so that they have the information they need to integrate into society and understand British values and their rights and responsibilities
Core integration measures for national and local government to focus on
Measures to ensure that all children and young people are prepared for life in modern Britain and have the opportunity for meaningful social mixing with those from different backgrounds.
MHCLG are keen to hear from a wide range of interested parties from across local government, in the faith, voluntary, community and business sectors, and the general public.

The consultation will end on 5th June 2018.

Access the Government website to find out more about the consultation.

Read the Green Paper (PDF).

University of Loughborough and Law Society report: Priced out of Justice? Legal Aid Means Test

The Law Society logo

‘The legal aid means test is preventing families in poverty from accessing justice’ says a March 2018 report (PDF) from the University of Loughborough and Law Society. 

This report considers whether people required by the civil legal aid system to contribute to legal costs, based on their income and assets, can always afford to do so.

The report finds:

At the maximum level of disposable income at which legal aid is allowed, households have too little income to reach a minimum standard of living even before footing any legal bills. Typically, they have disposable incomes 10% to 30% too low to afford a minimum budget
Individuals with gross income above the £2,657 a month limit could generally afford to contribute a substantial amount to legal costs. However, some people with this level of gross income who are supporting families have incomes below the minimum, mainly because gross income includes tax credits and benefits, which contribute to meeting the cost of additional family members
Those with above £316 a month in adjusted disposable income may receive legal aid but must contribute to their costs. This excludes almost all households where anyone works, and is roughly equivalent to the level of means-tested benefits, whose recipients receive full legal aid regardless of income.
Read the full report (PDF). 

European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless report: Third Overview of Housing Exclusion in Europe 2018

European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless logo

The profiles of homeless people are changing, with children becoming the largest group of people in emergency shelters as a result of a deterioration in the living conditions of extremely vulnerable families.

This from the March 2018 annual report (PDF) from the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA)

This report reveals how millions of Europeans face housing exclusion on a daily basis as well as a dramatic picture of increasing homelessness across most of the EU – in particular amongst children, women and migrants.

The report finds:

In France, 20,845 people called the 115 homeless helpline requesting accommodation (in June 2017)
Dublin City Council spent € 39 million on hotel nights for homeless people in 2016, while € 10.7 million was spent on prevention and supported housing
In Britain, 29% of spending was on temporary accommodation and (44% of which was spent on hotels/Bed and Breakfast) and 61% on housing services (between 2015-2016)
Over the last number of years, only two European countries (Finland and Norway) have seen a reduction in the number of homeless people
Read the full report (PDF).

The Equality Trust manifestos: For a Fairer UK

‘The UK is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world’ says the March 2018 Equality Trust manifesto.

Equality Trust have published their National, Local and Individual Manifestos designed to help people across the UK take action to reduce inequality. 

The manifestos states: 

We must protect and progress workers’ rights: strengthen trade union rights
and introduce employment rights from day one
We must explore the most effective ways of distributing wealth fairly and
efficiently: establish an independent Commission on Wealth
We must end child poverty: reinstate child poverty targets and commit to
eliminating child poverty
We must tackle our housing crisis: establish a large scale house building
programme, prioritising social housing and truly affordable housing,
built to high quality and environmentally friendly standards. 
Find out more about the Equality Trust’s manifestos. 

Read the manifesto in full (pdf).

Global Justice Now briefing: The Hostile Environment for Immigrants

Global Justice Now

‘Banks have to check applicants’ immigration status before allowing them to open a bank account’.

This is according to the February 2018 briefing (pdf) from Global Justice Now on the hostile environment for immigrants. 

The briefing finds: 

The government is preventing people from accessing safe and secure housing by forcing landlords to carry out the work of immigration officers.
NHS staff are also being forced to demand upfront payment for treatment from people who cannot prove their immigration status
People in the UK without at least six months leave to remain cannot apply for a driving licence
Read the full report (pdf). 

Equality and Human Rights Commission report: The Cumulative Impact of Tax and Welfare Reforms

‘The impact of changes to direct taxes and benefits is to reduce the income of
Bangladeshi households by around £4,400 per year on average’.

Four months after releasing their 2017 interim report, the Equality and Human Rights Commission have published their final cumulative impact assessment (pdf), in March 2018.

The report exposes how much individuals and households are expected to gain or lose, and how many adults and children will fall below an adequate standard of living, as a result of recent changes to taxes and social security.

The report finds:

Negative impacts are particularly large for households with more disabled members, and individuals with more severe disabilities, as well as for lone parents on low incomes
For some family types, these losses represent over 13% of average net income
At an individual level, women lose on average considerably more from changes to direct taxes and benefits than men
Lone parents in the bottom fifth of the household income distribution lose around 25% of their net income, on average
Around 1.5 million more children are forecast to be living in households below the relative poverty line as a result of the reforms.
EDF and a number of our members have contributed to the development of this important research.

Read the full report (pdf).

Institute for Fiscal Studies briefing: Poverty and Low Pay in the UK

logo for Institute For Fiscal Studies

57% of people in poverty are children or working-age adults living in a household where someone is in paid work.  

This is according to a March 2018 briefing from the Institute for Fiscal Studies on poverty and low pay in the UK. 

The briefing finds:

Low pay is highly related to lack of pay progression. The wages of the low- and high- educated, and of men and women, end up much further apart by age 40 than they were at the start of their careers
Experience and education are both positively associated with higher wages, but the association with experience is much stronger for the high-educated than the low-educated
The fact that women’s wages fall behind their male counterparts over the lifecycle is, in part, related to a remarkable lack of wage progression in part-time work.
Read the full briefing.