A fair and affordable city for everyone
Welfare Support and Advice – supporting people, reducing poverty
The majority of the individuals and families living in poverty in York are in work. Poverty has been made far worse by Government cuts to services, changes to the welfare system and rising rents and bills. Changes to housing benefits (the ‘bedroom tax’) and a reduction in Council Tax Support have been compounded by the early roll out in York of Universal Credit and the grossly unfair capability for work tests imposed on people with disabilities. This has left many people in debt and struggling to pay bills and eat, with increasing numbers resorting to food banks.
- Aim to increase levels of Council Tax Support.
- Appoint an outreach worker to ensure that the emergency funding in York’s Financial Assistance Scheme and other discretionary funds are fully taken up.
- Ensure that welfare benefits advisors in the Council and in partner organisations are fully funded to meet needs – including for people struggling with Universal Credit.
- Maintain funding to Citizen’s Advice York and other voluntary sector organisations to provide debt and housing advice and help with budgeting and other problems.
- Support community initiatives to provide food banks, hunger cafes and advice, training and a chance to socialise, be creative and support each other.
- Explore the potential for a local trial of a Basic Income Scheme.