Niall Cooper: Feeling the benefit cuts
April 2013 represents D-day for millions who rely on welfare or tax credits to make ends meet. A raft of cuts and changes to the benefits system will come into force, and the impact will be felt by the poorest, most vulnerable families across the country.
Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, has heralded the reforms as the biggest for 60 years, claiming people will leave poverty and lower/middle income families will be better off. But with £18 billion being cut from the benefits budget, the reality for many is tough.
The scale of the welfare reform programme is hard to grasp, but many in our own churches and communities will see their incomes drop in coming months, in some cases by thousands of pounds a year. It is therefore incumbent on all of us to try to understand at least the basics.
This is an extract from the April 2013 edition of Reform.