The government is currently reforming the welfare system to reduce costs and simplify the benefit process.
A number of changes have been introduced since 2013, including the council tax reduction scheme, universal credit, the benefit cap, personal independence payments, changes to the state pension, and the national living wage.
The July 2015 budget announced further reforms to be introduced over the next three years. Full details of the changes are available on the GOV.UK.
The main points of note are:
- a freeze on working age benefit for the next four years
- reduction in social housing rents of 1% per year for the next four years
- reduction in the level of earnings at which a household's tax credits and universal credit starts to be withdrawn for every additional pound earned
- from April 2017, new rules will limit the support for families in housing benefit, tax credits and universal credit. The family premium will be removed and allowances will only be made for two children in the households in the majority of circumstances
- the level of the benefit cap will reduce from £26,000 to £20,000