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Information Bulletin

Summary of News and Publications from the Week ending 15 March 2013

JRF Activity
JRF Reports The Distribution of Household Co2 emissions in Great Britain Distribution of carbon emissions in the UK: implications for domestic energy policy Designing carbon taxation to protect low-income households Innovative financing of affordable housing International review of land supply and planning systems JRF Blogs #ithappenshere: The shocking and harrowing reality of forced labour in the UK Blog from Louise Woodruff. We must act now and equip ourselves for an ageing society Blog from Ilona Haslewood. Why we must celebrate ageing - not ignore it Guardian article from Julia Unwin. #climatefairness: the triple injustice facing low-income households Blog from Simon Roberts. See also Infographics what are the social impacts of climate change. Archbishop v Iain Duncan-Smith benefit debate: can they both be right? Blog from Helen Barnard. Ken Loachs The Spirit of 45 is an emotive call to action that risks falling on deaf ears Blog from Abigail Scott-Paul.

Dods has put together a useful pre-budget briefing with summaries of submissions by industry bodies plus scene setting and background information. The Budget is due to be delivered by the Chancellor at 12.30pm on Wednesday 20 March.

The cumulative impact of welfare changes and low wage growth will push 690,000 more children below the minimum income standard, according to analysis in the latest TUC report A Bleak Future for Families. The Church joins the calls for changes to the welfare uprating bill, to avoid the disproportionate impact on families with children, with 60% of the resulting savings coming from the poorest third of households, compared to only 3% from the wealthiest. A letter signed by 43 Bishops has been published. It is backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and by the Archbishop of York. The bill reaches the report stage in the House of Lords on 19 March. Tailor Made a new report from Gingerbread, finds that both the Work Programme and Jobcentre Plus show a lack of understanding and are failing to address the needs of single parents. A new policy paper, Abolishing Want in a Social State, proposes new policy priorities for tackling poverty in 2015 Britain. Written by Katie Bell, the paper is published by the Centre for Labour and Social Studies in association with the Child Poverty Action Group.

The UK would need to create a further 800,000 jobs to take employment rates back to those seen before the recession, says the Resolution Foundations new report Sizing the UK Job Gap. Changes to apprenticeships have been announced, following a review last year, including giving employers direct input into designing apprenticeships to make them more tailored to each industry and improving the assessment process to meet employers needs. A report calling for incentives for employers to work collaboratively on apprenticeships, has been published by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. Employer Ownership of Skills: building momentum. The review of the pilot of the early education provision for two year olds showed no evidence to suggest that these children had better outcomes aged five that children who did not take part. Although this raises questions about the Governments plan to start offering free childcare to disadvantaged two year olds later this year, although the study points out that these children will receive twice the number of hours than the children in the pilot. Report on the Evaluation of the effects of Child Poverty Solutions in Wales since 2010.

Shelters latest survey of 4,300 renters, shows that two thirds of respondents were struggling or falling behind with their rent payments and one in seven have paid their rent using a credit card. A third of Northern Ireland Housing Executives tenants are currently in rent arrears, with the average debt just under 500 per household. The debate over Bedroom tax concessions continues. Families with young armed forces personnel living at home and deployed are exempt along with some foster carers foster carers looking after more than one child may have to apply to their councils discretionary fund for support, along with families with severely disabled children. House purchase lending rose by 11% in January compared to the same month in 2012, with first time buyers making up the highest proportion, say new figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. The number of houses sold in February was at a two and a half year high, according to the latest housing market survey from RICS. Half of homelessness services have seen an increase in 16-24 year olds needing help in the last year, with the most common cause of homelessness being the breakdown of relationships with family or friends. The figures are from Homeless Links latest annual survey. Mind the Step, an estimation of housing need among wheelchair users in Scotland, report from Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland. The Department for Communities and Local Government New Buy scheme to help first time buyers onto the housing ladder, is to be opened up to people hoping to move from their first to their second house. Department of Energy and Climate Change have announced that 1,803 Green Deal assessment had taken place in the first month of operation, although there are no figures for conversions to finance packages. Critics fear the 6.9% interest rates will deter take up, when some banks are offering much lower rates for energy efficiency loans. Lack of housing supply is not the sole cause of Britains housing crisis, the Guardian Housing Network editor argues. Also, funding to produce the annual UK Housing Review has dried up and new funding is sought to help it continue.

A further 60 million fund is launched to help local authorities in Scotland install energy efficiency measures in fuel poor households. Cumbria has become the first county where a neighbourhood plan has been approved by the community. The Housing Minister has launched a fund of 225 million aimed at unlocking large stalled housing sites.

An Ageing Society
The Government and society are poorly prepared for the challenges of an ageing population, and predicts a crisis if urgent action is not taken, according to a new report. Read the recommendations in Ready for Ageing from the House of Lords committee on Public Service and Demographic Change. People living in care homes with dementia are more likely to be admitted to hospital with avoidable conditions than people without dementia, according to the second Care Update from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). In a third of cases, the patients dementia was not recorded at admission. As the over 85s become the fastest growing age group in the UK, Age UK has launched a new report looking at the trends, challenges and opportunities this presents. Improving later life: understanding the oldest and the old. A new survey on loneliness found that 21% of over 65s spend their entire waking hours alone on a typical day, while 24% of all respondents feel lonely some or most of the time and more than half feel unable to talk to their family about their loneliness. The survey was carried out by the Associated Retirement Community Operators. Lifelong exercise can improve brain function later in life according to new study. As reports emerge with conflicting conclusions about whether it improves quality of life, a nurse in the telehealth industry looks at how we can make telehealth work.

New documentary challenges the depiction of the 2011 rioters. A new Centre for Social Justice report recommends a fresh approach to tackling modern slavery in the UK ll_Report_WEB(5).pdf . It Happens Here. Equipping the United Kingdom to fight modern slavery.

People and organisations

Former Schools Minister and Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis joins the Institute for Public Policy Research as the new chair of trustees. This Information Bulletin is produced on a weekly basis as an update for staff at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (JRHT) for the purposes of their work it is not intended to be comprehensive but represents a selection of news and reports appearing in the last week. The items contained in this Bulletin are for information only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the JRF and JRHT.