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Information Bulletin

Summary of News and Publications from the Week ending 24 October 2013

JRF Activity
Report - Does money effect childrens outcomes? A systematic review Raising incomes is essential to increase poorer children's chances Blog from Chris Goulden With more of us living alone we must learn how to do it well to reduce loneliness Blog from Susan Allen Report - Making the links: poverty, ethnicity and social networks People need better support to exploit their social networks to advance their prospects Blog from Angus McCabe. Energy Justice in a Changing Climate: social equity and low carbon energy new book which includes a chapter by Katharine Knox summarising our energy and fuel poverty work. Katherine has a copy of the book for our library.

Research led by the Chartered Institute of Housing suggests that the governments benefit cap will struggle to save taxpayers money and encourage people into work. Analysis of the impact in Haringey showed that of the 747 households affected, only 74 were known to have moved into work, while 11 increased their hours sufficiently to avoid the cap. While there is evidence that the cap is changing attitudes to employment, but significant barriers to finding work still exist including the lack of job seeking skills and affordable childcare. The Church Urban Fund has produced a new report Tackling Poverty in England: an asset based approach which guides and encourages churches to bring change to their local communities through using the skills and capacities of local residents and local associations, and the support of local institutions. Octobers findings from the Markit Household Finance Survey, show that although household finances remain under pressure, the squeeze on finances was less marked than on average since the survey began in 2009. The outlook for household financial wellbeing over the next 12 months remains pessimistic and broadly unchanged from September. The measure for job insecurity remained high, especially in the retail, education, health and social service sectors. With auto-enrolment currently beginning, a new report from the Pensions Policy Institute analyses the range of retirement incomes various individuals might achieve from making the minimum required level of contributions to a Defined Contribution pension. It also analyses the contribution rate necessary for different individuals to have a good chance of achieving an adequate level of retirement income. Finally the report compares the contribution rates necessary to achieve adequate retirement income levels with current contribution levels, and discusses the gap.

The Scottish Widows 2013 Women and Pensions Report, based on a survey of 5,000 people, shows that only 40% of women, compared to 49% of men, are putting away adequate retirement savings, a fall from 42% last year and 50% in 2011. 37% of women have no pension whatsoever, compared to 27% of men. A report from Micro Rainbow International looks at the isolation and poverty experienced by LGBT refugees, based on the experiences of 50 refugees in London and Manchester. Report from the Department of Health on Overseas visitors and migrant use of the NHS: extent and costs. The report concludes that the rules need to be clearer about who is eligible for free NHS care and that it should be possible to identify much higher numbers of patients who are not eligible for free NHS care and to improve recovery of costs from them. The Guardian examines how the figures were calculated.

In its new report Planning Out Poverty, the Town and Country Planning Association recommends making changes to the National Planning Policy Framework to prioritise poverty reduction and introducing new legal duties on poverty reduction. Habinteg, a leader on accessible housing and disability, has responded to the Governments consultation on housing standards, raising concerns that the proposals, at present, do not sufficiently prioritise the development of accessible homes. They recommend that accessible, flexible housing (Level 2 standard within the review and similar to the Lifetime Homes Standard) should be the default option for new housing. A Quality of Living Index produced by MoneySuperMarket has ranked Bristol and Edinburgh as the most liveable of the UKs 12 largest cities. Leeds was ranked 5th, London 7th and Bradford in 12th and last place in the index, which used salaries, rents, disposable income and levels of employment to compile the index. What Price Social Housing? - Fran Abrahams for File on 4 for Radio 4 investigates the impact of financial strain in Housing Associations who are expected to help build more affordable homes in the next two years. Is Help to Buy creating a house price bubble? - Video discussion between CIHs Gavin Smart and the Guardians economics correspondent. David Cameron has announced a competition test to establish if the energy sector can be made more competitive and has indicated his intent to cut green levies imposed on energy companies. The UK Green Building Council has launched a task group to look at ways to reduce the interest rate for domestic Green Deal and the results will be published in January 2014. A survey of 2,000 people for the Energy Saving Trust, indicates that 52% of respondents said they would reduce their energy use if it meant guaranteeing the UK had enough energy to meet its needs in the future. Gas and electricity prices have increased by four times the rate of inflation over the past 10 years, according to a new TUC analysis - energy costs rose by 152% from September 2003 to September 2013, and the RPI by 38%.

An Ageing Society
Silver Linings The Active Third Age and the City is a new report from RIBA which examines the economic and social changes that an ageing population will bring in the next 30 years and presents six scenarios where active older people could make a huge impact on towns and cities. A new report from RICS examines how to improve the wellbeing of residents of retirement villages by meeting ergonomic requirements and identifying practices for sustainable facility management. It surveys residents of Green retirement villages in Australia regarding their perceptions of sustainability ideas. N.B. Registration on RICS site required to download report. Alternatively email me for a pdf. A Briefing from the Older Peoples Commissioner for wales summarises the key challenges and issues raised by 6,000 older people who attended roadshows in Wales. A coalition of charities including Age UK, the Care and Support Alliance, is calling on the Government to set eligibility levels for council-funded home care at moderate needs and provide the additional funding required, in a system they say is under-funded by around 2.8 billion. Peers voted against an amendment to the Care Bill this week, which would have maintained the CQC's ability to decide if there is an issue with commissioning of social care. A spokeswoman for Leonard Cheshire Disability said the decision would increase the risk of councils continuing with 15 minute care visits. On average, life expectancy at birth increased across all local areas in England and Wales by 1.3 years for males and 1.0 year for females between 200608 and 201012 according to new official statistics. In 201012, male life expectancy at birth was highest in East Dorset (82.9 years) and lowest in Blackpool (74.0 years) and for females highest in Purbeck at 86.6 years and lowest in Manchester at 79.5 years. In 201012, 28% of local areas in the East, 49% in the South East and 28% in the South West were in the fifth of areas with the highest male life expectancy at birth - there was no local area in the North East and Wales in this group. A similar pattern was observed for females. Families underestimate annual long term care costs by 12,000, according to a survey by Prestige Nursing and Care. 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.