The amount the law says you need to live on

Paul of the Woods Family made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Department for Work and Pensions should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

From: Paul of the Woods Family

14 March 2013

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

When you send letters to those on benefits, you state,"This is the
amount the law says you need to live on".

What law are you referring to?

Yours faithfully,

Paul: Woods

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From: DWP freedom-of-information-requests
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14 March 2013

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From: DWP Strategy Freedom of Information
Department for Work and Pensions

15 March 2013


Attachment FoI.1250.acknowledgement.pdf
11K Download View as HTML


Dear Paul Woods,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request; please see the attached acknowledgement.
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.
Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [DWP request email] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team, Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF www.ico.gov.uk

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul of the Woods Family [mailto:[FOI #153194 email]]
Sent: 14 March 2013 17:38
To: DWP freedom-of-information-requests
Subject: Freedom of Information request - The amount the law says you need to live on

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

When you send letters to those on benefits, you state,"This is the
amount the law says you need to live on".

What law are you referring to?

Yours faithfully,

Paul: Woods

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sandy Joyce left an annotation (22 March 2013)

Quote-marks I would also like to know the answer to this question in the interest of honesty transparency I believe it is very much in the public's interest to know

Link to this

Julie left an annotation (23 March 2013)

Quote-marks It is in the public interest, I would love to know how they can work what we can live on out. How long ago was it calculated was before the soaring fuel prices plus the increase food bill.

Link to this

Justine left an annotation (23 March 2013)

Quote-marks I too would like to know!! What law? Who voted it in, and how is that amount actually worked out? So yes don't be quiet or illusive - just let us know the answer!!

Link to this

Katy Rosewell left an annotation (24 March 2013)

Quote-marks This is a pertenant question, especially now, with advent of the Bedroom Tax and Council Tax Benefits being cut, people are genuinely suffering and terrified what the future holds for them. We need to challenge anomalies and demand transparency! Also, beware, this government are adept at introducing retrograde legislation by the back door!! Katy Rosewell

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Karen Bolton left an annotation (24 March 2013)

Quote-marks I would also like to know the answer to this especially in view of the current changes to the benefits system!

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S McCarthy left an annotation (24 March 2013)

Quote-marks Should be an interesting response. Can't think of anything that would restrict information regarding an actual law.

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bruce budge left an annotation (24 March 2013)

Quote-marks The answer to the question is precisely nothing. Zero £s and Zero pence. This was done to me after failing in an Appeal, the the cut off date for benefit was backdated by seven days, a week before the Tribunal. I now cannot pay my rent, electricity, Council Tax or telephone bills. They also refused to rake a fresh claim over the phone, preferring to sent out the documents, which only increases the delay. Nor can I claim for a Crisis Loan as I do not have a live claim. Obviously they expect me to fast or go hungry, approach food banks or even commit crime in order to live. Bruce Budge

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Louise Grennan left an annotation (25 March 2013)

Quote-marks I would also very much like to know what law it is that says what we need to live on when was this law introduced? an yes it is in the public interest for this to be known I'd also like to know weather or not they are reviewed and increased to meet rent increase's fuel increases and general day to day living expenses soaring

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GEOFFREY REYNOLDS (Account suspended) left an annotation (25 March 2013)

Quote-marks I,personally, don't think there has ever been a law that defines how much a person needs to live on...

Every time i got a letter in reference to any payments it stated this in the first paragraph.

The DWP probably concocted the notion and then, after time, decided it was statute.

Because of the time to reply, they definitely don't
have an answer. They will come up with some gobbledygook to try and cover their arses.

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suzanna henry-randell left an annotation (25 March 2013)

Quote-marks I want to know, Im disabled and I cant walk around and due to the fuel bills im now made to sit in doors all day cos i can't afford to go out, i can only afford one meal a day due to the high bills of electricity and gas, yet the government thinks that we dont need any more than what they think we need to live on yet they never tell us how they work it out, and they never take it into consideration the amount things are going up due to their own greed

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GEOFFREY REYNOLDS (Account suspended) left an annotation (25 March 2013)

Quote-marks I found this reply on a similar FOI request. I NOTED IT DOES NOT SPECIFY WHICH LAW.

For income-related benefits such as income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, £71.00 is the
current weekly personal allowance paid for a single person aged 25 and over. This rate is set
by Parliament each year. The amount is intended to cover all normal day to day living
expenses. The level of benefit needs to take account of the competing demands on public
expenditure and work incentives. Benefits are not made up of separate amounts for specific
items of expenditure such as food or fuel charges, and beneficiaries are free to spend their
benefit as they see fit, in the light of their individual needs and preferences.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number
above.
Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team

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sandy Joyce left an annotation (25 March 2013)

Quote-marks dear Geoffrey Reynolds,

Please would you link that foi?

If the DWP do not answer the actual question, they are in breach of the foi act, the service user should send it to Internal Review to find out why there is no honesty & transparency surrounding these matters

Link to this

Paul of the Woods Family left an annotation (26 March 2013)

Quote-marks The request I made is not asking how much the law says you need to live on, it is for the actual law that DWP are referring to in their statement :-)

Link to this

sandy Joyce left an annotation (26 March 2013)

Quote-marks this why I asked Geoffrey for the link Paul, it's interesting that they reeled off how much but not the actual law, I wait with interest to see if this request will be answered

You have generated a LOT of interest - I thank you for this most important foi request

Link to this

GEOFFREY REYNOLDS (Account suspended) left an annotation (26 March 2013)

Quote-marks Hi Sandy;

The foi was made by Valerie Smith to the DWP on 16 Dec 2012.

Link to this

GEOFFREY REYNOLDS (Account suspended) left an annotation (26 March 2013)

Quote-marks Sandy, I have put another one in called;

£71 PITTANCE

Link to this

sandy Joyce left an annotation (28 March 2013)

Quote-marks Thank you Geoffrey

Link to this

Margaret Mills left an annotation (28 March 2013)

Quote-marks I asked this of the DWP a few months ago - they are still getting back to me so it will be interesting to know the answer to this question

Link to this

lad left an annotation (30 March 2013)

Quote-marks I beleave the law you are refering to is covered by The Welfare reform Act 2012. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/welfare-ref... I hope this helps, it does make you question though if the law says you need a certain amount to live on and used to take into account your rent and council tax benefit how they can suddenly ask for more council tax and ( bedroom tax ) thanks

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GEOFFREY REYNOLDS (Account suspended) left an annotation (30 March 2013)

Quote-marks The reason that they are stalling on this question is obvious.

If the amount had been set by statute they now realise there would be a challenge to the statute because they have effectively reduced this amount by welfare reforms.

In essence, they would be seen as breaking their own law and are afraid of admitting it.........

Anyone pursuing the issue in high court would have a cast iron case.

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sandy Joyce left an annotation (31 March 2013)

Quote-marks Exactly - that's why it's been put on. Will be interesting to see how suddenly the law has changed, there already a few going to court on this basis

I see them sitting round a boardroom table in an emergency meeting as we speak :/

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Angela left an annotation ( 1 April 2013)

Quote-marks I'm looking forward to the answer to this one! Have always wondered how you could be in receipt of 'the (minimum?) amount the law says you need to live on' while at the same time have a budgeting/crisis loan/over payment etc deducted. And now a contribution from this weekly (minimum - probably) amount towards council tax? Will be interesting to see what this 'law' actually states.

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From: Talbot Gina PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FLDM MCT
Department for Work and Pensions

3 April 2013


Attachment FoI 1250 final.pdf
12K Download View as HTML


Please see the attached reply to your Freedom of Information request

Yours sincerely

DWP Central FoI team

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul of the Woods Family [mailto:[FOI #153194 email]]
Sent: 14 March 2013 17:38
To: DWP freedom-of-information-requests
Subject: Freedom of Information request - The amount the law says you need to live on

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

When you send letters to those on benefits, you state,"This is the
amount the law says you need to live on".

What law are you referring to?

Yours faithfully,

Paul: Woods

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If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution or other

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Any views expressed by the sender of this message are not necessarily those of the Department

for Work and Pensions.

If you have received this transmission in error, please use the reply function to tell us

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Ray Playforth left an annotation ( 3 April 2013)

Quote-marks Paul
The response you have just had does not answer the question. None of those Acts or regulations made under them specify the amount needed to live on. The amounts may have been set in an Annual Budget Statement many years ago and been uprated annually since. I don't know. The only thing I can come up with is the Government's acceptance of the definition of poverty and the way it is measured. Anyone with "a household income of less than 60% of contemporary median household income" is in poverty.
For more useful info checkout these websites:
www.minimumincomestandard.org
www.poverty.org.uk
Joseph Rowntree Foundation www.jrf.org.uk
Child Poverty Action Group www.cpag.org.uk

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GEOFFREY REYNOLDS (Account suspended) left an annotation ( 4 April 2013)

Quote-marks THEY SPUN THE SAME CRAP TO ME.

None of those acts specify anything, see £71 PITTANCE.

Link to this

sandy Joyce left an annotation ( 5 April 2013)

Quote-marks Which LAW is used to state "This is the
amount the law says you need to live on"???

Not Can I have a link to the regulations and legistations, the LAW is what's been asked here, what is the LAW that says how much a person needs to live on? Simple question really

Link to this

Shayna Leet left an annotation ( 6 April 2013)

Quote-marks The regulations and legislation ARE the law. Looks like DWP have given the correct information. As for the actual value of the benefit you will probably need to look way back in time, probably as far as the Beveridge Report, to establish this. Problem is there is no way DWP will hold information relating to the 1940s: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beveridge_....

Benefits will have been uprated every year since by Act of Parliament: http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2012.... Try talking to your MP they vote it through and make it law.

You can find out what your MP voted for here: http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/ then you can ask them why they think £71 is reasonable. DWP delivers what Parliament/MPs/Government wants.

Link to this

sandy Joyce left an annotation ( 6 April 2013)

Quote-marks Not so, those are not the laws, in order to pass or change a law (as in this case) the government would have to have used The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 (c 51) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was enacted to replace the Regulatory Reform Act 2001 (RRA), to change how much the law says you need to live on

Now THAT would be an interesting FOI, did they use it or did they just make it up as they went along

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legislative...

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Shayna Leet left an annotation ( 7 April 2013)

Quote-marks Irrelevant Sandy. The LRRA 2006 requires a Minister to lay a Legislative Reform Order before Parliament under 3 Scenarios one of which includes passive consent, see here: http://www.parliament.uk/business/commit... . Once the draft order has been approved by both Houses of Parliament, under the negative, affirmative or super affirmative procedure the Minister may bring it into law. Note the "into law".

If you had checked legislation.gov.uk you would have found that no welfare/benefit related Act or Regulation appears to have been the subject of a Legislative Reform Order:http://www.legislation.gov.uk/all?title=..., nor are there any welfare/benefit related orders in draft for 2012/13: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa...

So, the primary legislation quoted by DWP is law as are all the other welfare/benefit related Acts as all have gone through Parliamentary scrutiny. The Welfare Benefits Up-rating Act 2013 was given Royal Assent on 26/03/13 becoming law.

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From: Paul of the Woods Family

21 April 2013

Dear Talbot Gina PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FLDM MCT,

Thank you for your response.

Unfortunately, this does not answer my question, which was a simple
one.

Can you clarify, exactly what law (the relevant act and sections of
said act), explicitly refers to "the amount" that people on, let's
say JSA, 'need to live on.

If one were to legally challenge the amount for instance, they
would need to access the relevant legislation, would they not.

Yours sincerely,

Paul of the Woods Family

Link to this

From: Talbot Gina PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FLDM MCT
Department for Work and Pensions

21 April 2013

Thank you for your email.  I will not be accessing my emails again until
Tuesday 23 April.
If your enquiry is about FoI please forward it to the generic inbox - DWP
STRATEGY FREEDOM OF INFORMATION.
I will reply to all other emails on my return
Regards

Gina

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From: DWP Strategy Freedom of Information
Department for Work and Pensions

23 April 2013


Attachment FoI.1915.acknowledgement.pdf
12K Download View as HTML


Dear Paul of the Woods Family,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request; please see the attached acknowledgement.
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.
Yours sincerely,

DWP Central FoI Team
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [DWP request email] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team, Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF www.ico.gov.uk

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul of the Woods Family [mailto:[FOI #153194 email]]
Sent: 21 April 2013 17:09
To: Talbot Gina PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FLDM MCT
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request 1250 - The amount the law says you need to live on

Dear Talbot Gina PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FLDM MCT,

Thank you for your response.

Unfortunately, this does not answer my question, which was a simple
one.

Can you clarify, exactly what law (the relevant act and sections of
said act), explicitly refers to "the amount" that people on, let's
say JSA, 'need to live on.

If one were to legally challenge the amount for instance, they
would need to access the relevant legislation, would they not.

Yours sincerely,

Paul of the Woods Family

-----Original Message-----

Please see the attached reply to your Freedom of Information
request

Yours sincerely

DWP Central FoI team

-------------------------------------------------------------------
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[FOI #153194 email]

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If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution or other

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Any views expressed by the sender of this message are not necessarily those of the Department

for Work and Pensions.

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From: DWP Strategy Freedom of Information
Department for Work and Pensions

7 May 2013


Attachment FoI 1915 final.pdf
12K Download View as HTML


Please see the attached reply to your Freedom of Information request

Yours sincerely

DWP Central FoI team

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul of the Woods Family [mailto:[FOI #153194 email]]
Sent: 21 April 2013 17:09
To: Talbot Gina PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FLDM MCT
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information request 1250 - The amount the law says you need to live on

Dear Talbot Gina PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FLDM MCT,

Thank you for your response.

Unfortunately, this does not answer my question, which was a simple
one.

Can you clarify, exactly what law (the relevant act and sections of
said act), explicitly refers to "the amount" that people on, let's
say JSA, 'need to live on.

If one were to legally challenge the amount for instance, they
would need to access the relevant legislation, would they not.

Yours sincerely,

Paul of the Woods Family

-----Original Message-----

Please see the attached reply to your Freedom of Information
request

Yours sincerely

DWP Central FoI team

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #153194 email]

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be
published on the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...

If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your
web manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

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If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution or other

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for Work and Pensions.

If you have received this transmission in error, please use the reply function to tell us

and then permanently delete what you have received.

This email was scanned for viruses by the Department for Work and Pensions' anti-virus services and on leaving the Department was found to be virus free.

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GEOFFREY REYNOLDS (Account suspended) left an annotation (18 May 2013)

Quote-marks Typical DWP drivel, same answer as they gave on the first application.

The truth is that no such law exists and never has done...............

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GEOFFREY REYNOLDS (Account suspended) left an annotation (18 May 2013)

Quote-marks I ASKED THE DWP IF AN EXERCISE HAD BEEN DONE TO SEE IF THE £71.00 BENEFIT WOULD BE ENOUGH TO SUSTAIN A HUMAN BEING.
THIS IS THEIR RESPONSE,

We are not aware of any exercises undertaken by Government on adequacy of benefits.

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David left an annotation ( 3 August 2013)

Quote-marks The DWP will not give an accurate or full answer to your request. They do not like people asking questions or for information, even though it is your right under UK & EU laws.
I have dealt with the DWP many times in the past requesting what ‘laws’ or ‘rules’ they abide to, or asking them give me a break down. They always send me the standard gobbledygook of 'Section a), Section b) clause c)'. AND it is incomplete.
I have also in the past requested that they arrange a meeting with the person dealing with my claim to give me an ‘accurate explanation’ of these ‘rules’.
I was told with a rather arrogant (we are the government) attitude by a female adviser ‘we don’t do that’.
I told her quite coldly, ‘In that case I shall appeal, forcing my case to be heard by an independent appeal tribunal, and they shall make you do it.’
She didn't like that, at all.
.
Independent Appeal Tribunals cost the department time and money, and no doubt an internal investigation as to why? AND they don’t want it going up the chain of command exposing incompetence.
The unemployed usually have very little to lose in an appeal. Where as Government departments could lose millions if an appeal is upheld.
.
The bottom line is most of the people that work for the DWP are not lawyers and do know the actual meaning of the (laws?) regulations .
They work to guide lines provide by a government department of ‘rules’ ‘regulations’ or ‘laws’, and information from their mangers.
They fob you off with a copied printout of the DWP ‘regulations’ in the hope that if they send you pages of jargon you will be confused and will give up.
As someone who works for the Benefit Office once said to me, ‘Not enough people appeal against a decision’.
.
A few years ago, as JobCentreplus (DWP) kept sending me gobbledygook and the trying to fob me off with my request for an ‘accurate breakdown’ to the regulations they adhere to, I applied under the FOI act for all the information that JobCentreplus (DWP) have on me.
(I should think they will be a bit more helpful in future).
What arrived at my door was package the size of an old yellow pages phone directory.
I cost me nothing. But it cost the DWP around £27, in postage alone.
I certainly hope the 2 million unemployed do not do the same.
And ‘Tomorrow’s People’, a national employment charity that receives contracts from government.
They didn't like it when I took them into litigation.
.
I am an ex-Union Shop Steward, and have dealt with rules, regulation and laws for many years.
Dave (PPP)

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Ellie Wright left an annotation ( 9 November 2013)

Quote-marks My husband an I earn £250 between us got housing benefit through today and the law says we can live on £112 per week...my gas,electric meters eat £45 pounds of that and I'm fed up with beans on toast...bet all those MP's are in the same boat as us..if like to know who tests out the entitled amount... Bet it's not David Cameron !!!!

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