Based on the responses from bureau advisers to the recent Social Policy questionnaire, the Policy and Communications team have put together a forward work plan for 2013/14. This covers the issues that we plan to address over the coming year and the ways in which we plan to undertake this work.
This will be a year of significant change for the Policy and Communications team as we adjust to the changes in the consumer landscape. In this year, the way that we work will be as important as the issues that we work on. This includes integrating the new Community Action (formerly the Local Action Project), research and campaigns functions into the wider team. One of the key aims of the plan is to support bureaux to identify local issues and to take local action to help clients.
Based on bureau evidence and responses to the questionnaire, we have identified a range of priority issues including ongoing welfare reforms (Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment and underoccupancy), continuing problems with existing benefits (ESA and JSA sanctions), and consumer issues such as payday loans, scams and changes to bankruptcy laws. We will also increase our work on access to justice issues.
The plan outlines our proposed approach and what we consider success to look like. We will report on the outcomes of our work in relation to the plan at the end of the year.