Mortality rates among men and women: impact of austerity

Improvements in life expectancy have slowed in the UK since the early 2010s. A recent study argued there have been over 300,000 excess deaths during this period, when comparing trends in life expectancy with those from before 2011. The authors of the study argue this is a result of austerity policies pursued by the government. The subject is due to be debated in the House of Lords on 12 January 2023.

Mortality rates among men and women: impact of austerity

Cost of living: Impact of rising costs on disabled people

Disabled individuals and their households have, on average, lower incomes than their non-disabled counterparts. They often incur additional costs related to the treatment and mitigation of their disability. Furthermore, they typically spend a greater share of their income on food and energy, the commodities driving the current surge in inflation. In recognition of Disability History Month—running from 16 November to 16 December this year—this article considers how disabled individuals and their households are impacted by the rising cost of living.

Cost of living: Impact of rising costs on disabled people

Stability in the financial markets: Impact on pensions, mortgages and the rental market

Volatility in the financial markets can have impacts throughout the financial system. This article looks at the role of the Bank of England in maintaining financial stability and its recent intervention to prevent “dysfunction” in the gilt market from causing “contagion” to credit conditions for UK households and businesses. In particular, the article looks at how recent financial market volatility may have affected pensions, mortgages and the rental market.

Stability in the financial markets: Impact on pensions, mortgages and the rental market
  • In Focus

    Cost of living: Impact on public wellbeing

    The rising cost of living has been associated with a reduction in wellbeing, including increased anxiety and worsening mental health. Charities and campaign groups have said the impact of increased costs has been worse for households already on lower incomes. Since becoming prime minister, Liz Truss has said the government’s priority is to increase economic growth while announcing at the same time an increase in government support for household energy bills. However, the opposition has said the government has not provided adequate support for households struggling with the rising cost of living.

  • Research Briefing

    Social Security (Additional Payments) Bill: HL Bill 34 of 2022-23

    On 27 June 2022, the second reading and all remaining stages of the Social Security (Additional Payments) Bill are scheduled to take place in the House of Lords. The bill gives effect to the cost of living support measures for benefits claimants announced as part of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s statement to the House of Commons on 26 May 2022.

  • Research Briefing

    Universal Credit (Removal of Two Child Limit) Bill [HL]: HL Bill 7 of 2022-23

    On 8 July 2022, the second reading of the Universal Credit (Removal of Two Child Limit) Bill [HL] is scheduled to take place in the House of Lords. The bill is a private member’s bill introduced by the Bishop of Durham. The bill would disapply provisions of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, as amended by the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016, which implemented the two-child limit to universal credit.

  • Research Briefing

    Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill [HL]

    The Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill is a government bill that is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 24 May 2022. The bill would amend the special rules to allow those with a terminal illness to receive certain disability-related benefits if they have less than 12 months to live (as opposed to the current six months).

  • In Focus

    Liaison Committee follow-up report: Tackling financial exclusion

    On 25 May 2022, the grand committee of the House of Lords is due to debate the House of Lords Liaison Committee’s report ‘Tackling financial exclusion: A country that works for everyone? Follow-up report’. This report examines the progress made by the government and key stakeholders in implementing the recommendations made in the original 2017 select committee report on financial exclusion. It found that “four years on, financial exclusion is still highly prevalent in the UK”.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2022: Welfare and pensions

    This article looks at possible announcements in the upcoming Queen’s Speech relating to pensions and benefits. No major piece of welfare or pensions legislation has been pre-announced by the Government. However, it has committed to introduce measures that may require primary or secondary legislation. These include: reintroducing managed migration to universal credit; reforming the eligibility rules for benefits claimants with terminal illness; and reducing the minimum age for pensions auto-enrolment.

  • In Focus

    Pension Schemes (Conversion of Guaranteed Minimum Pensions) Bill

    The Pension Schemes (Conversion of Guaranteed Minimum Pensions) Bill is a private member’s bill introduced into the House of Commons by Margaret Ferrier (Independent MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West). It aims to clarify how occupational pension schemes can convert historic rights to certain pension entitlements into current scheme benefits. In the House of Commons stages both the Government and the Opposition supported the bill.

  • In Focus

    Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2022: regret motion

    The House of Lords will soon consider a regret motion on the draft Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order 2022. The order would increase some welfare benefits by around 3% from April 2022. At a time when inflation has increased significantly, the uprating has been criticised for not meeting the rising cost of living.

  • In Focus

    Economic Affairs Committee report on universal credit

    In July 2020, the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee published a report on universal credit. It concluded that although the original aims and objectives of the benefit remained broadly correct, the system required substantial reform as its current design was causing harm to many claimants. The Government subsequently rejected most of the committee’s recommendations. The House of Lords will soon debate the committee’s report.

  • In Focus

    Mandatory vaccines for health and care workers: latest regulations

    The draft Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 would place a requirement on health and social care workers who have face-to-face contact with service users, including volunteers, to provide evidence that they have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. They would need to do so in order to be deployed, though there would be exemptions for certain staff. The policy has been met with criticism by several medical bodies.

  • In Focus

    Universal credit: motion to annul regulations impacting disabled student claimants

    The Universal Credit (Exceptions to the Requirement not to be receiving Education) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 would provide that to be eligible for universal credit, a disabled student must have a determination of limited capability for work before they start receiving education. The regulations have been met with criticism from several disability rights charities. On 13 December 2021, the House of Lords is due to debate a motion to annul the regulations.