People who live in social housing in Guernsey will be obliged to seek work in return for their benefits.
The Committee for Employment and Social Security has today revealed details of changes to the rent rebate system, which will see the existing standalone payment scrapped and rolled into the Income Support payment.
It means it’ll be available to those renting in the private sector, who are currently excluded from claiming.
But it will also oblige claimants under the age of 65, who are able to work, to prove that they are looking for a job.
The Committee President Deputy Michelle Le Clerc concedes a small number of claimants will be worse off as a result, so the changes will be phased in over three years for those facing cuts.
She said: “It is essential that social welfare schemes are implemented fairly and consistently. We need to be mindful that change isn’t easy, however, so any decreases in cash benefits will be phased in gradually, to allow people time to make adjustments to their income or circumstances. And we are committed to providing a range of extra support services to help islanders navigate the changes. This includes focus groups with tenants in the weeks to come, plus drop-in clinics and one-to-one Job Centre help sessions in the coming months.”
The Committee’s official announcement says those who are worst off, some will
qualify for other benefits including medical cover and the winter fuel allowance. Some may also qualify for the new Extra Needs Allowance, which helps with expenses related to health issues or disability, such as energy, clothing or laundry, and dietary needs.
The changes are due to begin this July.