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Introduction In 2013 a household benefit cap (HBC) was introduced in the UK. It restricts the benefit income of unemployed people to levels below the assessed needs of households. Initially, this level was set at average wages, but was lowered even further in November 2016. The HBC has driven benefit-restricted households further into poverty and disproportionately affects lone mothers and minority ethnic families ( Sandhu, 2016 ; Lammasniemi, 2019 ). It was justified by the Conservative-led Coalition government introducing it as a means of affecting

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Introduction Speaking in the UK House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions, Rishi Sunak MP was asked about Izzy, a struggling parent in Halifax. They had seen their pre-payment energy bills triple and were struggling to afford food, utilities and make ends meet. Their story mirrors that of many millions of households as the cost-of-living crisis deepens ( Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2023 ). In response, Sunak spoke of the support made available through local authorities via the Household Support Fund (HSF): What I would say to Izzy and others who are

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Context The quasi-marketisation and the concomitant privatisation and financialisation of adult social care services in the UK can be traced back to the implementation of the NHS and Community Care Act 1990. This act was designed to create a ‘purchaser–provider split’, with local authorities becoming commissioners rather than providers of social care. The political and ideological reasons behind this major policy shift have been well documented over the years. However, in essence, they can be seen as a neoliberal project to introduce markets, promote

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Introduction There are estimated to be between 8 and 13 million unpaid carers in the UK, of whom, more than a third provide care for more than 20 hours a week ( Carers UK, 2020a ; 2022 ). 1 Only around a third of those providing substantial hours of care are entitled to Carer’s Allowance, a non-means-tested, non-contributory social security benefit paid to those who meet strict eligibility criteria. In this article, I consider how the eligibility rules for Carer’s Allowance construct carers in particularly narrow ways, excluding many carers from entitlement

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Key messages Humans are vigilant cooperators, motivated to help others, but attuned to cues of cheating. Vigilant cooperation drives popular intuitions about how welfare systems should work. This can be illustrated by examining changes to UK disability benefits. Appealing to popular intuitions does not necessarily lead to optimal policy making. Introduction The gap between theory and empirical evidence on the one hand, and the development and deployment of policy on the other, is perhaps more publicised now than ever. But rejection of expert

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Key messages Experiencing gender-based violence can have far-reaching mental health effects for survivors, which are not often included in GBV investigations at UK universities. Trauma-informed training modules and input from an objective mental health professional during GBV inquiries may be able to better account for these mental health effects. Background Young people in the UK are at increased risk of experiencing inter-personal violence such as domestic violence and sexual assault ( Walby and Allen, 2004 ). This violence is often gender

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Introduction The Brexit political process has been ongoing for six years now and, although it is expected to have a range of implications for UK policy, there is little academic literature on what these are so far. Proponents of Brexit indicated several, somewhat general, intended impacts including: ‘taking back control of our money, laws and borders’; reducing bureaucratic burdens; and establishing new trading relationships ( HM Government, 2018 ). In this article we identify, in a more detailed and sector-specific manner, what the impacts of Brexit have

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Key messages Violence (including abuse, harassment and intimidation) experienced by UK politicians has been politicised as a normative policy problem. There has been growing attention to the experiences of women members of Parliament and social media abuse. Gendered political violence can and should be conceptualised as a policy problem. More research is needed on the political impacts of gender and political violence. Introduction Globally, there has been burgeoning academic and political attention to gendered dimensions of violence

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Savage, 2019 ). Consequently, this creates a blind spot with regards to other places in which obstetric violence can occur and the ways in which the power dynamics of the maternity system appear within the home. Globally, the UK is unusual in its provision of state-run homebirth services. National statistics show that in 2019 in England and Wales, 97.5 per cent of births took place in an ‘NHS [National Health Service] establishment’ ( ONS, 2020 ) highlighting that 2.5 per cent took place outside of a maternity or medical facility. As will be demonstrated, obstetric

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Key messages The ODA budget cuts caused extensive harms to researchers and partners leading to reduced impacts. The GCRF case exposed inadequate research ethics and governance procedures. The cuts highlighted the shallow UK institutional commitments to equitable South–North partnerships and continued coloniality. Political intrusion and contractual violations led to a distrust of the UK government. Introduction In spring 2021 – amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which was having its own dramatic effects on international research projects – UK Research

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