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Premier :: 1987-10-30

on Channel 4

Genre :: Documentary

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Dispatches is a series of investigative and topical documentaries broadcast on Channel 4

Latest Episode

Series 2014 - Episode 26 - Benefits Britain
Aired - 27 October 2014

Episode summary:

Dispatches investigates a £13 billion revolution taking place on Britain's benefit streets. The government says it will change our welfare system forever and plans to roll it out soon to millions of us across the country. Already thousands of people in a handful of towns are being put on the brand new benefit known as Universal Credit, which brings together half a dozen working-age benefits and is meant to slash costs, reduce fraud and help claimants back to work. Liz MacKean reports from Warrington, where claimants have been trying out the new benefit for a year. It's meant to simplify claims and offer seamless support to people moving in and out of short-term and low-paid work. Dispatches meets some claimants who say the new system, far from simplifying things for them, has been making basic errors and leaving them at risk of losing their homes or having to choose between paying the rent or feeding their children. It took three months for Universal Credit staff to process one couple's claim, and they ended up with over £2000 of debt. Nicky, who is pregnant, tells Dispatches that some days she goes without so that she can make sure her four-year-old is properly fed. Liz also hears from staff working inside the benefits office who believe the flagship scheme is failing badly. Dispatches hears that the IT system is unworkable, staff training is out of date and that they are falling behind in processing new claims.

Watch Episodes Online - Episode Guide

+ Series 2014

+ Episode - 26 Benefits Britain Aired - 27 October 2014
+ Episode - 3 Hunted Aired - 05 February 2014

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