General Training Reading 16
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Read the text and answer Questions 1 – 7
Who is eligible
You may get Housing Benefit if you pay rent and your income and capital (savings and investments) are below a certain level. You could qualify if you are out of work, or in work and earning a wage. Use the online benefits adviser to get an estimate of the benefits, including Housing Benefit, you may get.
Who isn’t eligible
You can’t usually get Housing Benefit if:
· you have savings of over £16,000, unless you are getting the ‘guarantee credit’ of Pension Credit
· you live in the home of a close relative
· you’re a full-time student (unless you’re disabled or have children)
· you’re an asylum seeker or are sponsored to be in the UK
If you live with a partner or civil partner only one of you can get Housing Benefit.
If you’re single and aged under 25 you can only get Housing Benefit for bed-sit accommodation or one room in shared accommodation.
How to check eligibility
If you think you may be eligible for Housing Benefit, the link below will let you enter details of where you live and then take you to your local authority website where you can find out more.
Important changes for people receiving Child Benefit
Child Benefit is no longer counted as income when working out how much Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit you can get. This means that some people currently receiving Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit payments will receive more benefit with which to pay their rent and council tax. In addition, some low income families may now get Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit as a result of this change. If you think you may now be entitled, contact your local council.
How much do you get?
If you rent a property or room from a private landlord, your Housing Benefit will be calculated with the Local Housing Allowance rules.
If you live in council accommodation or other social housing, the most Housing Benefit you can get is the same as your ‘eligible’ rent.
What is ‘eligible’ rent? Eligible rent includes:
– rent for the accommodation
– charges for some services, such as lifts, communal laundry facilities or play areas Even if it’s included in your rent, you won’t get any Housing Benefit for:
– water charges
– charges for heating, hot water, lighting, or cooking
– payments for food or fuel in board and lodgings or hostels
How it’s paid
If you are a council tenant, your council will pay any Housing Benefit straight into your rent account. If you’re not a council tenant, your Housing Benefit will be paid:
– to you by cheque
– by Direct Payment into your bank or building society account
Contact your council if you’re worried about how Housing Benefit is paid.Question 1 – 7Complete the sentences below.
Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS and/or a NUMBER from the text for each answer.
If your savings are more than £16,000, you
receive Housing Benefit.
You may get Housing Benefit if you are a full-time student with
When calculating Housing Benefit, Child Benefit is not
The change to Child Benefits means that some
families may get more benefits.
are included in ‘eligible’ rent.
Housing Benefit will be paid into your
if you are a council tenant.
If you are not a council tenant, payments can be made by Direct Payment or .
Read the text and answer Questions 8 – 14
Travel for the Elderly
Whether you’re going abroad or staying in the UK, follow these simple tips so you can relax on your holiday. We spoke to Emma O’Boyle from TripAdvisor and Gill Williams, editorial head of greentravelguides.tv.
A When to travel
You can save money by booking a holiday out of season, or booking well in advance. Emma O’Boyle recommends, ‘Taking a holiday during ‘shoulder periods’ can be a good way of saving money. Shoulder periods are the months either side of peak season. You can avoid the uncomfortably hot weather, crowds and high prices, yet still enjoy some beautiful temperatures.’
Buying a guide book on where you’re going will give you loads of helpful information on what sights to see, the best and cheapest places to eat, local transport and much more. O’Boyle suggests ‘Ask friends for recommendations or use the internet to find a hotel that matches your criteria. You can find honest reviews online from travelers in your age bracket, looking for the same type of holiday, meaning you’re far less likely to end up at a hotel full of rowdy teenagers. Choosing a hotel is very personal and what one person likes another may hate so don’t always rely on the hotel’s own description.’
Using the internet to check what the weather’s like before you leave means you can avoid taking things you dont need. ‘Don’t over pack. Go online before you travel to check local weather forecasts and conditions and pack appropriate clothing and footwear.’ Gill Williams suggests.
D Copy documents
Photocopy your passport and other important documents in case the original gets lost or stolen and remember to take details of your travel insurance policy with you. You can find a travel insurance broker from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association.
E Inform family
It’s a good idea to give close family or friends a list of your travel plans and any contact details, in case of emergency.
F Save space
A great way to save space is to take two or three items and roll them up tightly. Try putting socks into shoes to save space and keep the shoes shape.
Check restrictions with the airport before travelling to see what you can and can’t take in your hand luggage
– now most liquids have to be packed in a clear container. Pack anything you’ll need in your hand luggage like a book, travel game or medicine, ‘If you are flying, always carry essential medication in your carry-on hand luggage rather than the hold – just in case the flight is delayed or the airline loses your suitcases.’ Says Williams.
H Long flights
Let the airline know if you have any specific needs like a vegetarian or kosher meal. You may want to ask for an aisle seat so you can get up easily when you want. ‘Let your airline know well in advance if you need assistance at airports,’ advises Williams. ‘Corridors can be long – up to 20 minutes walk at many international airports.’
I Be active
On longer flights it’s important to have good circulation to reduce the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which is caused when poor circulation results in blood clots.
How to improve circulation while flying:
·Walk up and down the aisle every hour
·Point and flex your toes while sitting down
·Rotate your ankles clockwise and anticlockwise
·Wear compression socks
·Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water
‘On a long flight, be sure to wear support anti-DVT socks. You’d be amazed how many airline pilots wear them secretly!’Question 8 – 14The text contains nine sections, A – I.
Which section contains the following information?where to keep the medicine you needCorrectIncorrect
9. Questionhow to avoid noisy peopleCorrectIncorrect
10. Questionhow to keep your packing to a minimumCorrectIncorrect
11. Questionwhat to do if you need help at the airportCorrectIncorrect
12. Questionwhere to look for travel insuranceCorrectIncorrect
13. Questionhow to keep the main cost of your holiday downCorrectIncorrect
14. Questionhow to save money when you’re thereCorrectIncorrect
Read the text and answer Questions 15 – 21
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF HOSPITALWATCH
• To create security awareness
• To remove or reduce the risk of crime
• To prevent criminal injury or distress to staff and patients
• To protect property against theft or criminal damage
• To maintain the working relationship between the hospital and the police.
SECURITY IN THE HOSPITAL
• ASK strangers to identify themselves
• ALL visitors to wards or departments should identify themselves and state the nature of their business
• DON’T allow the removal of ANY equipment without proper authorisation
• KEEP offices, windows and storerooms locked outside normal working hours
• CHECK that there is no-one left in the office or department
• ENSURE that portable items are locked away when not in use. Make sure they cannot be seen from outside the window
• ENSURE that all equipment is security marked by the Estates Department
• REPORT vandals immediately
• DON’T remove NHS property from the hospital – this is theft
• DO report anything suspicious.
REPORTING SECURITY INCIDENTS
• All incidents/attempted incidents must be reported
• When an incident has occurred a Trust Incident Report form must be completed
• If you or a colleague are involved in a serious physical attack/threat and are requiring immediate assistance, use the ‘panic attack’ alarm where fitted or ring Switchboard on 2222
• In the case of theft or other serious crime it is the responsibility of the individual involved to report to the Police and then complete an Incident Report form
• Minor incidents should be reported on an Incident form
• In either case the Site Manager/Line Manager must be informed.
PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY
• DON’T leave your handbag where it invites theft. Lock it away
• DON’T leave your purse in a shopping basket, in an office or empty room. Lock it away
• DON’T leave money or other valuables in your coat or jacket pocket. If you take your jacket off, take your
wallet with you
• DO use clothes lockers in cloakrooms, where they are provided. Otherwise use a lockable drawer or cupboard.
• DO avoid ill-lit streets and car parks, wasteland and unoccupied compartments on trains
• DO consider keeping a personal attack alarm in your hand or pocket
• DON’T leave house or car keys in your handbag – put them in your pocket
• DO check your car – an unnecessary breakdown could put you at risk.
• DO make sure your car is locked, windows shut and valuables kept out of sight
• DO remove the ignition key
• DO display your permit/parking ticket in the windscreen
• DON’T leave valuables in the car. Lock them in the boot.
SECURITY IN STAFF RESIDENCES
• Watch out for prowlers
• Inform the police immediately
• Keep all ground floor windows closed or lockedQuestion 15 – 21Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text?
TRUE – if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE – if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN – if there is no information on thisOne aim of hospital watch is to avoid patients feeling anxious.CorrectIncorrect
16. QuestionVisitors are expected to state why they are in the hospital.CorrectIncorrect
17. QuestionIf you see a security incident, you should contact the switchboard immediately.CorrectIncorrect
18. QuestionIt’s advisable for women to keep an attack alarm in their handbags.CorrectIncorrect
19. QuestionIt’s not a good idea to keep your keys on your person.CorrectIncorrect
20. QuestionYou shouldn’t leave your parking ticket in the car.CorrectIncorrect
21. QuestionThere are policemen stationed in staff accommodation areas.CorrectIncorrect
Most people are satisfied with their local area as a place to live, feel that they belong there, and believe that people in their community get on well with each other, survey results show.
The figures suggest that people feel a positive connection to their local area – a strong foundation on which the Big Society can develop. The gap between the number of people who feel able to influence local decisions and those who think it’s important to be able to (37 per cent and 73 per cent respectively) provides a good indication of the appetite in people for greater participation.
Measures in the Localism Bill will devolve power to local communities and make it easier for people to get involved in civic participation and volunteering.
Communities Minister Andrew Stunell said:
“For the Big Society to work well, it’s important that people get on with one another, feel some kind of attachment to the area in which they live and are involved in the decisions that affect them. The figures out today suggest that, while there is an appetite for getting involved, there are lots of people out there who want to do something but either don’t know how or feel they can’t. We want this to change. The measures in the Localism Bill and our drive to bust bureaucratic barriers will help to close this gap. Our actions will help create active, engaged communities, where the local people who know what’s best for an area are trusted and equipped to get on with it and aren’t held back by needless obstacles.”
The Localism Bill contains a radical package of reforms that will devolve greater power and freedoms to neighbourhoods, establish powerful new rights for communities, revolutionise the planning system, and give communities control over housing decisions.These reforms will give individuals and community groups the freedom and tools to improve their local areas to build their vision of the Big Society.
Today’s findings, based on interviews conducted between April and September last year, show that more people than in recent years believe their area is improving and fewer are worried about being a victim of crime.Question 22 – 27Complete the summary below.
Choose NO MORE THAN ONE WORD from the text for each answer.
From a recent survey it seems that there is a healthy appetite.
A recent survey shows that the majority of residents are
with life in their local community.
In fact it seems that many people have a healthy
for a higher level of participation in the running of the community.
The new Localism Bill attempts to facilitate this desire by basically giving local people more
Andrew Stunell, the Communities Minister, believes that the bill will remove the unnecessary
which currently exist and which prevent local people from taking positive
Some of the measures included in the bill include a complete change in the way
is carried out, along with locals having more control over issues such as housing.
Read the text and answer Questions 28 – 40
A Over the past 20 years in Britain, the proportion of social homes in the total stock has fallen from 31% to 21% and their number has declined from 6.8m to 5.3m. Blame—or credit—Margaret Thatcher for this. Her government forced local authorities to sell homes cheaply to existing tenants and stopped them building new ones. New social homes were to be financed centrally and run by local housing associations.
B It now looks like the long squeeze is over. Next week, the government is expected to announce a near-doubling of the Housing Corporation’s £1.2 billion annual budget and plans to extend eligibility for social housing. An extra £1 billion would build around 20,000 new homes each year at current rates. This could be stretched further by reducing the amount of subsidy per house.
C The government is hoping that this move will help solve its housing difficulties. Thanks to nimbyism, the supply of new houses in Britain falls well short of demand, by more than 50,000 a year according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a social research charity. The result: surging housing costs which have priced modest earners out of the market, particularly in London and the south-east of England. Chief among the victims are public-sector workers, such as nurses and teachers.
D The government will try to fulfil its ambitions in part through a phenomenon known as planning gain. Councils are grabbing an increasing share of rising land prices by bumping up the amount of social housing developers must build as part of a new scheme and hand over to the local housing association. Even before the government’s fresh money arrives, some local authorities in southern England are relying on planning gain to help meet demanding targets. In plush regency Cheltenham, the council wants 30% of new housing to be social; the figure is 40% in comfortable Poole in Dorset, while the Greater London Authority is targeting 50% in the capital over the next twenty years.
E Will this policy just create new ghettos? Maybe not. People have learnt from the mistakes of the post-war housing boom. Providers have got better at design and building. Everybody now knows that concrete blocks do not work in rainy countries. The stigma of social housing can often be eliminated by making it indistinguishable from neighbouring private housing. Social housing developments are even winning awards in competition with private sector developments—the Peabody Trust’s Bedzed development in Surrey won the Evening Standard Lifestyle Home of the Year award—though it is worth remembering that some of the most notorious 1960s and 1970s council housing estates also won design awards.
F Housing associations are generally better at getting repairs done than are councils. They have also been more effective in tackling problems like drugs and prostitution through innovations such as estate offices and on-site caretakers. Above all, planners have learned not to think too big. “No one will ever build a big single tenure estate again,” says Richard McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Peabody Trust.
G happens to the teacher who lives in social housing in one borough, and is offered a job in a borough that cannot offer her new cheap housing? What happens to a nurse in cheap housing who wants to move into a new profession? A government so keen on enterprise and initiative should not be recreating a system that makes it difficult for people to change their lives. If public-sector workers cannot afford to live in the south-east of England, then the government should be changing pay scales that currently discriminate in favour of public sector workers in cheap bits of the country and against those in expensive bits, rather than reintroducing something that once looked like a boon to the poor and turned out to be a shackle.Question 28 – 40The text has seven paragraphs, A – G.
Choose the correct heading for each paragraph from the list of headings below.
i Still difficult to move around
ii Councils give way to housing associations
iii Increased spending
iv The cost of moving home
v A shrinking supply
vi Learning from the past
vii Public-sector workers squeezed out
viii New demands on developersParagraph ACorrectIncorrect
29. QuestionParagraph BCorrectIncorrect
30. QuestionParagraph CCorrectIncorrect
31. QuestionParagraph DCorrectIncorrect
32. QuestionParagraph ECorrectIncorrect
33. QuestionParagraph FCorrectIncorrect
34. QuestionParagraph GCorrectIncorrect
35. QuestionQuestion 35 – 40Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text?
TRUE – if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE – if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN – if there is no information on thisDuring the Thatcher years, there was a block on building social homes.CorrectIncorrect
36. QuestionThe housing problem in London is worse than in the rest of south-east England.CorrectIncorrect
37. QuestionLocal authorities are starting to depend on the ‘planning gain’ scheme.CorrectIncorrect
38. QuestionOne way to make social housing more successful is to make it similar to private housing.CorrectIncorrect
39. QuestionLocal councils are unable to deal with crimes committed on social housing land.CorrectIncorrect
40. QuestionIt would not be helpful to modify pubic workers salary depending on where they lived.CorrectIncorrect