News from the blogs

September 15, 2014     Leave a Comment

Following the publication of ‘Welfare sanctions and conditionality in the UK’ by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation last week, responses have been posted by academics working in the field.

Ken Gibb, an applied economist at the University of Glasgow, had this to say about the report:

“I have just read the new Joseph Rowntree Foundation Round-up ‘Welfare Sanctions and Conditionality in the UK’ by Beth Watts, Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Glen Bramley and David Watkins. This draws on the ESRC Welfare Conditionality: Sanctions, Support and Behaviour Change research programme (based on a series of briefings related to that programme). This is an excellent summary of the breadth and depth of the issues, the evidence that exists on the perceived effects, impacts and mechanisms of different forms of conditionality and also includes a valuable discussion of the ethics of welfare sanctions and increased conditionality.” Continue reading the full blog

Meanwhile, Alex Marsh, Professor of Public Policy at the University of Bristol, wrote this:

“One of the most striking developments in policy design in the UK is the rise of conditionality. It most prominently affects those who are out of work and seeking assistance from the welfare system, but it features across a range of other policy areas including housing and health.

Commentators might, quite rightly, rail against IDS and his insensitive disciplinary regime of seemingly indiscriminate sanctions, but he has only taken a system that was initiated by the Blairites in the 1990s and distilled it into something purer. He has made the conditions placed on receipt of assistance more stringent and the sanctions for transgression harsher. Indeed, it could be credibly argued that in some cases the system is now ludicrously harsh and vulnerable people are being set up to fail.” Continue reading the full blog

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