The eight PhD research students linked to our project presented their work at an event in York recently. View their slide presentations.
Following the recent ‘bedroom tax’ hearing in the UK Supreme Court, our guest writer Jed Meers from the University of York considers the potential implications of an important upcoming judgment for policies relying on elements of conditionality. Read the full story
A learned journal paper on Universal Credit by our team members has proved so popular that the publishers are offering it free for a month. ‘Universal Credit, ubiquitous conditionality and its implications for social citizenship’, written by Prof Peter Dwyer and Dr Sharon Wright, considers the punitive system of tiered sanctions and fines within Universal Credit. They argue UC represents a major expansion and intensification of personalised behavioural conditionality, and indicates the ubiquity of conditionality at the heart of twenty-first century UK social citizenship.
The paper was one of the most downloaded from the Journal of Poverty & Social Justice in 2015. In celebration, the journal is making it free to download this month. Get your copy here.
Prof Dwyer is based at the University of York and Dr Wright at the University of Glasgow.
Findings from the first wave of our research on social housing are published today. The research by Prof Suzanne Fitzpatrick and Dr Beth Watts from Heriot Watt University focuses on fixed-term tenancies in social housing. It includes views from landlords and tenants, as well as other stakeholders.
The research found that fixed-term tenancies are causing considerable anxiety for some tenants, particularly those with a disability or health problems and for families with children. Some of the social landlords who were initially most enthusiastic about FTTs have become disillusioned about them because it seems unlikely they will generate any significant number of additional lettings. There are also concerns about administrative cost and complexity and the potential to destabilise communities.
The research project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, is continuing until 2018. Our project team is interviewing tenants twice more over time.
Read the full report
A warm welcome to Vici Armitage, who is covering as Project Manager while Fleur Hughes is on maternity leave. Vici joins us after completing her work as a research associate and project manager at the University of Leicester. She holds a PhD in young people and anti-social behaviour.
Scotland’s Sunday Herald newspaper has featured early findings from our research in a major story on Universal Credit. The newspaper explored the issue of welfare sanctions and support for people who are already working. The issue is the topic of a Commons select committee inquiry to which our project has submitted evidence. Our full ‘first wave’ findings will be published later in the Spring. Read the Herald story. Our evidence submission
Our project has given evidence to the Commons Work and Pensions Committee’s inquiry into ‘in-work progression’ within Universal Credit. We argue that for those in work, UC is intended to increase labour market attachment. However, our research has found that in practice, conditionality can be counterproductive. We recommend more emphasis on support and incentives, and removal of unworkable rigidities in the system to take account of contemporary workplace practices. Read the full submission
Read the Sunday Herald’s story on in-work conditionality featuring early findings from our research
In our new blog Dr Shelley Bielefeld from the Australian National University considers the controversial introduction of cards to replace cash welfare payments. The Australian Government’s cashless welfare card policy experiments have been contested terrain since they were first introduced as part of the Northern Territory Emergency Response in 2007. Originally applicable only to Aboriginal welfare recipients there, cashless welfare cards (referred to in national debate as ‘income management’) have since been expanded and now operate in multiple Australian jurisdictions. Read Shelley’s blog
Our latest email newsletter is out now with all our latest research news. There are summaries of blogs on Public Spaces Protection Orders and homelessness, sanctions and the right to human dignity, and the key questions on welfare systems. Plus presentations on antisocial behaviour, women offenders, and housing. Don’t miss our future editions – use our easy signup at the bottom of this screen and get your copy every two months.
Practitioners working with lone parents are invited to our research focus group in Sheffield on Friday 11 December. Read More