Our Director Professor Peter Dwyer presented a summary of the project’s first wave research findings today at the National Housing Federation’s Welfare Reform conference. Professor Dwyer outlined the negative experiences of study respondents who had been sanctioned, some limited evidence of positive experiences of support, and issues of improving implementation in the system. View his presentation here
This month the Scottish Parliament held a one-hour debate on the issues raised by our project’s first wave findings on social security.
The debate was instigated by Sandra White MSP, Convener of the parliament’s Social Security Committee. She tabled a motion to the parliament noting with concern our first wave findings, including: Read More
Our Director Professor Peter Dwyer delivered this year’s prestigious Sir Roland Wilson public lecture at Australian National University in Canberra last month. His theme was: Justifying conditionality: sanctions, support and behaviour change in the UK. In a wide-ranging address he charted the history of conditionalilty and social citizenship in the UK before outlining some insights from our research. Read his slides here.
Local conditionality is becoming increasingly prevalent, finds Deven Ghelani from social policy software and consulting business Policy in Practice
We have been working with a number of local authorities since 2012, as elements of the welfare system have been localised.
One of the trends we have noticed is the introduction of local ‘conditionality’. So far, it has usually been applied at national level, by Jobcentre Plus. The introduction of conditionality by local authorities may have largely gone unnoticed, but it is an important side-effect of localisation. Read More
Janis Bright considers the latest developments from the Commons Work and Pensions Committee inquiry into benefit sanctions. Read more here
Janis Bright considers the latest developments at the inquiry into benefit sanctions
Against the talk of public inquiries taking years to complete their circuit, the Commons select committee system is a proper Usain Bolt. The Work and Pensions Committee’s current inquiry into benefit sanctions, which began taking evidence only in December, is sprinting along with the general election coming up fast on the inside.
Read our new blog by Sarah Johnsen, which explores the evidence for this group of welfare service users. Sarah introduces a briefing paper with more detail on the history and arguments on this topic.
Sarah Johnsen introduces a briefing paper exploring the issues
Concerns about high unemployment rates and levels of poverty amongst single parent households have prompted a number of OECD countries to target lone parents for ‘activation’ reforms. These reforms aim to increase their participation in the paid workforce. In some respects the UK has been slower to apply work-related conditions to this group than other OECD countries, but their entitlements are now increasingly tied to their participation in the labour market.
The most significant change has been the introduction of Lone Parent Obligations (LPOs). These were introduced in 2008, at which point lone parents with a youngest child aged 12 or older were transferred from Income Support to Jobseekers Allowance (JSA). The age threshold has since reduced, such that all lone parents with a youngest child aged five or older are required to seek paid employment.