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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2007): Social security - UK - New Deal

The Freud report on the future of welfare to work: some critical reflections

C. Grover

Critical Social Policy, vol. 27, 2007, p. 534-545

In December 2006, the secretary of state for work and pensions announced a review of welfare to work policies in Britain, which was led by the investment banker David Freud. This paper examines Freud's report and reflects upon his understanding of the relationships between unemployment, worklessness and capitalism and gender issues. These are key to understanding the report's analysis and recommendations. The report marks a shift in focus away from those who are officially defined as unemployed to other workless people. However, it takes a rather conservative approach to the issue. It draws upon an income maintenance discourse of long-standing that associates a lack of paid employment with individual failings encouraged by the provision of relief for those not in work. It is unclear how the tackling of poverty will flow from this approach because of its reproduction of capitalist and patriarchal work patterns and structures.

Qualitative longitudinal analysis for policy: incapacity benefits recipients taking part in pathways to work

A. Corden and K. Nice

Social Policy and Society, vol. 6, 2007, p. 557-569

The Pathways to Work Pilot was designed to move more incapacity benefit recipients off benefits and into work by actively encouraging them to think about plans for re-entering the labour market, and by providing information and access to a range of services aimed at enhancing job prospects. Findings from qualitative longitudinal research highlighted issues that might not have emerged otherwise. It showed how people experienced their interaction with the Pathways service, and whether there were any changes in their views about and behaviour in relation to paid work over a period of 12 months from the start of the intervention.

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