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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2007): Social security - UK

Attitudes towards the Child Trust Fund: what do parents think?

R. Prabhakar

British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol.9, 2007, p. 713-729

The Labour government in Britain introduced the Child Trust Fund in 2005 as part of its engagement with asset-based welfare. This approach is built on the assumption that the stock of assets owned by an individual makes an important contribution to their well-being. The Child Trust Fund scheme pays all new babies a 250 or 500 capital endowment from government. This is placed by parents in a special account locked until the child's eighteenth birthday. This research addresses the question of what new parents think of the policy. Results show parents are generally supportive, but are concerned about older siblings who do not have a Child Trust Fund.

Long-term health conditions and Disability Living Allowance: exploring ethnic differences and similarities in access

S. Salway and others

Sociology of Health and Illness, vol. 29, 2007, p. 907-930

In this paper, secondary analysis of Labour Force Survey data is combined with detailed new qualitative work to examine patterns of receipt and issues of access to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) across four ethnic groups. Levels of DLA receipt among individuals reporting long-term health conditions are generally extremely low. However, the quantitative analysis revealed that Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Black African individuals have significantly lower levels of receipt than White British people who are similar in terms of health status and socioeconomic characteristics. Common factors that appeared to discourage DLA claims across the ethnic groups considered included: a desire to conceal impairment and a reluctance to assume a 'disabled' identity; limited benefit knowledge or specialist support; perceptions that the benefits system is complex and stressful; and concerns about the legitimacy of claiming. Findings also suggest differences between groups. For example being Ghanaian appeared to place particular constraints on the assumption of a disabled identity.

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