Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2009): Social security - UK

The effects of in-work benefit reform in Britain on couples: theory and evidence

M. Francesconi, H. Rainer and W. van der Klaauw

Economic Journal, vol. 119, issue 535, 2009, p.66-100

The study found that many women were better off financially after leaving their husbands because they could claim higher welfare benefits and more help with childcare. The Working Families Tax Credit introduced in 1999 enabled single mothers to boost their income through work because they could claim 70% of childcare costs. This is alleged to have led to a 160% rise in separations among the poorest families.

Mothers on benefit 'better off' than working women

M. Moore

Daily Telegraph, Mar. 9th 2009, p. 6

Figures released by the Centre for Social Justice suggest that women are better off financially if they have children and live on state benefits than if they take low-paid jobs such as hairdressing or bar work.

A postcode lottery?

L. Reynolds

London: Shelter, 2009

The local housing allowance (LHA) for tenants in private rented accommodation replaced housing benefit in 2008. Unfortunately the rental market for LHA claimants was distorted in 2007 when the boundaries of areas used to set housing benefit, known as broad rental market areas (BRMAs), were revised. The number of BRMAs was halved and they grew in size, so that they included both affluent and deprived areas. Local housing allowance claimants are now priced out of the more affluent areas where rents are high, and can only afford to live in deprived neighbourhoods. The research also showed that a high proportion of landlords are reluctant to take in LHA claimants, further reducing choice.

Work to be done? Welfare reform from Blair to Brown

S. Driver

Policy Studies, vol.30, 2009, p. 69-84

This article assesses current government plans to reform social protection in the UK. The Brown government is continuing and even intensifying policies aimed at getting the economically inactive off benefits and into jobs through a welfare-to-work regime increasingly delivered by private sector providers. The government has created a framework of incentives for these organisations to get individuals into employment and has also moved to limit benefit entitlements among lone parents and people with disabilities to encourage them to re-enter the labour market. It is uncertain if these reforms will work at a time of economic recession, rising unemployment and tight controls on government spending.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web