Working Brief, June 2009, p. 6-7
Presents an overview of how Job Centre Plus is adapting its services to cope with those newly unemployed due to the recession while continuing to offer more personalised help to those who face the greatest barriers to entering the labour market. The Department for Work and Pensions is also looking to work more closely with local authorities to ensure that everyone claims the benefits they are entitled to.
CSJ Economic Dependency Working Group
Centre for Social Justice, 2009
This report argues that the existing benefits system has created perverse financial incentives, which have left many people better off if they remain jobless and couples better off if they live apart. The answer proposed is to reduce the withdrawal rate applied to benefits to allow claimants to keep more of their payments when they take jobs or cohabit. Families with an income of more than £30,000, however, would have their entitlement to benefits reduced by a modest amount. The measures would increase the social assistance bill in the short term, but the social benefits would generate net savings over time. There are also proposals to simplify the system by reducing the current 'tangle' of 51 benefits to just two. This simplification would reduce administrative costs.
Daily Telegraph, Sept. 17th 2009, p. 6
Leaked documents show that Treasury expects to pay £193.4bn in social security benefits in 2013-14. Paying interest on the government's debts will cost £63.4bn. Welfare and debt interest will make up 33.8% of total public spending that year. The steep rises in spending on these items will contribute to a sharp squeeze on budgets elsewhere in Whitehall.