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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2000): Social Security - UK - New Deal

2.5M REASONS FOR RADICAL REGIONAL POLICIES

L. Elliott

Guardian, May 22nd 2000, p. 23

Argues that relatively low claimant counts disguise a hidden mountain of unemployment consisting of people of working age claiming a range of sickness-related benefits. Many of those on sickness benefits would be eager to take a job if one was available locally. Provision of jobs can only be tackled by a more vigorous interventionist policy at regional level to stimulate economic growth in deprived areas.

JOBLESS FACE SPELLING CHECKS

J. Sherman

Times, June 29th 2000, p.9

Following ancedatal evidence that employers are rejecting New Dealers because they lack basic skills, the young unemployed will be forced to sit numeracy and literacy tests as part of the programme. Those who fail will be given up to 20 weeks intensive training and then take a further exam.

LEARNING TO LABOUR : AN EXPLORATORY ANALYSIS OF THE 'NEW DEAL'

J.J. Turner and J.W. McKinlay

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 24, 2000, p. 199-208

Paper provides an exploratory analysis of participants' perceptions of the New Deal, seeking to contrast government 'rhetoric' on the programme with the 'reality' of young people's day to day experiences of it. The findings illustrate a trend of negative feelings from respondents towards the New Deal, both prior to entering New Deal and during their period on the programme.

MEN FIRST

K. Rake

Guardian, June 20th 2000, p. 21

The government is spending more on men than women in some of its key social programmes, even though they were intended to be neutral between the genders. Figures from the Department for Education and Employment show that of those who have taken part in the New Deal for young people, 27% are female. Women make up just 16%of those on the New Deal for the long-term unemployed. In order to redress the balance in public spending between men and women, the government will have to re examine its social policies.

NEW DEAL FAILS TO MEET NEEDS OF EMPLOYERS, ADMIT OFFICIALS

R. Taylor

Financial Times, June 12th 2000, p.2

Officials running the flagship New Deal programme for the young unemployed have admitted that it is not cost effective. Only 20% of New Deal entrants held on to jobs they got through the programme and a third fell back onto benefit after completing it. New Dealers lacked the IT skills required by modern business.

(See also Daily telegraph, June 13th 2000, p. 2)

A RAW DEAL FOR LONE PARENTS : EVALUATING THE EVIDENCE

D. Willetts and N. Hillman

London: Centre for Policy Studies, 2000.

Argues that the New Deal for Lone Parents is failing and should be scrapped. The number of lone parents on income support stopped falling when the programme began. The government is fiddling the figures by counting as successes for the New Deal those parents who voluntarily approach job centres. Independent research suggests that lone parents' chances of finding a job were lower in areas where the New Deal was piloted than in those without it, and that 80% of lone parents getting jobs would have done so without it. Finally, personal advisers were cited by only 1% of participants in the New Deal as their first source of knowledge of the job they gained.

TORIES ATTACK NEW DEAL 'FLOP'

M. White

Guardian, June 1st 2000, p. 2

David Willetts, the Conservative welfare spokeman, has attacked the New Deal for Lone Parents. Using an analysis produced by the Department of Social Security Mr Willetts claimed that:

  • 34% of lone parents involved found jobs through friends and relatives, compared with 1% who credited the government's personal adviser system;
  • lone parents on income support were slightly more likely to find jobs without New Deal scheme;
  • the main effect of the scheme had been to flush out couples cohabiting while illegally claiming benefits.

(See also Daily Telegraph, June 1st 2000, p. 6)

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