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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2001): Social Security - UK

BACKBENCHERS ATTACK "MOTs" FOR DISABLED

N Timmins and B Groom

Financial Times, July 5th 2001, p.2.

Backbench MPs have strongly attacked government plans to subject disabled people to regular medical checks in return for benefit.

(See also Times, July 5th 2001, p.1; Guardian, July 5th 2001, p.2; Daily Telegraph, July 5th 2001, p.1+2).

DISABLED TESTS WILL BE EASED

P Wintour

Guardian, July 6th 2001, p.8.

The Department of Work and Pensions has admitted that Incapacity Benefit claimants already face a regime of more stringent medical checks than the three-yearly reassessment recently proposed by ministers.

FURY AT "MOT" BENEFIT TEST FOR DISABLED

J Sherman

Times, July 4th 2001, p.1.

Reports that the Welfare Reform Bill that is to be introduced later this year will include changes to entitlement to Incapacity Benefit. All new claimants will be awarded the benefit for a fixed period of three years. If they reapply they will have to undergo a stringent medical test. If they are found fit enough to work they will be put onto Jobseekers' Allowance and told to find work.

(See also Financial Times, July 4th 2001, p.5; Guardian, July 4th 2001, p.2; Independent, July 4th 2001, p.2; Daily Telegraph, July 4th 2001, p.1+2).

MIND THE GAP: EXPLORING THE IMPLEMENTATION DEFICIT IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE STRICTER BENEFITS REGIME

M Blackmore

Social Policy and Administration, vol.35, 2001, p.145-162.

Article discusses Labour's policy document, 'New Deal for a New Britain'. It suggests that the new social security policies have not been implemented as rigorously as policy statements and commentators have implied. It looks specifically at the stricter benefits regime prior to the introduction of the Jobseekers Allowance, its enforcement afterwards and its implementation deficit. Article discusses the introduction of managerial policies and the effect these have had on the overall, 'administration of active labour market policies'.

NEW LABOUR AND RESTRUCTURING WELFARE: WHAT'S IN IT FOR WOMEN?

G Scott and U Brown

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol.20, no.7, 2000, p.51-65.

The New Labour government of 1997-2001 promised women help to rebalance their family - work lives and support to enter the labour market. But in entering paid work they are often faced with insecure support for their children and low-paid work in the service sector.

NO BENEFIT TO ANYBODY

P Toynbee

Guardian, July 6th 2001, p.17.

Argues that there are high levels of people on Incapacity Benefit in unemployment blackspots. In areas where there are plenty of jobs, most moderately disabled people already work. Suggests that job creation programmes in areas of high unemployment would make better sense that compulsory medical checks to flush out malingerers.

THE RISE AND FALL OF THE UK's FIRST TAX CREDIT: THE WORKING FAMILIES TAX CREDIT 1998-2000

E McLaughlin, J Trewsdale and N McCay

Social Policy and Administration, vol.35, 2001, p.163-180.

This article reviews the brief life of the Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) which was introduced in 1998/99 and which is due to be replaced by another tax credit scheme in 2003. It looks at the WFTC's structure and implementation; the marginal tax rates and work incentives under WFTC; methods of payment; the child care tax credit; potential for eligibility in Northern Ireland; and its broader parameters.

WORKING WOMEN

J Finch

Guardian, June 29th 2001, p.17.

Reports that a new task force is to be set up to investigate how more flexible working practices can be introduced for parents with young children. They will be given a legal right to ask to work flexible hours, but employers will have a legal right to refuse.

(See also Independent, June 29th 2001, p.8; Guardian, June 29th 2001, p.8).