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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2002): Social Security - UK

DISABILITY LIVING ALLOWANCE AND DISABLED STUDENTS STUDYING ABROAD

M. Lavery

Disability Rights Bulletin, Spring 2002, p. 13-14

Article looks at the adverse impact that restrictions upon the payment of the disability living allowance (DLA) have on students living and studying abroad.

EXTRA WELFARE COSTS "OUTSTRIP" HEALTH CASH

P. Johnson

Daily Telegraph, Apr. 11th 2002, p. 4

Despite falling unemployment, welfare spending is expected to grow from £92.2bn in 1997 to a predicted £126.7bn in 2003. This increase of £34.5bn over seven years contrasts with a £33bn rise in education spending over the same period and a £28bn boost for health. The explosion in welfare costs has occurred in defiance of ministerial pledges to cut social security spending. Costs would be even higher if people entitled to claim had not been put off by the complexity of the system.

(See also Financial Times, Apr. 11th 2002, p.6)

NEW DATA SWAPPING POWERS BROACHED

P. Wintour

The Guardian, April 12th 2002, p. 6

New powers to swap and acquire confidential information on citizens, with or without consent, were tabled by the Cabinet Office yesterday. They would allow the handover of information on medical records, benefit payments, taxation and criminal records. Agencies including the DVLC and Passport Office would be entitled to swap information . The proposals, subject to controversy between government and civil liberty groups are contained in a paper published yesterday by the Performance and Innovation Unit. A draft bill will be published next year.

TAX CREDITS: DO THEY ADD UP?

D. Willetts and N. Hillman

London: Politeia, 2002

Authors present evidence showing that the system of tax credits introduced by Chancellor Gordon Brown is open to fraud and abuse and expensive to administer for both employers and taxpayers. It brings the state into new levels of intrusion into people's daily lives and is so complicated that levels of take up are very low.

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