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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2003): Social Security - UK

CAMPAIGNERS HAIL TAX CREDITS

Anon

Labour Research, vol. 91, Nov 2002, p.14-16

Outlines changes in the tax credit system designed to "make work pay" for people on low incomes. Two new credits, the Child Tax Credit and the Working Tax Credit replace the old system. Low paid workers without children will benefit from tax credits for the first time. Child Tax Credit will be extended to parents on higher incomes. Altogether, new money is being put into the system.

HEALTHY START: PROPOSALS FOR REFORM OF THE WELFARE FOOD SCHEME

Department of Health

London: 2002

Healthy Start aims to improve the health of women and children in low income groups and will replace the Welfare Food Scheme. It is proposed to use fixed face value vouchers, instead of the current milk tokens. The value of the voucher will be broadly equivalent to the value of the seven pints of liquid milk provided under the present scheme. The voucher will be used to buy fruit, vegetables, and cereals as well as milk and liquid formula. Families will register for the scheme through health professionals who will also offer advice on nutrition.

HIDDEN UNEMPLOYMENT STILL A LIVE ISSUE

P Bivand

Working Brief, no. 139, 2002, p.20-21

Article explores the steady flow of people from the claimant count to disability benefits such as Incapacity Benefit. This leads to their being designated as chronically sick instead of as unemployed.

INCAPACITY BENEFITS AND EMPLOYMENT POLICY

J M Orszag and D J Snower

Labour Economics, vol. 9, 2002, p.631-641

Paper explores the employment implications of allowing people the opportunity of using a portion of their incapacity benefits to provide employment vouchers for employers that hire them. The analysis indicates that introducing this policy could increase employment, raise the incomes of incapacity benefits recipients and reduce employers' labour costs.

JUST MAYBE, BABY

M Taylor and W Paxton

Public Finance, Oct 25th-31st 2002, p.30-31

There is increasing interest from both the Labour government and the Conservative opposition in asset-based welfare. Government proposals include Child Trust Funds which would enable 18 year olds to start life with an asset of £3,000 to £4,000. The Tory proposed Lifetime Savings Account would be a government sponsored account aimed at helping people through periods of financial difficulty. For every pound that an individual deposited in the account, the government would make a matching contribution.

NEW BILL TO TARGET ANTISOCIAL ACTIONS

A Travis and P Wintour

The Guardian, November 11th 2002, p.1

A new antisocial behaviour bill is to revive controversial plans to cut the social security benefits of the parents of tearaway children and nuisance tenants. The sanctions are to be accompanied by parenting orders for those who fail to tackle children's truancy from school.

PLANS TO CUT CHILD BENEFIT FOR TRUANTS DROPPED

P Webster

The Times, November 14th 2002, p.14

Plans to dock child benefit payments from the parents of persistent truants have been quietly dropped and will not feature in the new legislative programme, according to the Queen's speech.

UNHAPPY BIRTHDAY

M Smulian and M Delargy

Roof, Nov/Dec 2002, p.18-19

Summarizes twenty years of chaos in the administration of housing benefit.

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