Labour Research, vol.94, Mar.2005, p.21-22
The Labour government continues to use means testing to deliver key state benefits to pensioners, low paid workers, the unemployed and people with disabilities. However, anti-poverty campaigners argue that the complexity of means testing causes problems for effective delivery and puts people off claiming.
Work and Pensions Committee
London: TSO, 2005 (House of Commons papers, session 2004/05; HC43)
Report looks at implementation of the pension credit one year after its introduction, with particular reference to:
B. Walker and P. Niner
Public Administration, vol.83, 2005, p.47-66
In 2001 local authorities were given the power to award Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit claimants deemed to require additional assistance with their housing costs. The paper first argues that the Housing Benefit Service can be categorised as rule-bound before describing the DHP regime and the nature of the discretion that it affords. A brief review of the literature on discretionary decision making in public service organisations suggests four propositions in respect of DHP decision-making that the paper seeks to test. It concludes that Housing Benefit administrators do not appear to have experienced the difficulties that might have been expected.