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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2005): Social Security - UK

Blunkett to outline plans for benefit reform

B. Hall and N. Timmins

Financial Times, June 16th 2005, p.4

David Blunkett will attempt to convince Labour back-benchers that his controversial plans for welfare reform are a means of liberating the sick and disabled from a "culture of dependence and paternalism". In an interview, the Work and Pensions Secretary said that, while supporting those who needed care, he would be "tough on those who take the community for granted". The government will flesh out its plans for reform of incapacity benefit, which is claimed by 2.7 million people, with a green paper in the autumn followed by legislation next year.

Two million families hit by tax credit clawback

P. Inman

The Guardian, June 2nd 2005, p.2

Two million families are being forced to repay 2bn to the government - 1,028 on average each - after new figures revealed that a third of all tax credit awards were overpaid. Critics said the long awaited figures showed that the tax credit system was in danger of becoming discredited as families faced the prospect of "boom and bust" in their personal finances from overpayments one year and demands to claw back the credits the next. The figures, revealed by Revenue and Customs yesterday, show that out of a total of 5.7m tax credits made to families in 2003-04, 1.9m were overpaid.

(See also Financial Times, June 2nd 2005, p.2)

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