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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2006): Social Security - UK - New Deal

Disabled people, the reserve army of labour and welfare reform

C. Grover and L. Piggott

Disability and Society, vol.20, 2005, p.705-717

Paper argues that changes over the past decade to UK labour market policy and social security benefits that affect disabled people can be interpreted as attempting to construct disability benefit recipients as part of the reserve army of labour. The aim of welfare reform under New Labour has been to increase the labour supply so that economic growth is not constrained by labour shortages and consequent wage inflation. In order to do this there is increasing pressure on disabled people through compulsory “work first” interviews and the New Deal to compete for paid employment at the earliest opportunity. At the same time financial incentives to take up paid work have increased in scope. The state has also tried to tackle the discrimination that disabled people face in the labour market through the Disability Discrimination Act and Access to Work. Thus income maintenance and labour market policy for disabled people are being dictated by the need of capital for more workers.

New Deal jobs higher than claimed

P. Bivand

Working Brief, issue 170, Dec./Jan. 2006, p.20-22

The Department for Work and Pensions is now able to use tax and national insurance records to produce statistics of people leaving the New Deals for jobs where they pay taxes. The new statistical data shows that more people have moved into jobs from the New Deals than could formerly be officially claimed.

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