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

P. Rosenthal and R. Peccei

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol.19, 2006, p.67-78

Article investigates the reaction of front-line staff in Jobcentre Plus to the relabelling of benefits recipients as customers. Data from semi-structured interviews suggest that the majority of front-line staff are aware of and at least superficially accepting of the change. However advisers’ more substantive view of the new role is characterised by a high degree of ambiguity and tension. This may be an inescapable product of the contradictory elements of a role characterised at least as much by heightened obligation and standardised entitlement as by notions of individual choice and rights.

N. Branosky

Working Brief, issue 171, 2006, p.16-17

The 2006 Green Paper on welfare reform increases the pressure on lone parents to look for work. Key proposals are:

  • Work-focused interviews every three months for lone parents who have been claiming income support for a year, and whose youngest child is at least 11 years of age
  • Work-focused interviews every six months for lone parents who have been claiming income support for a year, and whose youngest child less than 11 years of age
  • A new Work Related Activity Premium of £20.00 a week so that lone parents are better off if they take serious steps towards preparing for work
  • Work with employers to develop work taster programmes for lone parents
  • Exploration of ways in which Jobcentre Plus can increase support for lone parents who are moving into work.

Article critically evaluates these proposals.

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