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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2006): Social Security - UK

G. Craig

Community Care, March 23rd-29th 2006, p.34-35

Local authorities expend much time, money and effort in making applications to the government’s Social Fund and meeting the needs of clients whose applications have been rejected. Research suggests that the overall costs are likely to be tens of millions of pounds a year, but these are largely hidden because local authorities have no clear operational policy framework for dealing with the Fund, and do not systematically collect data on the costs.

National Audit Office

London: TSO, 2006 (House of Commons papers, session 2005/06; HC941)

The Department for Work and Pensions serves a wide range of customers, including 28 million pensioners and benefit recipients. It pays out over £112 billion a year in benefits and pensions. This report considers the role of contact centres, which are a key element of the Department’s delivery chains, and which are being set up as part of a major transformation of its business. In particular it explores their contribution to Departmental performance, as well as whether they are cost-effective, accessible and provide a quality service.

N. Bateman

London: Routledge, 2006

The book aims to improve awareness among people working in social work and advice agencies about the skills required for effective welfare rights work, and offers guidance about how to develop a welfare rights service. It also covers core welfare rights skills, such as interviewing, legal research, negotiation and advocacy, and discusses the historical, social and economic forces which have shaped welfare rights practice as well as the politics of welfare.

H. Nugent & R. Bennett

Times, April 5th 2006, p.14

Huge overpayments of around £2m in “tax credits” for a second year in a row, and subsequent recovery attempts have led to penury for recipients and strong criticism of governments’ lack of foresight. Comments on the IT system and a case study are provided.

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