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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2007): Social security - UK

Child support: what the white paper doesn't say

D. Burrows

Family Law, vol.37, 2007, p. 242-246

The White Paper A new system of child maintenance makes proposals for the reform of its calculation and collection from non-resident parents, but does not deal at all with the review and appeals process. It is vital that the system includes an effective and fair judicial review process; the one at present in place is confusing to both lawyers and laymen.

Hanging on the telephone?

J. Pugsley

Public Finance, Mar. 9th-15th 2007, p. 24-25

The Department for Work and Pensions' helplines were severely criticised in a 2006 report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee which found that millions of calls were either not answered promptly or not answered at all. This article reports on various initiatives aimed at improving the call centres.

Review of the Independent Living Funds

M. Henwood and B. Hudson

Department for Work and Pensions, 2007

The original Independent Living Fund (ILF) was set up in 1988 as an early experiment with 'cash-for-care' for disabled people. This review considered how the ILF fits with the modern concepts of individual budgets and self-directed support. It analysed in detail the complex operational framework of the Fund, and found that:

  • The fund is a little known scheme
  • Its eligibility criteria make access far from straightforward
  • ILF cash can only be used for personal care and domestic assistance, which is out of step with current concepts of self-directed support
  • The ILF, operating alongside mainstream services, needlessly duplicates bureaucracy and administrative systems

In the light of these problems it recommends that the ILF should in the long term be integrated within a national system of personalised budgets.

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