Help!: refashioning welfare reform to help fight the recession

Document type
Field, Frank; White, Partick
Date of publication
27 January 2009
Social Policy, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Social welfare
Material type

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This report, the fourth in the series on welfare for Reform by Frank Field MP, looks at time-limiting benefits and offering higher contribution-based benefits to long-term employed. Radical reform is urgently needed. There are four key pillars.

First, the only test of a person's willingness to work is the offer of a job. Claimants who turn down reasonable job offers should have their benefits stopped. Benefits must be time-limited, for young, single people in areas where there have been net job gains.

Second, decisions about who gets benefits and how much they receive should be made locally, by freeing the Jobcentre Plus network from central control. People who know the local job market are best placed to get claimants into work - and to spot benefit fraud.

Third, the use of training as a sanction should be abolished. The value of training must be restored.

Fourth, long term workers who lose their job should have much higher Jobseeker's Allowance with the benefit dependent on the number of contribution years. Requalifying for benefit should also be made much easier.

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