Welfare reform in the UK: 1997–2007
AbstractThis paper presents a tour of welfare reforms in the UK since the last change of government, summarising the most important changes in active labour market policies (ALMPS), and in measures intended to strengthen financial incentives to work. It argues that developments in the UK’s active labour market policies occurred in two broad phases: first, the Government sought to strengthen ALMPs for those individuals deemed to be unemployed, through the New Deal programme. Second, the Government has reformed benefits for individuals traditionally viewed as inactive and thus excused job search activity, such as lone parents, and the sick and disabled. Accompanying these have been changes to direct taxes, tax credits and welfare benefits aiming to strengthen financial work incentives. However, financial work incentives have been strengthened by less than might be expected given the early rhetoric: the expansion in family-based tax credits have weakened the financial work incentives of (potential) second earners in families with children, many more workers now face combined marginal tax and tax credit withdrawal rates in excess of 60 per cent than a decade ago, and a desire to achieve broad reductions in relative child poverty has led the Government to increase substantially income available to non-working families with children. We also summarise evaluations of three important UK welfare-to-work reforms (WFTC, NDYP and Pathways to Work), but without comparing their efficacy.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2008:12.
Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: 23 Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Welfare reform; Tax credits;
Other versions of this item:
- H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-07-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-HAP-2008-07-05 (Economics of Happiness)
- NEP-LAB-2008-07-05 (Labour Economics)
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