Five years of social security reforms in the UK
The current Labour Government was elected in 1997 with few specific social security proposals. This paper argues that after five years, consistent trends in social security policy have emerged: there is a willingness to increase benefits; a “work-first” focus; increasing centrality for benefits that relate to ‘need’, which has involved expanded means-testing; a downgrading of contributory benefits; and, a desire to reduce poverty by redistributing to particular demographic groups. Many of these characteristics of Labour policy, such as the size of caseloads or aggregate expenditure, are yet to show up in various aggregate data, and we argue that this is probably due to various counter-balancing socio-economic changes since 1997. Looking forward, we discuss what the introduction of new forms of means-test might achieve. We also suggest that it might be considered odd that Labour has left Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit unreformed, especially since a good chance to reform them without significant cost or low-income losers, has been missed.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2002|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (+44) 020 7291 4800
Fax: (+44) 020 7323 4780
Web page: http://www.ifs.org.ukEmail:
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Postal: The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- R. Walker & M. Wiseman, . "Britain's New Deal and the Next Round of U.S. Welfare Reform," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1223-01, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
- Chris Giles & Paul Johnson & Julian McCrae, 1997. "Housing benefit and financial returns to employment for tenants in the social sector," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 18(1), pages 49-72, February.
- Mike Brewer, 2001. "Comparing in-work benefits and the reward to work for families with children in the US and the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 41-77, January.
- Robert Walker & Michael Wiseman, 1997. "The possibility of a British earned income tax credit," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 18(4), pages 401-425, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:02/12. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Stephanie Seavers)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.