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Some measures in welfare White Paper welcome but areas of concern remain

Responding to the launch of the Universal Credit: Welfare that Works White Paper today, Stephen Overell, associate director at The Work Foundation, said:

“There are elements in this package we welcome - making work pay and easing the transition from welfare, in particular. However we are concerned about some of the more punitive elements. Mandatory Work Activity is unlikely to help people find work and offers little that an employer will value.

“The aim of simplifying the benefits system is widely endorsed but the White Paper unveiled today indicates how complicated this will be. New information technology will be required, the new conditionality regime could cause problems as could the proposed switch to a system of claiming by household rather than by individuals. In addition, new work programmes will need to be created and the White Paper does not make clear how this will be tackled. Finally, the idea of a single benefit masks an extremely wide array of different calculations and payments.

“Another major factor that will influence the success of the government’s plans will be how the labour market behaves. Reforming benefits will achieve little unless enough jobs are created within a feasible commuting distance.”


Notes to editors

1.   Stephen Overell is available for interviews and briefings.  
2.   The Work Foundation is the leading independent authority on work and its future. It aims to improve the quality of working life and the effectiveness of organisations by equipping leaders, policymakers and opinion-formers with evidence, advice, new thinking and networks.

Media enquiries:

Tom Phillips 0207 976 3554

Nasreen Memon 020 7976 3507 or 07825 527 036

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