Response - DWP: 21st Century Welfare

By: Kate Webb  Published: October 2010


Shelter does support many of the principles underlying this reform agenda, specifically attempts to simplify the benefits system to create a more personalised, responsive scheme, and to reduce the barriers to working that are experienced by the minority of unemployed HB claimants. If a system of Universal Credits were able to combine these, while maintaining the distinct important features of HB, we would support it.

Summary

However, we are very concerned that the consultation paper notes the changes proposed in the Budget 'set out the first steps in trying to achieve these aims' whereas there is significant evidence that they will do otherwise. There is little indication that the budget changes will improve claimants' ability to gain employment and some will lead to significant increases in the levels of poverty and its concentration. We instead hope that the department uses this reform process to re-consider some of the earlier proposed changes.

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