The Benefit System, Welfare to Work

Public Accounts Committee Impact on benefit changes

Public Accounts Committee Impact on benefit changes

The Commons Public Accounts Committee publishes its 62nd Report on the basis of evidence from the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs, HM Treasury, as well as Age UK, Child Poverty Action Group, and the London School of Economics.  

…The Chair The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, today said:

“The Government spends at least £87 billion a year on means-tested benefits, and the poorest households rely on them for a third of their income. So it is crucial that government gets the design and implementation of means-tested benefits right, to protect vulnerable claimants as well as the taxpayer.

If its fundamental reforms of the benefits system are to work, the Government must learn from past experience and coordinate benefits more effectively.

At present, there are nine central government departments and 152 local authorities administering 30 different means-tested benefits, yet there is no one body responsible for coordinating means-testing across government.

There needs to be a single body responsible for overseeing the interaction between different benefits, means tested or not, and ensuring consistency and value for money.

A key aim of Universal Credit is improving claimants’ incentives to work. At the moment the effect of some means-tested benefits on work incentives is not clear. Many claimants receive multiple benefits and departments need to understand how incentives are affected by the system as a whole

The Report
Summary here

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