Welfare safety net response16 Jan 2019
The Work and Pensions commission recently initiated an inquiry into the UK’s welfare safety net, asking for written submissions on the state of the system and its fitness for purpose in 2018 Britain.
There was an impressive response from the Civil Society sector to the inquiry echoing concerns about increasing poverty and deprivation. This evidence, along with responses from the public sector, academics and individuals, has been published by the committee.
The inquiry asked a number of questions, broadly summarised as:
- What do we know about chronic deprivation and hardship in the UK?
- Do Jobcentre Plus procedures and benefit delays play a role?
We gathered information from civil society and the public sector to help respond to these questions. Our response was written in consideration of the impact that welfare reforms have on individuals, and consequently civil society organisations, based in London.
As 4 in 10: London’s Child Poverty Network explains in a recent report, many Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations are ‘picking up the pieces’ of the impacts of diminishing state support.
Whilst by no means extensive, our response brought together information from reputable sources, using data to address the primary questions put forward by the inquiry. A focus has been placed on research and analysis drawing on respected, large and nationally representative data sources.
Our Key findings
- There has been an increase in chronic deprivation and hardship in the UK in recent years.
- This has been linked to spending reforms and changes in welfare policy.
- The reforms disproportionately impact vulnerable people and those with protected characteristics, including women, children, disabled people, people with mental health conditions, and people from ethnic minority backgrounds.
For our full analysis please view our full response.