Optimising welfare reform outcomes for social tenants. Understanding the financial management issues for different tenant groups

2 Nov 2012

The policy background is the UK Coalition Government’s introduction of radical reforms to the welfare and benefits system, encapsulated in the Welfare Reform Act of 2012. These reforms are shaped by an over-arching drive to “make work pay” and reduce the number of workless households, while also simplifying the welfare system and cutting welfare expenditure.   The goal is to reduce poverty and increase social mobility through mitigating barriers to work, with welfare reform intended to make it easier and more financially rewarding to move between benefit dependence and work. Against the background of the era of austerity, policy is also firmly focused on achieving cost savings through shrinking welfare expenditure, reducing the numbers claiming benefits and centralising the administration. Reform is intended to encourage benefit recipients to take greater personal responsibility for their finances to increase readiness for work. Reform seeks to encourage benefit recipients to increase their personal responsibility for their finances by taking greater control over incoming funds and achieving more independence in its management. The intention is that this will increase benefit recipients’ readiness for work and mitigate financial difficulties in making the transition into employment.

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