Joseph Rowntree Foundation: Cuts, Spending and Society

The JRF has produced a report on benefits for those of working age.

The paper aims to inform people about Jobseekers’ Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Incapacity Benefit and Disability Living Allowance.

They have produced it in a range of formats.

An 8 page summary

1 page infographic

4 page gallary

Debate page

Poverty Quiz

Press release

“Key points

• Of the approximately five million out-of-work, working-age adults currently receiving an income replacement benefit, about 50 per cent do so because of disability or ill-health (ESA or IB/IS), 30 per cent because of unemployment (JSA) and 20 per cent by virtue of being either a lone parent or a carer (IS).

• 1.8 million working-age adults (who overlap with this group) also receive a benefit because of their care and/or mobility needs (DLA).

• Working-age benefit claimants are disproportionately concentrated in the UK’s weakest local economies.

• After allowing for inflation, JSA and IS of £65.45 a week are worth what they were in 1997. £65.45 is equivalent to just 41 per cent of the Minimum Income Standard for a single working-age adult.

• The projected spending on income-replacement benefits (£20.2 billion) and DLA (£6.6 billion) in 2010/11, though large, accounts for only one seventh of the total bill for social security and tax credits in that year.

• Major reforms have been made to working-age benefits since October 2008, for lone parents andespecially for those who are disabled or ill. There is no doubt that these reforms have tightened the conditions for eligibility: what is unclear is by how much.

• The extension of ESA to existing claimants of incapacity benefits from autumn 2010 onwards strongly risks causing distress while doing little to increase employment.

• There are particular concerns that the health needs of mental health service users are not being taken fully into account under the new eligibility conditions.”

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