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Paul Gregg to lead DWP Welfare Review

31 July 2008

Professor Paul Gregg of the Economics Department and CMPO is to lead a Department of Work and Pensions review of welfare reform. The review will advise Government on future extensions to recent welfare reforms aimed at getting people off welfare and back to work.

Professor Paul Gregg (Department of Economics and the CMPO) has been invited by the Department of Work and Pensions to lead a review of welfare reform options. James Purnell, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, claims that the conditions and sanctions for welfare payments introduced by the Government have played an important role in getting people off benefits and into work. He expects Professor Gregg's review to 'look at what we can do to further tailor the [welfare] system to provide the support and the sanctions these people need to get them off benefits and back into work.'

Professor Gregg explains: 'Over the last decade the welfare system has offered more support to get people back into work and expected more of people in return. This has been a central part of what has worked best in recent British welfare policy - with over a million fewer people on out-of-work benefits - while underpinning a fair deal of rights and responsibilities. The next phase of reform is to shape a far more personalised system, matching support with expectations of individuals that are effective, appropriate and challenging. I am delighted to be leading this review to set out such a vision and the steps that will be needed to get there.'

Specifically the review will look at:

  • Escalating conditions for the long term unemployed or those thought to be abusing the system.
  • Reasonable yet challenging conditions for those recovering, or adapting to a disability or health condition - drawing on expert medical advice.
  • Conditions that take account of the work potential and caring needs of whole families
  • Experience from across the world, including America, Denmark, Australia and the Netherlands, to take best practice to ensure the UK sanctions system has the most flexible approach to get people back into work.
  • How the latest behavioural economics can have an impact on individual motivation.

Link: DWP, Making work work for everyone.

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