ScraperWiki Classic is now read-only.

But don’t worry! You can transfer this scraper to Morph.io if you want to continue editing it.

Transfer to Morph.io
It looks like this scraper is broken!

On its last run it generated the following error: HTTPError: HTTP Error 403: Forbidden

Fix this scraper

Current status

Idle – next run ASAP

Last run Failed!

1 week, 1 day ago

Scraped 1 page from www.dwp.gov.uk

About this scraper

This scraper has no description.

This scraper is public

Anyone can see this scraper, and any registered user can edit it.

Users who have contributed to this scraper:

body date_scraped permalink minister_name title given_on department where
Content2 November 2011The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MPMinister for EmploymentSmall business at the heart of drive for growthFederation of Small Business London Regional EventWednesday 2 November 2011[Check against delivery]Good evening ladies and gentlemen.Every month it falls to me to be the Government minister who appears on the media to respond to the unemployment figures. In the eighteen months that I’ve been doing the job, it’s been a bit of an up and down task. We’ve had good news. And we’ve had bad news. And as the months have gone by, it has become more and more clear to me that Britain’s unemployment challenge is going to be right at the heart of the national debate in the coming months.It’s not just about politics. It’s about the lives and futures of millions of our fellow citizens.It’s also very easy when you are Employment Minister to latch on to the big announcements. Thousands of new jobs at Sainsburys. A new engine plant for Jaguar Land Rover that will create hundreds of new high quality manufacturing jobs in the Midland.All good news for Britain.But they are not the things that determine our employment future. The future of British business and of those unemployment figures lies in this room tonight – in the small businesses that are the heart of our economy, and which employ most of our workforce.So I have a very personal vested interest in your success.And I believe we need to build an enterprise culture that will give you the best possible chance of succeeding.But let me start by saying that I know and understand how tough it is. I lived through the last recession in small business, in one company that didn’t make it, and another that came pretty close when its biggest customer went bust. It’s tough when you don’t know where the money is going to come from to pay the bills at the end of the month.And for those running small businesses, it’s been much tougher this time.There are many lessons to learn from the economic events of the last few years.But to me the most straightforward and fundamental is this.You can only create growth and prosperity through innovation and enterprise.Anything else is an illusion – and we are now living through the consequences of an illusion in many parts of the world.And that’s why the next decade has to be different to the last.We have to be a nation where enterprise is at the heart of everything we do.Not unfettered and uncaring capitalism.But a nation that recaptures the spirit that made so many British businesses world leaders.Where people worked hard, achieved success and shared the fruits of that success with those less fortunate than themselves.My family were all manufacturers. My mother’s family made high quality glass in Birmingham that was sold around the world. My father’s family came from the mill towns of Lancashire, from generations of entrepreneurs who built successful businesses, and reinvested the profits in building great municipal and public institutions – or in building better housing – to provide a better life for their workers and for those who could not work.It’s that combination of free enterprise and social justice that needs to be at the heart of the future of this country.And it’s what characterises the membership of the FSB. Entrepreneurs up and down the country who work hard to run their businesses, but also find the time to put something back into their own communities.And I believe our job as a Government is to create a Britain in which that spirit of enterprise and society can flourish.Let’s be clear. We have some great foundations to build on. Last week I was in Pudsey visiting a great manufacturing success story, a firm selling state of the art air conditioning units to a quite extraordinary range of customers around the world – from the French army to the Russian Railways to Saudi Telecom. Recently I was in Northampton to see a new small firm machining some of the most precise automotive components in the world.A Britain that captures a real spirit of enterprise can be a world beater.But that will only happen if Government gets out of the way.It’s not laws and regulations that create world beating businesses. It’s committed and dedicated teams of people, bosses and workers working together, going the extra mile to deliver excellence. It’s about people taking personal responsibility for getting something done, not looking to others to take the lead. And it’s about Government knowing when it can add value and when it holds things back.I think we have a long way to go.The culture of interference in this country is deep rooted.For year after year businesses have been drowned in regulations, in guidelines, in new laws.All introduced by people believing that they were doing the right thing.But in doing so doing precisely the wrong thing.You can’t protect someone in the workplace if their job no longer exists, if it’s now being done by someone in another country.Business taxes have been too high.We’ve watched while bigger companies decamped overseas. But of course smaller firms don’t have that option. They just pay the bill.Now is the time to begin the process of change. To build that enterprise Britain that we so desperately need if we are to create the jobs of the future.We’ve made a start already.The headline rate of corporation tax is coming down to the lowest level among the major economies.We’re targeting financial support towards manufacturing, infrastructure investment and research and development through the regional growth fund.We’ve revived and modernised the enterprise zone model to encourage new investment in parts of the country where the private sector is too weak.We’re changing the rules on unfair dismissal to stop employees going to a tribunal until they have been with you for two years.We’ve stopped health and safety inspections for low risk businesses.We’ve introduced the New Enterprise Allowance to support a new generation of business start ups.We’ve revisited the pension proposals brought forward after the Turner report, and have made changes to help small business.But it’s only a start.And I believe we need to go much further and much faster.There are two ways I believe that I can, in my current role, help in that process.The first is in the area of business regulation for which I have responsibility – health and safety.I think good health and safety is vital to good business. In a world where so much depends on brand and reputation, serious injuries and worse in the workplace can do huge damage to a company’s reputation.Britain has the best record on real health and safety in Europe. It’s a record we should be proud of and should aim to retain.But Britain has one of the worst records for pointless health and safety red tape in Europe. That’s a record we should aim to lose as quickly as possible.Last year Lord Young recommended a series of changes that will ease the burden on business – ranging from simplified guidelines for retailers to a new system of accreditation for health and safety consultants that will outlaw cowboy advisers, to changes to the justice system to deter trivial legal cases. We’ve already implemented many of them, and legislation will be passed in the next session of Parliament to put the rest in place.But we’re going further than that. Later this month Professor Ragnar Löfstedt, head of risk management at Kings College London, will make a further set of recommendations aimed at simplifying the current regulatory regime, reducing the risk of trivial legal action and creating a more consistent system for businesses – so you aren’t told one thing in one town and another in another.I intend to press ahead with changes as quickly as possible.And when we have published his report here, Professor Löfstedt and I will be heading to Brussels to start a fight for change there. Because whilst there are many things that we can change ourselves, we also have to deal with the European dimension of health and safety law.From there the tide of regulation seems endless. It will hold back growth. It will cost jobs. It will make Europe more uncompetitive. And it has to stop.My philosophy on health and safety is very simple. We should be tough on employers who risk death or serious injury. But we should leave the rest to work with as little interference as possible.And my aim is to rebuild our regulatory system so it does just that.There’s one other thing I want to touch on tonight. It’s all about those unemployment figures. By far the biggest part of my job is to get the unemployed back to work, particularly those who have been struggling on the fringes for a long long time.More than anything, that is why we need an enterprise focused strategy and an economy that is growing steadily again.But we can’t just expect businesses to hire the unemployed regardless. What business needs more than anything else when recruiting is certainty. The knowledge that you’ve got someone who will turn up and go the extra mile for you.So tonight I want to make you an offer. I want to offer you free membership of Britain’s biggest employment dating service.In June we launched the Work Programme.It’s got a number of biggests attached to it.It’s probably the biggest welfare to work programme this country has ever seen.It’s almost certainly the biggest payment by results scheme in the world.It’s also designed to make a real and lasting difference to long term unemployment in Britain.Teams of specialist organisations all over the country providing personalised back to work support at their own expense, and only being paid when they succeed, not just in getting someone back to work, but in helping them stay there for as long as 26 months.But back to you.Recruitment is a grind.Money spent on advertising.Too many CVs, or sometimes none at all.The slog of sifting them, and hoping you’ve picked the right one.Wouldn’t you prefer a service that did that for you for free?That’s what the Work Programme providers can do for you.They can get to know you and your business.They can get to know all the potential recruits.And then they’ll bring you a small selection to choose from.Doesn’t that sound a better way to do business.So if you want your free membership, take a look at our website, or get in touch with my office, and we’ll put you in touch with your local providers.Ladies and GentlemenThere’s no one magic bullet that will transform the prospects of business.That enterprise focused society is a giant jigsaw puzzle.Made up of small pieces that can make a real difference.My commitment to you is that we will do everything we can to put that jigsaw together, as quickly as we possibly can.Thank you.   None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/02-11-11.shtml Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP Small business at the heart of drive for growth 2011-11-02 Department for Work and Pensions Small business at the heart of drive for growth
ContentWednesday 27th March 2013Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of State for Work and PensionsCapita Welfare Reform Conference, Edinburgh[Check against delivery]IntroductionIt is a pleasure to be here today.All across the UK, few issues provoke as much debate as welfare reform.But then few issues matter as much to our society.Our welfare state is not simply a question of institutions and systems.It is, and always has been, about people...... providing effective support to the most vulnerable, and helping those who have fallen on hard times to get back on their feet.Social costsThis Government is on the side of the welfare system – we believe in the values that created it and recognise that these are common values across the UK. We all benefit from having the welfare safety net to fall back on.But equally, when welfare doesn’t work, we all feel it.We feel the social costs:The four and a half million people of working age, trapped on out of work benefits – 450,000 of them in Scotland.The 1 million people on sickness benefits, unseen for a decade or more.The 3.7 million workless households, 367,000 in Scotland...... and the 1.8 million children living in households where no one works – 145,000 in Scotland alone.Across the UK, in communities blighted by disadvantage, as a whole section of people are cut adrift from the rest of society...... what we are left with is a tragic waste of human potential and lost opportunity.Welfare spendingAs well as the social cost, we must also acknowledge that this entrenched dependency weighs heavily on the public purse.Welfare is vitally important, but the reality is that it comes at a cost.Across the UK, we spend over £200 billion annually on benefits, tax credits and pensions…… an amount that increased by 60% under the last Government, from £122 billion to £197 billion, some £3,000 a year for every household in Britain by 2010.The rising cost of paying benefits was one significant reason for the increase in the UK’s deficit – a hole in the government finances worth 11.2% of GDP in 2009/10, unprecedented in peace-time.Hard decisionsThis Government has taken hard decisions on tax and spending in order to piece our economy back together.If there were ever to be an independent Scotland, that new Scottish state would not be immune from similarly hard and difficult choices.The Scottish Government’s own independent Fiscal Commission talks of the challenge of “ensuring long-term fiscal sustainability”...... indeed, the UK Government’s commitment to restoring a strong economy is not separate from our commitment to a resilient welfare state.We need only look to Ireland to see how far the two are linked.Back in 2008, Scotland’s First Minister spoke about Scotland drawing a lesson from Ireland, “the Celtic Tiger economy”.So too now... only the lesson we learn is of the vital measures Ireland has had to take as an independent nation, in order to stabilise their banks and maintain competitiveness.In the face of the global financial crisis and the country’s plummeting GDP, Ireland’s leaders have had to implement difficult public expenditure cuts.Doing so has hit benefit recipients hard...... with social welfare cuts of around £680 million for the year 2010, and £780 million for the year 2011.For a workless couple with two children, this equates to an actual cut in income of around £900 a year.For a childless couple, where one person is caring for a spouse in receipt of Disability Allowance, it is a cut of £840 a year.And it is not only Ireland having to make these cuts. Other countries - Spain, Portugal - have found themselves having to do the same.In contrast... with a broader and more diverse economy, the UK has been better able to cope with shocks such as the Eurozone crisis and volatile oil revenues... whilst keeping our welfare safety net in place.Across the UK – contrary to the headlines – all those on benefits will still see cash increases in every year of this Parliament.Life changeA sound economy and a properly structured social settlement go side by side.And when it comes to welfare, the point is not justhow much we spend.......buthow we spend it.Instead of big spending to grab media headlines and placate interest groups in the short term, I believe that for every pound we spend, we should be asking – how does it promote lasting and positive life change?We need to look at the results that welfare spending is having in terms of transforming people’s lives...... investing in a dynamic system that promotes work as the best route out of poverty, setting people on course to an independent life beyond the state.Benefit capThat is what our welfare changes are all about.First, the benefit cap – removing perhaps the greatest catch in the current system... the fact that for too many people, it pays more to languish on benefits than to enter work.We are exempting the most vulnerable, including war widows and those with severe disabilities.But by capping the total amount others can receive in benefits, we restore the incentive for them to move back to work...... restoring fairness to those who work hard and pay into the system in the process.As we are move towards implementing this change, we are already seeing signs of this positive behavioural change.Housing reformMuch has also been said about the impact of our Housing reforms in Scotland, with claims that we are cutting the Housing Benefit bill.But here are the facts:Housing Benefit spending doubled in the last decade from £11 billion to £23 billion, our reforms are starting arrest that rate of growth.House building under the last Government had fallen to its lowest peacetime level since the 1920s, down by almost a third, with the fall in Scotland even worse than that in England.There are 188,000 households on waiting lists in Scotland, and overcrowding stands at 60,000...... meanwhile 80,000 homes in the social rented sector are under-occupied, with taxpayers having to subsidise those spare bedrooms.So the real story here is not the impact of our reforms, but the failure of past housing policy both North and South of the border.I am not saying that ending the spare room subsidy will not present some difficult cases, which is why we have allocated an additional £370 million in Discretionary Housing Payments to help manage the transition... £10 million to Scottish local authorities in the first year.But let me remind you that tenants on Housing Benefit in the private sector do not receive payments for spare bedrooms - it is only fair to taxpayers to bring the social sector back into line.WorkAs well as ending the snags that have too often trapped people in dependency, we are also investing in dynamic reforms to get people into work.From the Work Programme – paying providers by the results they achieve in supporting those further from the labour market into work and keeping them there...... to Universal Jobmatch – an online jobsearching and matching service which is already revolutionising how claimants find work, with over 2 million already registered...... and the introduction of the Personal Independence Payment, focusing support on those who need it most and helping those on DLA and PIP to gain the independence they need through entering work...... our purpose is to target support where it will make the greatest difference, giving people the tools they need to regain control of their own lives.Universal CreditPerhaps the most important single change will be the introduction of Universal Credit – starting with the Pathfinder in April, followed by a progressive national roll-out from October...... making work pay, at each and every hour.In Scotland, around 300,000 households will have higher entitlements, gaining £162 more per month on average...... with around 80% of gainers are in the bottom 40% of the income distribution, meaning support is better targeted at those most in need.Together with significant increases in the Personal Tax Allowance, now rising to £10,000 by 2014...... benefiting 2.2 million people in Scotland and lifting 224,000 out of tax altogether...... this is what dynamic investment is all about – making sure that those who take positive steps towards financial independence see the rewards.Single TierBut the changes we are putting in place are not just about improving the prospects of workers today.They are also about securing their position in future, as they enter retirement.We are already successfully rolling out auto enrolment – helping up to 9 million people into a workplace pension scheme to make saving the norm.But auto-enrolment won’t work unless it pays to save – which is what the Single Tier pension is all about.For too long, the UK has spent rather than saved, one of the main reasons we see our economy in so much debt.Whilst restoring our economy today, it is even more important that we put the UK on a sound financial footing going forward.As the Chancellor announced in last week’s Budget, the Single Tier will be introduced from April 2016 – meaning after 60 years of tinkering with a more and more complicated pensions system which penalised savers...... we can finally deliver the vital reforms that the UK needs.You see, Universal Credit and the single tier are two sides of the same coin – ensuring that it pays, first to work and then it pays to save...... delivering a fairer social settlement, underpinned by sound public finances.An independent ScotlandIt is my belief that we are better placed to achieve this, doing so together.All across the UK, our ability to support those in retirement is something we should be proud of.By shouldering the responsibility on broad shoulders, even in difficult times the Coalition has been able topledge its support to UK pensioners now...... introducing the Triple Lock to protect their incomes against inflation, and guaranteeing universal pensioner benefits for all...... and toimprove pension provision for the future – through reforms such as auto-enrolment and the Single Tier.Were Scotland to leave the UK for good, an independent’s Scotland’s pension provision would no longer be a shared obligation.Let me quote Finance Minister John Swinney, on the issue of future pensions:"at present HM Treasury and DWP absorb the risk…in future we will assume responsibility for managing such pressure. This will imply more volatility in overall spending than at present".Not my words – the words of John Swinney, who has apparently already warned his Cabinet colleagues in a private note about the risks of underwriting Scottish state pensions.So John Swinney and the SNP already admit that it is the broad shoulders of the United Kingdom that underpin the fundamental solidarity of our pensions system.“Volatility” and “responsibility” - two simple words but what lies behind them is of enormous importance.Pensions challengePeople in Scotland thinking of their grandparents and parents, or indeed looking ahead to their own retirement, have no doubt been wondering what such casual references mean.As a UK Secretary of State who knows only too well the cost of paying pensions... let me tell you what it means.Ultimately, all of the UK faces a challenge to pay for future pensions.But Scotland has an older demographic than the rest of the UK AND an old age support ratio predicted to deteriorate faster over the next 50 years.Currently, there are32working age people supporting every 10 pensioners both in Scotland and the UK overall.By 2060 this is expected to fall to26 working age people in the UK.Scotland, however, sees a bigger fall, to just23 working age people per 10 pensioners... which in turn comes at a much greater cost.Overall, the proportion of UK GDP spent on pensioner benefits is projected to rise by1.8 percentage points over the next 50 years – from 6.9% to 8.7%.But in Scotland the increase is much worse – a2.8 percentage point rise from 7.2% to 10.0% – costing an extra £3.6bn in today's terms... and roughly an enormous 20% increase in Scotland’s overall welfare spending.For the benefit of the Scottish people worried about “more volatility”, let me put that another way:In today's terms, in 50 years time, it will cost each working age person in the UK£700 more per year to pay for state pensions and other pensioner benefits than it does now.In Scotland, the position is much worse – it will cost another£1,100 per working age person to pay for pensioner benefits.So the SNP have some serious questions to answer.First and foremost, how would they pay for this?Extra money would be required to meet Scotland’s demographic pressures.Whilst both oil and gas revenues are projected to decrease significantly over the next decade, and remain minimal thereafter.So having laid out the facts, the question mark remains:Higher taxes? More borrowing?Or in the minds of Scottish people: “if Scotland goes it alone, will I pay more... or will the state pay more?”The question of future pensions provision is a legitimate one... and in the context of welfare, I believe the biggest single question that those seeking independence must answer.ConclusionUnited... we are in a stronger position to respond these challenges...... sharing both the resources and risks...... able to sustain welfare spending on the back of broader shoulders.The great strength of the UK’s welfare system is that help goes to the parts of the country where the need is greatest.Today, for some benefits, that may be in parts of Scotland.Tomorrow, as circumstances change, it may be somewhere else.Wherever, the commitment is the same – a strength of the UK that is widely recognised in Scotland.So when people here come to cast their vote in the referendum, I hope they will vote for a Scotland that continues to play a central role in our United Kingdom....… and one that would not allow a disproportionate burden to fall on people working in Scotland to pay for the increasing cost of pensions.Pulling together when times are tough.Working together, so that everyone has the chance to play a full part in our shared future.  Together, united in a common purpose for the common good...... we can be sure that there is a secure welfare safety net in place now...... and one which will endure in future.  None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2013/27-03-13.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Capita Welfare Reform Conference, Edinburgh 2013-03-27 Department for Work and Pensions Capita Welfare Reform Conference, Edinburgh
ContentTuesday 12 March 2013Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of State for Work and PensionsRecovery Festival[Check against delivery]IntroductionIt is a pleasure to be here today.I’d like to start by thanking the Recovery Partnership for organising today’s festival...... and also to express my gratitude to Noreen Oliver.Noreen is a remarkable woman who has single-handedly changed the debate – focusing it on setting people free from their drug and alcohol addiction and on the path to a better life...... rather than just maintaining individuals in dependency.It is a real inspiration to see today’s Recovery Festival championing the same approach...... uniting politicians of all hues, alongside charity workers, top employers, and even celebrities... in support for giving recovering addicts a second chance.A waste of potentialFor too long, I think, where people are suffering from addiction, we as a society have focused on containing the problem...  managing the symptoms rather than treating it at its source.In my area of interest – the welfare system – there is clear evidence of this.There are around 100,000 people claiming sickness benefits whose illness is primarily down to their drug or alcohol addiction.Of these, a staggering 23,000 have been claiming incapacity benefits for a decade or more....... many unseen for that entire duration... no one checking whether their health has changed, or might improve if they were to engage with treatment.It cannot be right that people suffering from addiction are simply written off on benefits, all too often,without any belief that their life could change.Turning things aroundThe work of Bac O’Connor, and other organisations like it, shows that nothing could be further from the reality.Visiting a rehab centre some years ago, I met an ex-prisoner who had been a serious drug user – whose story was a source of real inspiration.He told me:"I was, until I recovered, a one-man crime wave in my area. Every day was spent figuring out what house to burgle... how I could get money to feed my drug habit... essentially, how I could survive, just kicking along.""I did it", he told me,"for 20 years. God knows he said how many places I robbed, how many people I hurt, trying to steal their property or their money... how degraded I became. I was arrested endlessly, I was charged, I was let lose again, I was in prisons, I was out of prisons.""Until finally I went through this programme to get off my drug addiction altogether – and that was what turned things around."By addressing the root cause of the problem – tackling the addiction itself – he had finally broken free from a life of crime.When I met him he was seeing his children for the first time in years, putting what mattered to him into perspective.The help and support offered whilst in rehab was playing a vital part – but I was also struck by the man’s strength of character and conviction...... his determination to take control of his own life and do something positive with it.Ending stigmaStrength, conviction, determination.Not necessarily three words you would use to describe someone with a history of substance abuse and crime.Yet for an individual in recovery, these characteristics arepreciselywhat is required of them if they are to maintain their motivation... make positive choices... and overcome adversity.In taking steps to address their addiction, individuals gain valuable knowledge... both about themselves, and about how to deal with and understand their impact on others...... which can readily be applied in other aspects of their life.In fact, there is much to suggest that recovered addicts can make for extremely motivated, loyal and committed employees...... all the more grateful for the opportunity to work because it offers a highly valuable opportunity to stay on track...... whilst bringing tenacity, drive and dedication to the job – a set of skills that employers might otherwise struggle to find.Managing the riskSadly, too often, this talent has been left untapped.Potential employers have been put off by the misconception that employing people who have been through rehab is overly risky.Ironically, research suggests that this stigma itself can negatively affect people’s chances of recovery.The reality is that, yes, there is a risk involved for employers.But that is true of taking onanynew employee.What’s more, with the help of the treatment sector, the Government is taking important measures to minimise any uncertainty around employing a recovered addict.Just a few words to explain how.Focusing on recoveryWe have already started changing how the state supports people with an addiction...... with promising signs that the right interventions can have a positive effect.Since 2005, the proportion of drug and alcohol users successfully going through treatment AND not returning, has increased by around a quarter.This is real progress, but we must do more to improve these outcomes further still.The Government’s Drug and Alcohol Strategy sets out our commitment to prioritise full recovery, meaningfreedom from dependence on drugs and alcohol.This is crucial.For if the outcomes are to be sustainable, recovery must be about getting clean – rather than just bringing someone’s addiction under control......abstinenceinstead ofmaintenance.No one knows this better than Noreen, and others here today.Bac O’Connor have advocated this approach for years...... but we are now starting to see it put into practice across the treatment sector.Holistic approachWe are also promoting a broader, more holistic approach to recovery...... recognising that the problems faced by drug and alcohol users are often interlinked and overlapping.Alongside someone’s addiction, we must address the other issues that hold individuals back, limiting their capacity to improve their own life.That is why we are taking steps to join up different support services and treat problems together.Take the 8 pilot programmes launched last year, where we are incentivising treatment providers to identify and address a whole range of social problems.Paying them not just for helping someone break free from drugs and alcohol...... but also for the outcomes they achieve in terms of preventing re-offending, getting people off the streets, and improving their overall quality of life.For someone going through rehab, the value of these positive changes cannot be underestimated.Having a stable family life... a safe place to live... good overall health... and feelings of self-worth...... all these are vital in supporting a full and lasting recovery.Importance of workYet there is one final step in the recovery journey – perhaps the most important of all.If we are serious about making a sustainable difference to people’s lives... moving from dependency to independence... thenwork is the best stepping stoneto doing so.Earning a wage can help in itself – helping get on top of problem debt, for example, or in terms of the opportunities it brings.Even something as simple as earning a holiday can make a big difference to normal family life, where insecurity had previously prevailed.The money earned through work is a big step towards individuals regaining control over their own lives, making a contribution and having a sense of achievement.But more than that, work itself is a vital component in our daily lives – it shapes us, develops us, and helps us create friends and sense of belonging.The money we earn gives us choices, and the work we do helps us to develop, so we can make the most of those choices.Put simply, having a job is one of the best ways for individuals to find a foothold in society again – and stay there.Given the transformative effect it can have, we must do all we can to help those who are able, to move into work.Work ProgrammeFor people who are a long way from the workplace, who lack skills or the work habit… who have been through rehab or recently released from prison…... that means addressing the barriers that hold them back, giving them the best prospects of securing a job.That is what the Work Programme is all about.I know you have already heard today from Stuart Vere, Chairman of Avanta – one of our Work Programme providers – but I just want to reiterate why this is so important.Through the Work Programme, we have tasked the best organisations in the voluntary and private sectors with delivering personalised employment support for the hardest to help individuals.As part of this, we have launched two pilots programmes specifically targeted at supporting drug and alcohol addicted claimants into work.The ‘Recovery Works’ pilot will test the impact of higher job outcome payments for individuals engaged in drugs treatment – offering a financial incentive to support addicts into rehab AND into work.The other – ‘Recovery and Employment’ – is about promoting cooperation between providers and the treatment experts, with better sharing of existing knowledge and resources.Work readinessBut inbothcases, because we are focused onlong-term outcomes, paying for the results achieved in sustaining people in work for two years...... providers must make sure that individuals are ready to move into work and stay there.Whether through getting clean... engaging in training or education... gaining work experience... or building confidence...... in the process, individuals are given a real opportunity to rebuild their own lives. Just last month I visited the Brink restaurant in Liverpool, an excellent social enterprise putting all this into action – and which I believe is represented here today.As well as providing a space where people can meet and socialise, the Brink also acts as a recovery hub, bringing together a wide range of different services.It is a venue for fellowship groups to run sessions... it has onsite counselling and referrals... and importantly, it offers employment advice and support – delivered by both Action on Addiction and a local employment agency.The majority of the staff are recovered addicts themselves, with work experience opportunities for others like them...... giving individuals in recovery a sense of self-respect... helping them to understand and cope with the pressures of a job... ultimately, getting them ready for the world of work.What’s more, all the profits go directly back into the community, in turn funding rehab programmes for those still battling with addiction.Supply and demandNothing illustrates better our vision for change – restoring hope and stability to those previously left on the margins, giving them a chance to turn their lives around.As I have said, within Government and the treatment sector, we are already making progress.Yet I believe there are two sides to the process.In a scenario very familiar to the businessmen and women here today,it is a question of supply and demand.By getting and keeping addicts clean, equipping them with the skills and experience they need, and helping them to establish a stable life...... we are ensuring that individuals are prepared, willing and able to move into work.So there is a highly motivated, highly determinedsupplyof labour.What now remains is thedemandside.We need employers – of all sizes and from across different industries – who are willing to take on recovered addicts...... able to look beyond someone’s past and see their skills and aptitude now....... and their loyalty and potential for the future.That is what today’s Recovery Festival is all about.Challenging the preconceptions around employing people who have been through rehab...... opening employers’ eyes to the possibilities...... encouraging demand.Through offering work placements and opening up job vacancies to recovered addicts, you stand to gain from the knowledge and talent that they can bring to the workplace...... confronting widespread prejudice, and giving individuals a real chance to get on in life.ConclusionAt a time when consumers have never been more demanding...... looking at the quality and value, not just ofthe goods and servicesthey’re buying, but also the quality and value of thecompanies themselves....... I believe this offers a real opportunity to set yourselves apart.To prove that you’re different...... that you care about your community, just as your care about your business...... building your workforce, and rebuilding lives at the same time. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2013/12-03-13.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Recovery Festival 2013-03-12 Department for Work and Pensions Recovery Festival
ContentFriday 8 March 2013Lord David FreudMinister for Welfare Reform, DWPLGA Event – Framework Launch10.35 – 11.20, 8 March, London[Check against delivery]Universal Credit local support services frameworkI was delighted to be able to publish the Universal Credit (UC) Local Support Services Framework last month.The majority of you will have had time by now to read and digest what’s in the Framework and will be aware that it is the culmination of many months’ extensive communications with Local Authorities and the Local Government Association.Value of partnership workingIndeed I am very pleased that Sir Merrick Cockell has co-signed the document and recognised, in his foreword, the value that we attach to working in Partnership with the Local Government Sector.UC an opportunitySince the start of the programme our conversations with LAs have uncovered a great deal of excellent local practice but also a great deal of frustration with the way that local services are currently arranged.The conclusion of these discussions was that UC opens up a tremendous opportunity for working in partnership with the LAs to improve support for claimants with complex needs.This is why the Framework attaches such importance to working in Partnership to deliver Local Support Services.Current practice – silo working and wasted time and resourceWe know that claimants with the most complex needs require support from the largest number of local agencies, not just Jobcentres and One-Stop-Shops but often other services like homelessness support and Adult Social Care.However these agencies often work in silos, cut off from each other, unable to share information or work towards a common plan for supporting them towards independence.Better joined up servicesAnd our conversations with charities supporting people with complex needs have revealed how sometimes their staff can spend literally hours contacting the different agencies involved with providing support to resolve problems with benefits and other services.Single claimant journeyUC, and the online system, gives us a fantastic opportunity to overcome some of these problems by bringing the different service providers round the same table to plan services in a joined-up way.The Delivery Partnerships Approach set out within the Framework aims to build on the best practise that’s already out there, working locally with other key providers to create a “single claimant journey” shared between agencies for helping claimants towards independence and, wherever possible, work.Under this approach the DWP District Manager seeking opportunities for young unemployed people should more easily be able to tap into Local Authority initiatives for employment creation.The Housing Officer wanting to ensure appropriate budgeting support for a new tenant will be able to access that supportAnd the Adult Social Care Commissioner wanting to fast-track a recovering alcoholic into additional employment support will be able to have the relevant conversation with DWP staff.Funding availableMost of you probably want to know about funding for Local Support Services and I am happy to confirm that some new money will be available. Current funding streamsHowever I would also like to challenge the notion that the approach that I have outlined is entirely dependent on new money.Most of the services that could add tremendous value to the Local Delivery Partnerships will already have funding streams in place. And for many, such as Adult Social Care services, changes to the delivery of benefits will not be their core business but will be an important aspect of providing rounded support to the people that they support.But the fact is that local services will need to adapt in order to stay relevant and provide appropriate support to people that they are responsible for helping.DWP District Managers – working togetherThat is why I have already asked DWP District Managers to work with you to identify, and support the development of, appropriate local planning forums, pulling together the services that will be required to help claimants locally.I have asked them to work with you to identify gaps in local level service provision and potential providers, from the public, private and voluntary sectors who could help to fill these gaps, with Local Authorities and their supply chains as the providers of choice from October.Best practiceThe Delivery Partnerships Approach is about turning existing best practice into the norm across the countryToo often now examples of excellence are not being shared. We are keen to make UC an opportunity for the very best practice to be spread around the country.Planning needs to be in place even before final decisions about funding can be shared.And I hope that all Local Authorities will recognise the value of working in Partnership and join us in helping to provide better and more joined-up support for UC claimants needing local level help.The Framework is the first stepOur Framework outlines the principles for that support.But of course publication of the Framework is only the first step.In less than two months’ time the very first people to claim UC will do so in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire area, andIn October, UC will start to become available to more people and in more areas of the country.Evidence that UC will be manageable for mostThe transfer to Universal Credit for many claimants will not be a major shift. These people are comfortable applying for different banking services online and already budget on a monthly basis.Research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that most claimants believed that they would have no problems if they had their benefit paid directly to them.Our initial research into direct payments in the social sector found that 54% of tenants thought they would cope well with direct payments and 47% thought it would be easy for them to manage their money.Early results from the project show around 90% of rent payments are being made.Meanwhile, 78% of working age benefit claimants already use the internet – 48% of those say they log in every day – many to search for jobs online.Extra supportWe do however recognise that extra support will be needed for others – either as they make their first steps onto UC or in the longer term as they learn to budget.Clearer supportUnder UC we want to establish muchclearersupport - so that people can move smoothly from dependency to self-sufficiency and work readiness.No labellingThe current system puts labels on people – because they claim certain benefits or have certain disabilities – we don’t want to do that.More flexibilityWe need to be much more flexibleOpportunity for stronger supportThe role for local authorities will change. Universal Credit presents an opportunity to provide muchstrongersupport for people to achieve greater independence and combat financial, digital and social exclusion.Support that is holistic, tailored and targeted.Help claimantsWe need to focus on helping claimants to understand the new system and identify the best route for claiming; help them to get online and help them with money advice and support.While many, if not most people, will be able to claim independently, we need to make sure that face-to-face and telephone support remains in place for those who need it.Pilot programme – success storiesI’m really pleased to see so many people from the local authority led pilots here today, and I’m sorry I can’t stay on for what I’m sure will be a really interesting afternoon.The pilot programme is the most exciting initiative we’ve undertaken with the local government sector for quite some time – all 13 councils involved have picked up the challenge and they’re hitting all the right targets: integrating services, making things simple for claimants, shifting the focus from receiving benefits to finding work.They’re also pioneering the two key areas where we already know we need to make sure supply keeps up with demand.Digital inclusion: I’ve heard about how Birmingham’s digital logbook provides a personal digital account for claimants and how people are coming forward even before their first interview to sort out their email accounts.And financial inclusion: North Dorset’s work with the credit union means that the claimant who couldn’t afford transport to work now has a loan for a scooter to find a job – crucial for getting work when you live out in the countrysideStrong partnershipsAbove all the pilots are teaching us invaluable lessons about partnership.Many of the pilots are building on strong partnerships that are already in place.  Through others we’re learning that time and care is needed to explore how we can share ambitions and resources with a range of local agencies in an innovative way.Although I want you to be confident that the local support services framework gives you a sound basis for planning your services next year, it’s by no means done and dusted.I will be listening to messages from the local authority led pilots as they move forward. I will make sure that later in the year we can provide you with a more comprehensive document that reflects the richness of learning that is coming from this important work.Direct payment projects helping identify who needs extra helpOur direct payment demonstration projects are also helping us to learn who needs additional help.They are showing us who should not receive their housing benefit directly and what safeguards there need to be in place if people fall into arrears and to stop people falling behind with rent in the first place.Build on existing workAll this work is helping us to build on the work councils, social landlords and other community groups already do.Banking and budgeting accountsWe are also looking at how banks and credit unions can offer suitable budgeting accounts for people who need a little more support than is currently offered through mainstream bank accounts.We are working on providing safe and secure banking products to support claimants. These will help people to budget so that they can pay their rent and household bills.We will shortly launch the Personal Planner to help people get themselves ready for UC.The planner helps people to understand their readiness for UC – producing a helpful, personalised statement and links to national organisations for advice on getting on line and managing money.Exceptions processAnd for a minority of claimants, we will have an exceptions process where claimants can be paid more frequently; have a payment split between partners; or have rent paid directly to their landlord. Next StepsBut as I said earlier the Framework is just the first step and October is only 6 months away.Now the really hard work begins.The Task Force has already started to plan the next steps for Local Support Services.It has identified three key priority areas.Resolution of outstanding funding issuesFirstly, and most pressing, is the resolution of outstanding funding issues.DWP and LAs will continue to work together as part of a new LSS Financial Group to resolve these financial management and funding approach issues.It will need to agree the basis on which national funding will be distributed to local partnership level, as well as agree who is best placed to manage local funding.Although the Framework reflects DWP’s preferred position, this is not a done deal. We will be talking extensively to the sector about options and alternatives before a final decision is made.It will also need to calculate the forecast funding that will be available to each local delivery partnership, and determine the ‘guaranteed’ and ‘outcome based’ elements of the payments that will be made to Partnerships.But of course, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that there is an opportunity here for you to pull existing funding streams together - we are not just talking about newly required servicesImplementation of Mark 1 FrameworkSecondly, we need to turn this framework into reality for the start of progressive national rollout from October.To do this we need to design contracts and set up overarching partnering arrangements with the LAA associations, andWe need to mobilise DWP Operations and delivery partners to make it all happen locallyWe’re in the process of setting up a new LSS Implementation Group where DWP and LAs will work together to deliver the Framework.  One of its first tasks will be to carry out a business change impact analysis to identify the host of planning activities required to make the Framework a reality on the ground.But in the meantime, I know you’ll want to start talking to your District Managers about what you can do together to adapt existing services or create new ones to ensure claimants are effectively supported - in your local area - when  UC starts to be rolled out across GB.Design and development of Mark 2 FrameworkFinally, of course, we need to begin the design of the Mark 2 Framework.We’ll use learning from the Pathfinder, the pilots, the demonstration projects and other evaluation activity so that we’ll be in a position to issue a more comprehensive version of the Framework in October, in time to inform LA budget planning for the 2014/15 financial year.The Task Force that delivered this Framework has already set in motion plans to take this work forward.  Looking further aheadLooking further ahead I expect to see a much wider network of support in place.The governments longer term vision is that of a more open delivery model which I hope will involve a wider community of local providers.How do you plan to respond?I want to hear what you think about the Framework. In particular, I’m interested to hear how you plan to respond to the Framework in your own areas. Mechanisms for sharing best practiceWe have already begun to receive really good examples of local best practice. I’m especially interested to hear how you think we might create the right mechanisms for best practice to be shared so that we establish true centres of excellence, everywhere.  None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2013/08-03-13.shtml Lord Freud Universal Credit local support services framework 2013-03-08 Department for Work and Pensions LGA Event – Framework Launch
ContentThursday 31 January 2013Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of State for Work and PensionsKids CompanyLondon[Check against delivery]Kids CompanyI would like start by thanking Camila for generously hosting today.Camila is a remarkable woman, and it is a real pleasure to be back at Kids Company – an organisation that I know very well, and of which I am a great supporter.The work you do here is a real inspiration – offering a lifeline to children who need it most, and working tirelessly to help them reach their potential.It is far from an easy task.Listening to your stories, it is clear that the children who come here – like too many others across the country – face profound disadvantages.Growing up in very dysfunctional or violent families... often with emotional and mental health difficulties... or facing problems around substance misuse...... their need for Kids Company could not be more pressing.Relative incomeThis Government will always stand by its commitment to tackle child poverty...... supporting those frontline organisations, such as Kids Company and others represented here today, who are best placed to turn children’s lives around.You understand the reality of these children’s lives, and what it means to grow up suffering severe disadvantage.Yet for too long, I believe, the common political discourse has been lagging behind – fixated on a notion of relative income and moving people over an arbitrary poverty line...... at the expense of a meaningful understanding of the problem we are trying to solve.Visiting today has only reaffirmed that belief.Life changeIf we are to make real headway in ending child poverty, we must learn the lessons of the last decade....... where for too long, Government chased income based poverty targets without focusing on what happened to the families they moved above the income line.Despite an unprecedented amount of spending, some £170 billion paid out in tax credits between 2003/04 and 2010, 70% of it on child tax credits...... sadly the 2010 target to halve child poverty was missed.Good intentions failed to translate into effective policies...... for whilst moving a family from one pound below the poverty line to one pound above it might be enough on paper, it does not do enough to transform their lives.There must be a sustainable difference in the family’s life, or they simply risk slipping back into the poverty cycle... leaving the underlying causes unchecked.I believe that we need to focus on life change so that families are able to sustain the improvement in their lives beyond government money.Poll findingsIncome matters – and surely must remain a key indicator in defining what it means to be in poverty.But how we measure child poverty must do more to expose the real challenge we face...... drawing on how it is experienced by children themselves, and how poverty is perceived by the wider public.The Government is currently consulting on a new multidimensional measure of child poverty – with the aim of doing just that.A recent poll conducted as part of the consultation process shows that whilst not having enough income is thought to be one important factor...... other criteria are considered equally or even more crucial.Interestingly, having a parent addicted to drugs or alcohol was thought to be the most important factor of all...... above and beyond other dimensions such as going to a failing school, living in a cold damp home, or having to care for a parent.Three quarters of people said having an addicted parent was very important, almost 20% more than the next most significant factor....... and only 2% of people saying it was not important – lower than any other single factor.Of course, not every child in poverty will have drug or alcohol addicted parents.Nor have we made a decision on which on which factors should be included in the new measure.But it is striking that so many people pick out as central to a child’s experience of poverty, a factor that so rarely features in the poverty debate.It seems obvious that having a parent with addiction problems will have a huge negative impact on a child’s life and prospects...... but the debate has pushed us away from the kind of direct thinking that is intuitive for most people.Nothing illustrates more clearly how far off course the current measure has taken us AND why we need a new measure...... one which both identifies those most in need and entrenched in disadvantage and is widely accepted by as being meaningful and accurate.Breaking the cycleLet me explain why.For a poor family where the parents are suffering from addiction, giving them an extra pound in benefits might officially move them over the poverty line.But increased income from welfare transfers will not address the reason they find themselves in difficulty in the first place.Worse still, if it does little more than feed the parents’ addiction, it may leave the family more dependent not less...... resulting in poor social outcomes and still deeper entrenchment.What such a family needs is that we treat the cause of their hardship – the drug addiction itself.Rather than simply tracking income levels, this surely is what a measure of child poverty should capture......  measuring whether the family has an opportunity to break the cycle of disadvantage...... so that parents can take responsibility for their own lives and improve the life chances of their children.Routes outThis Government is committed to addressing the pathways that lead families into poverty in the first place, and offer meaningful routes out.For those who are able, we know that work is the best way for families to lift themselves out of poverty.It is not just about more money.Work and the income it brings can change lives – providing a structure to people’s lives, giving them a stake in their community...... in turn, having a transformative effect on children’s lives and aspirations, equipping them to fulfil their potential.This belief underpins the whole package of reforms that I am delivering in the Department for Work and Pensions.We are introducing the Universal Credit, a single payment withdrawn at a single rate, so it is always clear to people that work pays more than benefits.And we are delivering the Work Programme – offering personalised support to get people back into employment and keep them there.Universal Credit and the Work Programme are two sides of the same coin.Either without the other would not have the same impact.Together, they will become formidable tools for taking people on a journey from dependency to independence. Drug pilotsWhere someone is paralysed by an addiction, they cannot make progress on this journey.Their addiction keeps them from getting into work, but being unemployed in turn traps them in dependency, limiting the control they have over their own life.There are around 100,000 people claiming sickness benefits whose illness is primarily down to their drug or alcohol addiction.Of these, a staggering 23,000 have been claiming incapacity benefits for a decade or more.And whilst addicts may face real barriers to work, if we are to break the cycle, it is vital that we help individuals break their addiction and secure a job.Today, I am pleased to announce two Work Programme pilot programmes, which will be specifically targeted at supporting drug and alcohol addicted claimants into work.The first of these – the ‘Recovery Works’ pilot will test the impact of higher job outcome payments for individuals engaged in drugs treatment...... giving providers a financial incentive not only to support addicts into work rehab but also into work.Launching in the East of England and West Yorkshire, the focus will be on helping those battling drug and alcohol dependency to break free from their addiction...... using work as a stepping stone to recovery.The second ‘Recovery and Employment’ pilot works on a slightly different principle – harnessing the existing knowledge of treatment experts, in tandem with that of Work Programme providers.Here we will be testing how far better sharing of skills and resources can deliver better outcomes for addicts.Our aim is that two further pilot sites within the West Midlands will provide a flagship example of cooperation between providers...... working together to support people through recovery and into employment.Sustainable outcomesIn both cases, the pilots are about sustainable outcomes...... which means full recovery, supporting people to live a life free from drugs and alcohol...... and into meaningful employment, getting them into work and keeping them there for up to 2 years.By focusing on long-term outcomes, we can support individuals to rebuild their future – make a real and lasting difference to their own lives.Importantly, because we are paying by results, we will only pay for what works...... at once reducing the risk on the taxpayer, and ensuring that every pound of Government money is targeted where it will have a lasting impact.Solve that problem – get someone clean…... get them into work……and you help them find a foothold in society again – and stay there.A new measureWhether it be addiction, poor housing, educational failure, unemployment, or debt...... across Government we are tackling the barriers that hold people back, through dynamic interventions which will make real difference to individuals’ wellbeing and their children’s future life chances.Our commitment to developing a new multidimensional measure of child poverty means that, finally, we will be able to measure the effect of interventions like these.By segmenting the central drivers of poverty, identifying those children most entrenched in disadvantage and who are on poor trajectories...... we can both target policies that have the most impact, and hold ourselves accountable for the results.ConsultationAs I have said, we are consulting now on what this measure should look like.Addiction is one important form of poverty, but it is not the only form.The process provides an opportunity and a forum to consider our options.There are many we could pursue – as part of the consultation we need to consider how different dimensions interrelate, which overlap, and which can be easily quantified.In developing what a future measure might look like, we accept that expertise lies far beyond Whitehall.In fact, the success of our future measure relies on listening to what you have to say.The consultation closes in two weeks’ time, on Friday 15 February.Before then, I urge you to offer your views and bring your knowledge to bear on what the future measure could look like.This is a unique opportunity to shape how child poverty is understood...... now and for generations to come.ConclusionIn truth, no statistic will ever perfectly reflect what it means for a child to live in poverty.But through a better representation of the reality of children’s lives I hope we can get much closer to doing so...... in turn, putting us all in a better position to measure, address and ultimately end child poverty...... a commitment which, as I said at the start, we will always stand by. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2013/31-01-13.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Kid’s Company speech 2013-01-31 Department for Work and Pensions Kids Company
Content28 January 2013Lord FreudUniversal Credit Capita speechLondon[Check against delivery]I am very pleased to be with you today – and for the opportunity to update you all on our vision for Universal Credit and on the progress of our wider welfare reforms.But first let me set the context for Universal Credit.Universal Credit will simplify the benefit system and tackle welfare dependency by making work pay.It will reward people who go back to work by ensuring they are better off in work than on benefits. In fact, around 300,000 people will move into work as a result of Universal Credit. Three million families will be better off by around £168 per month.The majority – 75 per cent – will come from the bottom two fifths of the income scale and transitional protection means no-one loses out by moving over to the new system.As well as improving financial incentives, Universal Credit will offer seamless support for people making the transition into work, making it easier to understand the effect on their income and bringing an end to an absurd situation where a claimant’s benefit stops as soon as they start work.There will be an early roll out of Universal Credit (the Pathfinder) in April 2013 in the North West to test the new system with local authorities, employers and claimants in a live environment. This will be a gradual process to ensure we get it right.The programme will roll-out nationally from October 2013. It will be introduced in stages – as is right and appropriate for such a large programme.We will pay Universal Credit monthly to reflect the fact that 75% of people in work are paid that way. The system will be designed around the patterns of working life, but we will make sure people who may struggle, don’t fall through the cracks.Universal Credit is being designed as an online service, where people can make a claim and report changes just as they do with online banking – for many people this will be more convenient.Digital services are already an integral part everyday life. Around 78 per cent of working age benefit claimants already use the internet – 48 per cent of those say they log on every day – many to search for jobs online.But we know not everyone will be able to use online services. And so we are making sure that there will still be face to face and telephone support in place – the important difference is that this support will be geared towards helping people to use the online services in the future.There is no doubt in my mind that Universal Credit will dramatically change the lives of millions of people in this country for the better by helping them to become financially and digitally able. The new system will mean that a claimant’s experience of receiving Universal Credit will be brought into line with the world of work.This is a huge change from the outdated and overburdened system we currently have and we will need to take the time to do it properly and put in the proper resources.That’s why the work we are doing in partnership with the local authority associations on a local support services framework is so important. The framework will ensure effective local partnerships are put in place to help claimants budget and get online.Since last summer we have been testing the type of support that we may need through twelve Local Authority-led Pilots. In addition, from April four local authorities Oldham, Wigan Warrington and Tameside will take the lead in supporting claimants in the Pathfinder areas of Greater Manchester and Cheshire. These authorities have already been highly proactive ahead of the pathfinder going live in April. They are currently setting up training courses for claimants who need help getting online, and installing computers into community centres and working with housing associations (in Wigan) to extend online accessibility for local residents.We are also looking at how banks and credit unions can offer suitable financial products. For example, budgeting accounts (sometimes knows as “jam jar” accounts) so that claimants can budget and put by sums of money each month to pay their rent and household bills.Around 4.2 million DWP claimants already have a bank account. However, historically some people on a low income have experienced difficulties in accessing and using banking products, often coming up against disproportionate penalties charges.For Universal Credit we want to ensure as a minimum that claimants have access to an account such as a Basic Bank Account with standing order and direct debit facilities, which are safe and secure.Alongside new banking products we will ensure vulnerable claimants such as people with debt problems, or those with poor numeracy skills are given practical support at the onset of their claim. In practice this will mean that someone with debts may be referred to a debt advisory service for budgeting advice and someone who is not able to navigate the web, will be offered face to face or telephone support to help them make a claim for Universal Credit.These bespoke services will be led through Local Authorities and other local organisations. As a result we expect many vulnerable claimants to become both financially responsible and digitally able. This will open up a wealth of new opportunities because of improved computer skills, such as new jobs through online job searches, better buying power and discounted utility bills through better banking facilities and access to reputable credit.These are the key interconnecting features that will ensure a smooth and successful transition onto Universal Credit.However, we recognise that there will always be some hard cases. Where this is the case vulnerable claimants could be made an exception to the payment rules for a period of time. Budgeting support will also be made available to support these individuals so that they can make a successful transition over time to the Universal Credit standard monthly payment. If this is the case we will consider three levels of interventions.Firstly we will look at a claimant’s ability to pay housing costs - in full and on time. Secondly we will consider whether monthly payments are suitable. And finally we will look at whether it’s appropriate for a split payment to be made to that household.It will not however necessarily be the case that all three interventions will be put in place at any one time – that will depend on each person’s individual circumstances.Much of our rules around alternative payment arrangements will fall from the work we are already doing in the six demonstration projects areas across England, Scotland and Wales to test the support needed for people to make rent payments direct, and to ensure the financial position of landlords is protected.Paying housing costs direct is an integral part of Universal Credit and an important way of helping people to manage their own finances and become more independent. But I know there is some concern that the switch may cause a ‘mass’ of claimants to fall into arrears at the onset. But that’s not going to be the case. The fact is that claimant transition will be gradual over a four year period. There will be no big bang effect and we do not expect landlords to suffer sudden losses of income.Early findings from the demonstration projects show the majority of people are meeting their rent payments in full and on time. Over the first four months, 6,220 social tenants were paid their housing benefit directly and rent collection rates stood at 92%.We will continue to test different rent arrears “trigger” levels so if a tenant falls behind on their rent, payment will switch back direct to the landlord and additional support will be offered to the tenant.Of course Universal Credit is not the only reform we are making.Last year marked major milestones in reforming Britain’s welfare system, and 2013 will be no different.This year is about making reform a reality.And we are on track to do so:Universal Credit, starting with a pathfinder – in AprilPersonal Independence Payment also starting to roll out from AprilThe implementation of the Benefit Cap – from AprilLocalising elements of the Social Fund – from April.To name just a few of the programmes the Government is implementing.This change cannot come soon enough. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2013/28-01-13.shtml Lord Freud Universal Credit Capita speech 2013-01-28 Department for Work and Pensions London
Content23 January 2013Mark Hoban MPMinister for EmploymentSocial Justice and welfare reformLGA troubled families conference, London[Check against delivery]Under the previous government, billions of pounds were moved around the tax and benefits system in an attempt to reduce poverty. But the complexity of the previous system had the perverse effect of trapping thousands of people on benefits. Through tax credits in particular, even quite wealthy people became entangled in a labyrinthine benefits system. The benefits bill spiralled out of control, and despite this, child poverty targets were missed.This is something the coalition government is determined to tackle. True social justice will only really be achieved when families are able to provide for themselves.Now this is no simple task, and of course there will always be people who need our help. But this help should be in the form of a safety net, and a leg up. Not a way of life which traps people with little hope of escape.The only real, sustainable way this can be achieved is by giving people the help and support they need to move into work. By working, people can earn the money they need to look after themselves and their families.But money isn’t the only reason. Having a job means much, much more.Having a job gives you pride, self-worth and dignity. Having a job gives you more control over your own life. Having a job shows your children that a life on benefits isn’t the only option.Now of course none of this can be achieved without there being jobs available. I am not complacent – I know there are people up and down the country who are struggling to find work.But despite tough economic times, recent employment figures have been encouraging, with more people working than ever before. Indeed figures which were published only this morning show that once again employment is up and unemployment is down.But I am well aware this isn’t the only answer. We need a benefits system which helps people move into jobs. And that is why we have embarked on the most radical reform of the welfare state ever.The benefits system had become so bloated that, for many people, moving into a job didn’t seem like an option.So under Universal Credit, which starts to be rolled-out in a few months, people will always be better off in work. People will no longer be trapped in a confusing web of entitlements and add-ons. And people will always be able to increase their hours without losing out financiallyAnd whether it’s giving lone parents the help they need to move off income support and into work, or reassessing people on incapacity benefit to see if they are capable of work, I am determined that we never again write people off. Never again will there be so much wasted potential. Never again will people be consigned to a lifetime on benefits when they could be helped into work.But getting the structure of the benefit system right, whilst necessary, isn’t enough in itself. We need to remove the barriers to work, particularly for the hardest to help – those who are furthest away from the labour market.For people in a family where there are multiple problems, having the jobs available is only part of the solution. They might need help to tackle unsatisfactory housing, help to manage a violent domestic life, help to learn personal skills and increase their confidence. These can all be vital in helping people make the change from a life on benefits to a life in work.And that is where we need to work together. As people on the front line, you more than most will see how complex the lives of people in troubled families are. And you will see the need for extra help.That is why, in December 2011, we set up the programme to provide support for people in families with multiple problems – to help them tackle some of their difficulties and move towards a job.Funded through the European Social Fund (ESF) programme, the DWP made two hundred million pounds available to help tackle entrenched worklessness amongst troubled families. This help is there to support families identified by Local Authorities as having the sort of problems that typically overwhelm people. Families who feel there are just too many barriers to see work as a realistic prospect. Families struggling with problems like debt, difficult living conditions, involvement with drugs or crime, and a lack of skills or work experience.This programme is intended to work across the family, across the generations and across the range of problems they may face.Now working to tackle such challenging problems across local and national government is inevitably going to have teething problems. But I have to say that collaborative working is nothing new, and I’ve seen for myself how it can work very well.Only last week I went to Wood Green Jobcentre Plus where their Community Engagement Adviser works closely with Haringey council and their locally-led jobs fund.Or in Grimsby where a local fish-filleting factory is able to take on trainees using a combination of Youth Contract measures and a wage incentive offered by the local authority. Or in Gloucester where Jobcentre Plus advisers work with schools and the Local Authority to pool resources and provide a single point of contact for young jobseekers.We want to replicate such successes with the ESF programme. By combining your expertise at working with these families with the tailored support that our providers are offering, together we can make a big difference to people’s lives.Because where this has happened, the scheme is working well.Take Rochdale Council, for example, where there is very strong support for the families agenda from the Chief Executive down, and they play a leading role in the Trouble Families Programme for Greater Manchester. Rochdale’s ESF families support and their Troubled Families programme are very closely integrated, helping them to identify pockets of deprivation to target resources.Or in Liverpool where the council works closely with the prime contractor, Reed. Together they ensure that the ESF Families programme complements their existing ‘Liverpool in Work’ scheme, without duplication or competition. Now the provisions are able to refer people between them depending on individual need.So while there are a number of shining examples, I think everyone here would agree that it could be working better.I know that you have not been asked to make direct referrals on this scale before, and I know that some of you have frustrations with the way things have worked.But let me reassure you – we are completely committed to turning around the lives of some of the most troubled families in this country, and we are looking at ways in which the process can be fine-tuned. And in return we hope that you, the Local Authorities, to play a stronger role too.Perhaps the most fundamental issue is the lack of a sufficient flow of people and families into the provision; meaning expert knowledge isn’t being used to its full potential. I recognise that some of the providers have faced initial difficulties, which is why we have made some changes to things such as funding. And I completely understand that a number of local authorities have been reorganising their services in order to deliver programmes like these.But the funding and the expert provision is there to be taken advantage of. And the provision is often innovative and flexible, such as Skills Training UK who have re-branded the ESF Families provision as ‘Progress! The Go Further programme’ in the South East. In one local authority, Progress arranges courses on anger management and confidence-building. But rather than having to wait for a new course to start, they are run on a ‘roll-on, roll-off’ basis so people can join whenever they are ready.So now is the time to take action – it is really important that you encourage your frontline staff to make use of the provision available. And my commitment to you is that I will ensure my Department’s extensive employment expertise is able to be more directly supportive of outcomes for these families.I believe that helping people move closer to a job is the best way to fundamentally change people’s lives. Of course, this won’t be easy for some people, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do all we can to tackle it. Because between us we have the expertise and skills that have the potential to make a real difference to people’s lives. But we can only do this by working together. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2013/23-01-13.shtml Mark Hoban MP Social Justice and welfare reform 2013-01-23 Department for Work and Pensions Social Justice and welfare reform
Content21 January 2013Mark Hoban MPMinister for EmploymentImproving employment outcomesPolicy Exchange, London[Check against delivery]ReformThis year marks the beginning of a radical overhaul of Britain’s welfare system.The introduction of Universal Credit will make work pay, at each and every hour...... allowing us to start dealing, once and for all, with a culture of entrenched worklessness and welfare dependency.4.6 million people –12% of the working age population – on out of work benefits.1 in every 5 households with no one working, and 2 million children living in workless families – a higher proportion than almost any country in Europe.This level of ingrained worklessness cannot simply be put down to the present state of the economy.It points towards the failings of broken system – as my colleague Lord Freud has explained, a system where people cannot move into or progress in work, for fear or losing out.This Government is taking vital steps to reform the welfare state, reducing complexity and restoring work incentives.This will be a huge cultural shift for claimants.But it will also be a huge cultural shift in terms of the labour market, and how the Department works.So as we reach crucial milestones for delivering these changes, it is right that our employment support keeps pace.Employment figuresEven in an immensely tough economic climate, the latest labour market figures show that it is possible to make progress.In recent months, we have seen more people and more women in work than ever before.Unemployment and youth unemployment falling.Over 470,000 unfilled vacancies at any one time.And more than 1 million more jobs created in the private sector since the election.So whilst we are not complacent, and do not underestimate the challenge...... these are promising signs that the steps we are taking to tackle unemployment are having an effect.Labour market interventionsI believe Jobcentre Plus does a fantastic job in helping people back to work.I have been struck by the motivation and commitment of our advisers, and the headline results are well known.Over 70 % of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants leave benefit within the first 6 months.The Jobcentre Plus offer is closely targeted at helping this group – people claiming JSA who are either out of work entirely, or working less than 16 hours.This Government has increased and broadened the employment support available, moving from a one-size-fits-all approach to one increasingly focused on the barriers faced by individuals.From the Work Programme, to the Youth Contract, and the Innovation Fund, all this is about more tailored, flexible support...... harnessing the knowledge and expertise of those in the private and voluntary sector, as well as Jobcentre Plus advisers......in order to give claimants the best prospects of getting a job.Universal CreditUnder Universal Credit, the number of claimants subject to this intensive jobsearch regime will be extended by up to 1 million...... driven by increased take-up and a focus on each individual looking for work rather than just the main claimant in a household.As in JSA now, those who can work but are unemployed or working very few hours will required to look and be available for work, with face-to-face fortnightly signing.But for others...because Universal Credit reworks the boundary between out of work and in work benefits... their responsibilities can no longer be set simply according to which benefit people are claiming.Instead, individuals will face a set of responsibilities appropriate to their capability, circumstances and work potential.Self-employedTake self-employed claimants.The tax credit system as it stands allows people to exploit a hobby, by claiming to be self employed, and top up their income through tax credits.They can earn nothing, subsidise their income through state support...... without any expectation that they increase their earnings and move towards self-sufficiency.This flies in the face of a principled welfare system.Under Universal Credit, we are closing the loophole.To stop individuals from under-reporting their earnings or living off benefits whilst making little or nothing from self-employment...... we will expect people to earn a minimum level of income from self-employment when assessing their Universal Credit award. The system will also better support those entrepreneurs who are taking steps to make a living from their business.All newly self-employed claimants will receive a Universal Credit award based on their actual earnings...... with appropriate conditionality so that they can devote their time and resources to developing their businesses, incentivising them to make it a success.From dependence to independenceFrom 2014, we will establish Universal Credit as the primary means of support for those who are in work, as well as those out of work.... replacing working tax credits altogether by the end of 2017.Until now, this group have had no work-related expectations placed on them at all.There is no encouragement for people in low paid work to increase their hours or earnings.Once people move into some work they are largely forgotten – with little or nothing in the way of labour market interventions to help them progress.Yet once Universal Credit is fully implemented, we estimate that there could be around a million people who are working but could do more.It is my belief is that where they are able, those in the welfare system should be on a journey.A journey which helps them move from dependence to independence.On this basis, it is right that we consider how conditionality might help people...… move up the earnings scale...... reap the rewards from improved work incentives...... and become more self-reliant.Universal JobmatchThis is ground-breaking territory, with real scope to develop innovative solutions.Universal Jobmatch, for example, is already transforming the way claimants access our services – with online job searching through DWP on a scale never seen before.The system can already be used by people in employment, to find a better job or more work – and there is an exciting opportunity to develop this further.Automatic job matching means the system works 24/7 to find jobs that fit with people’s skills set or supplement their existing employment...... so their CV is working for them even whilst they sleep, a revolution from the old way of noting down vacancies in newspapers, or coming into jobcentres and using “jobpoint” machines.Universal Jobmatch also provides information on individuals’ job search activity, including their CV and application history...... enabling us to segment different claimant groups, in work as much as out of work – identifying those who are highly self-motivated to find work, and those who are not.This, in turn, will revolutionise the way Jobcentre Plus interacts with claimants – with scope to move much more of our contact online especially valuable for those who are in work but we think could earn more.Exciting prospectsOnce Universal Credit is rolled out, part-time workers could also receive monthly statements telling them how much better off they would be if they increased their hours...... or texts telling them how progressing in work would mean more money in their pocket.An online calculator could also allow claimants to find out within seconds how much better off they would be from boosting their hours.These are just some of the ideas we are considering.We know there are many more possible options.But as DWP moves increasingly towards digital by default, the rapid pace of technological change presents a real opportunity...... both to radically alter the way we interact with people, and transform the services we offer.Call for ideasAt present, even across the globe, there are almost no examples of existing practice...... no evidence about what works in terms of supporting people in work to progress.Yet employers already use training very successfully to improve their employee’s skills and earnings and grow their business as a result.Behavioural economists and social psychologists are already expert in understanding people’s behaviours, and encouraging a positive response.So the question for us is we harness this knowledge, as well as that of others in the field...... from think tanks, welfare to work providers, academics, charities, application designers and those at the sharp end of delivering existing services.We need an opportunity and a forum to answer some challenging questions:How best can we support employed claimants to progress in work?How best can we work with employers to promote training, development and progression opportunities?How best can we monitor and evaluate any new interventions, testing that they have the desired effect?Today we are sending out a call for ideas – the more innovative and radical the better.I urge you, and the others beyond this room, to bring your ideas and answers to the table now.Your input is vital.We look forward to hearing from you. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2013/21-01-13.shtml Mark Hoban MP Improving employment outcomes – Mark Hoban MP 2013-01-21 Department for Work and Pensions Improving employment outcomes
Content21 January 2013Lord FreudMinister for Welfare ReformImproving employment outcomesPolicy Exchange, London[Check against delivery]WelcomeFirstly I would like to thank Policy Exchange for hosting today’s event, and you all for coming.I hope today can be an open forum about a new and exciting opportunity thrown up by the introduction of Universal Credit.Today’s event brings together a group of people who are already thinking deeply about the UK’s welfare system or who we hope can offer fresh perspectives...... perhaps bringing insights from the world of technology, industry or academia.ReformLast year marked major milestones in reforming Britain’s welfare system, and 2013 will be no different.This year is about making reform a reality.We are on track to do so:Universal Credit, starting with a pathfinder in AprilPersonal Independence Payment also starting to roll out from Aprilthe beginning of local council tax support schemesthe implementation of the Benefit CapTo name just a few of the programmes the Government is implementing.This change cannot come soon enough.For it isn’t just about changing systems – it is about changing lives, and changing them for the better.A complex systemFor too long, those in need of state support have had to rely on an outdated and overburdened system.The current mess of benefits and tax credits includes over 30 different out of work payments.These are set alongside chaotic in work supplements – some paid at 16 hours, some 24 and some at 30...... and each with separate rules and rates... some means-tested, others linked, many overlapping.It is a system of byzantine complexity.Work doesn’t payWorse still, the current system creates the clear perception that work simply does not pay.Let me explain why.When a person finds a job, the split between out of work benefits and in work tax credits means they find it impossible to calculate if they would be better off or not.Some of their benefits are withdrawn at 40% as they progress in work, some at 65%, some at 100%...…some net, some gross.It is this factor which stops the person’s journey back to work in its tracks,They cannot take that positive step for fear of losing out.Progression doesn’t payThose already in employment, but who could work more, face a similar problem.They have no obligations on them to increase their hours in work, and the system offers no incentives either.Feed all the rates and disregards into a complicated computer system – because no normal person can calculate what it all means for their income – and something extremely damaging happens.People on low wages lose up to 96 pence in every pound they earn as they increase their hours in work.In other words for every extra pound they earn, 4 pence goes in their pocket and the rest goes back to government in tax and benefit withdrawals.So suddenly you have a system that is incomprehensible to those that use it, except for one thing that seems clear – it’s not worth the risk of working, nor working more.Waste of potentialAs a result, employers tell us that people’s working patterns cluster around the hours at which they start to receive tax credits...... meaning they can’t move onwards and upwards.B&Q – a major national retailer – have even experienced people askingnotto work more hours so that their benefits aren’t affected.This isn’t just bad news for growth and productivity.It’s also a real waste of people’s potential.SkillsThe introduction of Universal Credit is a real opportunity to focus interventions on progression in work, not just getting people into a job.We know that training provided by employers rather than by government is more beneficial to the individual. That is why combining a focus on skills and training for in-work claimants with reforms including the removal of the 16 hour rule is an exciting opportunity for this group.As a nation we are at a competitive disadvantage due to a weak medium level skills base, so this is something to really build on under Universal Credit.Universal CreditChanging this is what Universal Credit is all about.Starting with the pathfinder in April this year, and rolling out gradually from October....... Universal Credit will replace all work-related benefits and tax credits with a single, simple, payment.It provides work allowances that are up to 12 times more generous than the existing system, meaning people who move into work will see the rewards before their benefit is tapered away.And it will be withdrawn at a single, constant rate, so that people know exactly how much better off they will be for each extra hour they work.This rate will be significantly lower than the current average, meaning work will pay at each and every hour.1.5 million people will keep more money as they increase their working hours, on average seeing an extra 14 pence in their pocket for every single pound earned.More people in workOnce Universal Credit is fully rolled out, we estimate up to 300,000 more people will enter work.......and between 1 and 2.5 million extra hours will be worked by those already in employment.All this, through improved financial incentives alone.As my colleague, the Minister for Employment, will explain shortly, we are looking at how to build on these new incentives...... doing more to encourage and support progression for those already in some work.In steady-state, we expect there to be 11 million individuals on Universal Credit, of which 5 million are expected to be in work.Unlike now, the majority of DWP’s claimants will already have a job.This is a radically new context for delivering benefits.It is right that we think radically about how what this means...... including for our employment services, and the contact we have with a new group of claimants relying on our support.To tell you more, I’ll now hand over to the Minister for Employment. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2013/21-01-13-lord-freud.shtml Lord Freud Improving employment outcomes – Lord Freud 2013-01-21 Department for Work and Pensions Improving employment outcomes
Content14 January 2013Esther McVey MPMinister for Disabled PeopleMeasuring Child Poverty: A Consultation on Better Measures of Child PovertyChild Poverty Consultation Event, Our Place, Liverpool[check against delivery]Thank you all for coming today to feed into the Government’s consultation on measuring child poverty.As MP for Wirral West, I know the passion and expertise with which your organisations work with children in poverty in the North West. I share that passion with you, and today is your chance to be the voice of our local children on a national stage. I’ll ensure that your views are heard in Westminster and taken into account. The Government knows that the knowledge needed to tackle child poverty doesn’t lie in Whitehall, it lies with people like you.This is why it’s great to be here at Our Place today. Youth centres like this play a big role in improving the lives and life chances of our children and young people. With 32 per cent of Knowsley’s children living in poverty, these services really are invaluable.As Minister for Disabled People, I’m particularly impressed by the services offered here to young people with disabilities, allowing them to integrate more fully into the youth community here.The child poverty consultation was launched on 15 November 2012 by Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, and Schools Minister, David Laws.It’s a real example of the coalition commitment to thinking seriously about child poverty. Two years on, the coalition remains strong, determined and driven to improve children’s lives.Here in Merseyside, 27 per cent of children live in families with below 60 per cent of median income.Of course, income matters.But in my work with children and young people, I’ve seen time and time again that poverty isn’t simply about income. As frontline workers and advocates for children in poverty, you know this even better than me.But last year, statistics showed that 300,000 children in the UK were moved out of poverty. This wasn’t because of improvements in their standard of living or life chances. Instead, it was due to a fall in national median income which pushed the poverty line down.Those children who moved over the poverty line had no more experiences, no improved opportunities, and no better lives than they did before.This shows that we need a better measure of child poverty, one that won’t change simply because of the state of the economy.This consultation is about addressing the real drivers of child poverty.The income-focussed measures in the Child Poverty Act can’t capture the experience of growing up in poverty, or the barriers to escaping this poverty. A better measure will widen our perspective to show what life is really like for children in poverty today.Through this we can try to make changes that really transform children’s lives. We need to look at what causes poverty, and so help people find a way out of that poverty.Worklessnessis one of these causes.The coalition is united on the importance of work. Work is central to wellbeing. It’s one of the best ways to increase independence and self-esteem, and is central to someone’s identity.As Minister for Disabled People, I’ve seen how innovative schemes enabling vulnerable groups to re-enter the workforce can have a real effect on people’s lives.This is echoed throughout the Government. Getting people back to work and helping them live independent lives really is a coalition priority.A record number of people are in work and one million private-sector jobs have been created since the Election. The number of people out of work has also fallen by 82,000 in the last quarter. We know times are tough and there’s still more to be done, but we are making progress.Not everyone, of course, is well equipped to find work. That’s why areas likeparental skill levelare included in this consultation.Some parents, keen as they are to work, are constrained by a lack of qualifications or experience.Children need their parents to be role models if they are to get these qualifications and experiences themselves.And small businesses need these qualifications and experiences to function.If we can address low parental skill level then we can better tackle poverty for the whole family, both parents and children.  Of course, families matter in other ways as well.Thefamily stabilitydimension of this consultation shows just how big an impact family breakdown can have on some children’s lives It’s not just economic – where some children are drawn into parental conflict they’re more likely to suffer poor outcomes, doing less well at school and being more likely to run away from home. There’s the issue of role models too.Similarly, high levels ofunmanageabledebtcan be a burden on the whole family. A family trapped in spiralling debt may not have the money left to meet their basic needs, but this is something that the current child poverty measure doesn’t take into consideration.  Then there’seducation. Children whose hopes and dreams are stifled by a failing school simply don’t have the same chances as children who are supported every step of the way by inspirational teachers and role models.These role models can come from school, but they’re also found all over.  Employers, the family, the local community – they’re all fundamental in our children’s lives. And that’s why places like OurPlace are just so important.Whether it’sworklessness, debt, ill health, family instability or educational failure, across the Coalition we’re taking action to address the barriers that hold children back.A better measure of child poverty will enable us to better address the causes and consequences of poverty and lead to real transformative change.Of course, money matters, and no measure of child poverty will overlook this. But other things matter too, and this is what the Coalition is hoping to illustrate in its new measure of child poverty.Thank you. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2013/14-01-13.shtml Esther McVey MP Measuring child poverty: A consultation on better measures of child Poverty 2013-01-14 Department for Work and Pensions Measuring Child Poverty: A Consultation on Better Measures of Child Poverty
Content13 December 2012Esther McVey MPMinister for Disabled PeopleOral statement on Personal Independence PaymentHouse of Commons[check against delivery]ReformThe Government is committed to enabling disabled people to fulfil their potential and play a full role in society.Crucial to this is the reform of Disability Living Allowance – a lifeline for many, but which is simply not working in its current form.In the last 10 years the number of people claiming rose by over a third, from around 2.4 million to 3.2 million.And expenditure is now far in excess of initial estimated costs.This year DWP expects to spend over £13 billion on DLAAs a percentage of GDP, we spend a fifth more than the EU average on disability benefits.... and expect to spend more in real terms in 2015/16 than we did in 2009/10.TodayToday we are publishing the Government’s consultation responses –, on the draft assessment criteria... and on the detailed design of PIP.Alongside this, I will be laying in draft in Parliament the main PIP regulations, setting out the PIP entitlement conditions, assessment criteria and payment rates. And we will also publish in draft what the transitional arrangements might look like.The main scheme regulations are subject to the affirmative procedure and I look forward to debating them in full early next year.Personal Independence Payment will be, easier to understand and administer, financially sustainable, and more objective.Throughout the whole development, we have consulted widely with disabled people. We have used their views to inform policy design and implementation plans. As a result of hearing these views, we have made several key changes to the final assessment criteria.I would like to thank the individuals and organisations who contributed.Starting with the rates. I am pleased to confirm the rates for PIP will be set at the same rates as DLA.The daily living enhanced rate of PIP will be the same as the higher rate care component of DLAAnd the standard rate of the daily living component will be set atmiddlerate DLA care componentThe mobility rates of PIP will be the same as the DLA ratesFurthermore, following the Autumn Statement, these disability benefits will be protected within our uprating measures.PIP, like DLA and Carer’s Allowance, will continue to be uprated by inflation.ChangesThe most important thing I want to announce today is that we have listened and acted on the huge amount of consultation we have had with disabled people and disability groupsWe have made specific, key changes as a result of our engagement.Outlined in full in our consultation responses, these include...broadening our approach to aids and appliances, assessing ability to read and taking account of specialist orientation aids that help mobilitymirroring the linking rules for DLA – helping ensure continuity for people with fluctuating conditionsand new plans for contacting young people when they reach the age of 16 or their appointees to help a smooth transition to PIPAll the changes we have made address the genuine concerns of disabled people and the organisations representing them.Overall, their effect is to make PIP more transparent, objective, and fair...Reassessment StrategyWe also listened carefully to concerns about the speed of reassessment.To that end we will now undertake a significantly slower reassessment timetable to ensure we get this right.It will be phased in starting with new claims only in a controlled start area in the North West and parts of the North East of England from April 2013.We will then take new claims nationally from June 2013.From October 2013 we will start reassessing people whose DLA award is due to end, people who report a change in condition and young people who reach the age of 16.But now the peak period of reassessments will not start until October 2015.This means we can learn from the early introduction of PIP – testing our process, and making sure the assessment is working correctly before we embark on higher volumes.We will then consider the findings of our first independent review planned for 2014 and act on its findings.Importantly, unless they report a change in their condition, those with a lifetime or indefinite DLA award will not be reassessed until October 2015 at the earliest.ImpactsWe can now publish caseload assumptions about the impact of PIP.These figures clearly show that PIP will deliver its key objective – focussing support on those with the greatest needs.By October 2015 we estimate we will have reassessed 560,000 claimants.Of these 160,000 will get a reduced award and 170,000 will get no award. However 230,000 will get the same support or more support.Under the new criteria, almost a quarter of PIP recipients will get both of the highest rates – worth £134.40 each week – compared to only 16% on DLA. But by reforming the system, ensuring it is fit for the 21st century... we can use the money we spend on disabled people more efficiently and effectively, to help those most in need. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/13-12-12.shtml Esther McVey MP Oral statement on Personal Independence Payment 2012-12-13 Department for Work and Pensions Oral statement on Personal Independence Payment
Content27 November 2012Rt Hon Iain Duncan SmithSecretary of State for Work and PensionsEnding Gang and Youth Violence ConferenceInstituteof Education, London[check against delivery]IntroductionIt is a pleasure to be here today – at a conference which I am pleased has ranged far wider than just the Government perspective on ending gang and youth violence.From grassroots charities... to community leaders... and innovative police initiatives......  it has long been clear to me that making a real difference to gang-impacted areas requires an expertise that lies beyond Whitehall.At the Centre for Social Justice, an organisation I set up in 2004, our report ‘Dying to Belong’ showed how far successive government interventions had failed – allowing gangs to become entrenched in some of our most disadvantaged neighbourhoods.The riotsEven before the recession, with poor social mobility and income inequality the worst for a generation…… benefit dependency, dysfunctional families, debt, crime, and drugs became the norm for whole communities.Whilst there was some awareness of these high and rising levels of social breakdown, the majority of people remained unaware of the true nature of life on our poorest estates.Occasionally a terrible incident would make it onto the front pages...... but because they were small in number, people could turn away from the reality.Even politicians considered gangs a second order issue.Yet by failing to deal with it, we were storing up trouble further down the line.In August 2011, the inner city came to call – and the violence we saw on our streets provided a moment of clarity for all of us.The riots were a wake-up call, revealing all too vividly the deeper problems that we as a society had chosen to ignore.A cause and a symptomIn the aftermath, the Prime Minister rightly called for a report into Britain’s street gangs.The riots showed that in many inner city areas, gangs dominate – in London, at least one in five of those convicted was known to be part of a gang.Even where they are small in number, gangs can have a disproportionately negative impact on their local area – bringing with them crime, drug abuse and pulling others around them into their destructive cycle.But gangs are not just a cause of social breakdown – they are also an important symptom.The majority of rioters were under 24.Most of these young people had poor academic records.Nine out of ten were known to the police and a third had been in prison.70% of those arrested came from the 30% most deprived areas.So whilst we must be tough on the instigators of violence, we cannot simply arrest our way out of the problem.Making a real difference to Britain’s gang culture requires us to tackle the problem at its source...... addressing the educational and social failures, which all too often mean children from broken homes and the back of the classroom falling into the clutches of gangs.A new approachThis principle underpinned the Government’s Ending Gang and Youth Violence Report, published in November last year – which established a new cross-Government approach.Focussed on the 29 local areas facing the most challenging situations...... the report made clear that alongside intensive police action and enforcement to end violence and bring perpetrators to justice...... we must match this with an offer of support to exit gang life, and an equally intensive prevention strategy.The key here is early intervention: as well as offering a way out, it is vital to do all we can to stop people from joining gangs in the first place.Putting the structures in placeA year after embarking on this new strategy, it is right that we consider our progress.That is why today, the Government is publishing a paper outlining what has been achieved in the last 12 months.To start, what this shows is that although we’re not completely there yet....... we are making progress in putting the right structures in place to end gang and youth violence.A multi-agency approachImportantly, instead of a disconnected, siloed approach...... with different Departments and agencies all focussing on their own narrow brief, but no one seeing the whole picture...… we are now pushing ahead with a co-ordinated, multi-agency approach.This is led by a frontline team delivering peer support to each gang-impacted area – drawing together the expertise of around 70 independent advisers, from health and education, to employment and welfare, safeguarding and community engagement.Using a standard definition, the Association of Chief Police Officers has now mapped gangs across the country.And with my Department driving improvements in data and knowledge sharing, different organisations are now working together to better identify and address gang-related issues.There is still more to do to strengthen local partnerships – and the recently elected police and crime commissioners will need to play a central role...... joining up with community leaders and voluntary organisations to develop effective local solutions.To do this, they will need a robust evidence base – and over the next year, we will be doing more to develop and share best practice around what works.Forging a positive futureWhat we already know is that the greatest gains stand to be made when policies are focussed on preventing gang and youth violence, rather than waiting to pick up the pieces.Take the fact that boys assessed by medical practitioners at the age of 3 as being ‘at risk’ had two and a half times as many criminal convictions by age 21, as those deemed not to be at risk.So whether it be investing £30 million in relationship support, ensuring children have stable families and positive role models in their early years...... funding over 360,000 apprentices last year alone and raising the participation age, to keep pupils engaged in structured education and off the streets...... across Government we are working hard to close off the pathways that lead young people to gang life in the first place.To take just one example, consider the impact of our £30 million Innovation Fund – which has now backed 10 social impact bonds...... supporting around 17,000 of our most vulnerable young people over a 3 year period.With a remit that extends to those aged 14 and 15, the Fund enables providers to intervene even earlier in a young person’s life...... and in the second tranche of projects launched last month, two are specifically focused on supporting those at risk of involvement in gangs...... including both a prevention programme focused on reducing knife crime, and workshops which expose the reality of prison and the impact it has on young people’s prospects.These are cutting edge solutions – but by giving providers the opportunity to develop a proof of concept, proven programmes can be rolled out locally or nationally.Overall, current projects are expected to improve the educational and employment outcomes for up to 28,000 young people – helping them forge a positive future, away from the negative influences of gang membership.Full and sustainable rehabilitationThis last point is crucial.All our interventions must translate into meaningful outcomes – transforming the lives of people most in need and entrenched in disadvantage.As I have said, early intervention is one side of the coin, improving the life chances of would-be gang members.The other is rehabilitation – prioritising full and sustainable recovery and providing a second chance for those whose lives do go off track.The rioters who were convicted received an average sentence of just under 17 months – almost exactly the length of time that has now passed since the riots themselves.As individuals are released from prison, the One Year On report outlines the crucial steps we have taken to rehabilitate ex-offenders into the community – rather than letting them fall back into a life of gangs and crime.Evidence shows that being in employment is vital, reducing the risk of re-offending by between a third and a half.That is why in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice, my Department is setting offenders on a journey back to work before they leave prison.Claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance, which has a requirement to actively seek work at its heart, can now start to be processed prior to release...... and we have introduced a new provision in the Work Programme so that prison leavers can receive tailored support to get them work-ready, find a job and remain there for a sustained period – from the first day they are out.What’s more, through piloting a new approach to joint commissioning in 2 areas across England and Wales, we are paying providers for the results they achieve both in terms of employment outcomes and reducing re-offending.In all this, because we are paying by results, we will only pay for what works – ensuing that every pound spent is a pound that leads to life change.Get someone free of violence... out of gang life... and into work……and you help them find a foothold in society again – and stay there.Long-term commitmentThis is just a snapshot of some of the work now underway to tackle gangs and youth violence.One year on, I believe we are on the right path.Now we must consolidate that progress, working collaboratively across and beyond Government to achieve more.For whilst this summer saw a welcome contrast to that of 2011...... the scenes of Jubilee street parties and Olympic celebrations should not eclipse the continuing severity and complexity of the problem we still face.A lasting legacy will not be achieved through a knee-jerk response to the riots.Rather, if we are to transform the lives of our most disadvantaged young people, it will require a long-term commitment.ConclusionAs well as progress to date, the One Year On report outlines our next steps –signalling that further action is needed to drive support on the ground and momentum across Government.It is my mission to keep gang and youth violence at the top of the Coalition’s agenda, over the next year and beyond.Today we reiterate our commitment to end gang and youth violence.We owe it to young people in communities across the country not to let our gaze drop…… or let them fall back into forgotten shadows…... but to deliver on that promise and break the destructive cycle of gang life that can ruin so many lives.Ending gang and youth violence: One year on(Home Office) None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/27-11-12.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Ending Gang and Youth Violence 2012-11-27 Department for Work and Pensions Ending Gang and Youth Violence Conference
Content15 November 2012Rt Hon Iain Duncan SmithSecretary of State for Work and PensionsLaunch of the Government’s consultation on better measures of child poverty[check against delivery]ThanksWelcome, thank you for coming.Thanks also to Cathyrn Kinsey and Clyde Children’s Centre for hosting today’s launch...... Matthew Reed, for his introduction...... and the Children’s Society for their support.IntroductionThe consultation we are launching today has been a long time in the making.Yet I believe the need for it could not be more pressing.In a country as wealthy as the UK, it is an injustice that so many children remain trapped on the margins...... growing up in dysfunctional families, characterised by multiple disadvantage.For many years, I have sought to better understand how poverty affects our poorest communities and our most vulnerable families.Spending time in deprived neighbourhoods and learning from local leaders, it has long been clear to me that the drivers of disadvantage are many and complex.Against the grain of the common political discourse, one focused overwhelmingly on the number of people sitting below the relative income line...... time and time again I was confronted with a clear message – namely that whilst money is important, it rarely tells the whole story.The realityAcross the UK, there are children living in circumstances that simply cannot be captured by assessing whether their household has more or less than 60% of the average income.There are many factors that impact on a child’s wellbeing and ability to succeed in life.Whilst the Child Poverty Act does include a range of measures, a disproportionate focus on relative income does little to represent the experience of those in poverty.As we saw earlier this year – when the child poverty level dropped by 2% – a fall in the median income may lift a family out of poverty on paper.Yet at a closer look, real incomes did not rise and absolute poverty was unchanged.For the 300,000 children no longer in poverty according to the official statistics, life was no different.‘Poverty plus a pound’This has long been my concern – that a fixation on relative income... on moving people over an arbitrary line... does little toidentifythose most in need and entrenched in disadvantage, nor totransformtheir lives.For families across the UK, who are income poor...... but more than that, whose lives are blighted by worklessness, educational failure, family breakdown, problem debt and poor health, as well as other problems....... giving them an extra pound – say through increased benefits – will not address the reason they find themselves in difficulty in the first place.Worse still, unless there is a meaningful, sustainable change in the lives of the recipients, they become more dependent not less...... resulting in poor social outcomes and deeper entrenchment.We must learn the lessons of the previous decade, where despite best intentions and despite an unprecedented level of spending – £171 billion on tax credits and a 60% real increase in welfare bills...... the Government failed to reach their target to halve child poverty by 2010.The ‘poverty plus a pound’ approach failed because the root causes of poverty were left unchecked and not enough was done to break the cycle of disadvantage.People should be able to get on in life, no matter what their background.Thinking differentlyIt is clear that we need to think differently about poverty – doing more to understand the scale and nature of the problem we are trying to solve.The consensus has moved on since last December when I spoke at the LSE to initiate this debate.What everyone wants is a system of measuring child poverty that reflects the principle that poverty is about more than income alone...... recognising that whilst it matters, money is not by itself a representative measure of children’s current wellbeing, nor of their future life chances.A new multidimensional measureIn truth, no statistic will everperfectlyreflect what it means for a child to live in poverty.Every individual experiences hardship differently – some children are susceptible to life shocks, while others cope with, or even thrive in spite of chronic disadvantage.We are also limited by what it is possible to measure, the data available, and how much that data can tell us.Nevertheless, I believe it is possible to develop abetterindicator than the current measure...... one which does more to reflect vital childhood experiences:growing up in a stable family... seeing a parent go out to work... going to a good school.The Coalition Government is committed to developinga new multidimensional measureof child poverty.This new measure will span different indicators, drawing together our knowledge of what it means for a child to live in poverty.It must be robust in showing the total number of children living in poverty in the UK and the severity of that poverty...... whilst also being widely accepted by the public as meaningful and accurate.Today’s consultationThese are the criteria for a new measure.Today, we are launching a consultation on what that measure should look like...... harnessing the expertise of local organisations, charities and social enterprises – such as the many gathered here today – and listening to what you have to say.This consultation is our first step.In it, we suggest a number of dimensions that might be used to build a picture of a child’s life...... posing questions which will be crucial to the success of our future measure.Household incomeFirst, the inclusion of household income remains central.Income plays a crucial role in a child’s experience of growing up:those living in low income households have lower expectations for the future, and considerably poorer self-esteem...... with effects that can last a lifetime.Take the fact that teenagers who suffered relative low income in the 1980s are almost four times more likely to be in relative low income as adults.Buthowwe measure income is also important.Relative income only tells us about the amount of money a household has coming in.It does not tell us whether a family has savings or assets to fall back on.Currently, a family who are cash poor but asset rich are counted as being in poverty.Yet their circumstances may be very different to a family without any assets at all – who have no means of tiding themselves over during difficult periods, and therefore find themselves locked in poverty.Money to meet basic needsNor does relative income tell us whether money is reaching children, or if the family are able to afford essential items – in other words, levels of material deprivation.Say a household’s income is going towards servicing problem debt – as for a third of children in income poverty, who live in households with arrears on one or more of their bills.A family trapped in spiralling debts may not have money left to meet their most basic needs...... something that the current child poverty measure simply cannot uncover...... but which has a profound impact on children.WorklessnessThesourceof income also makes a difference.For some people, such as those with severe disabilities, income from the state will always play a vital role – and this Government will always stand by its promise to protect the most vulnerable.However, for those who are able to work, this has to be seen as the best route out of poverty.The pound we earn is always more powerful than the pound we are given.Being out of work and on benefits... especially for long periods of time... can have a devastating impact on parents’ confidence, relationships and well-being – which in turn has negative implications for children.Children in workless households are more likely to have challenging behaviour... poor academic attainment... and be unemployed themselves when they grow up... than if a parent was in paid employment.Work is not just about more money.It has a transformative effect on children’s lives and aspirations.Parents’ chancesGiven this vital importance, it also matters whether parents have a real opportunity to become self-sufficient.This means measuring factors such as parental health and skills, which determine whether a family has the resilience and resources to lift themselves out of poverty.A lack of qualifications, for example, increases the chances of being unemployed or low paid... in some cases, more than doubling the likelihood of being in persistent, rather than temporary poverty.The scar of growing up in a household with low parental skills can persist across generations.Of parents with low qualifications, only a quarter of their children will gain high level skills – compared to over two thirds, where parents are high achieving themselves.As problems become ingrained...... all too often, children who grow up in poverty become the parents of the next generation living in poverty.FamilyA realistic measure of child poverty should describe this vicious cycle – incorporating those factors which impact so severely on children’s life chances.By itself, an income measure fails to capture the most important building block in a child’s early years: family.Evidence shows a marked relationship between family breakdown and socio-economic disadvantage.A third of children in lone parent families live in households in the poorest income quintile... compared to a fifth of those in couple families.The consequences of family breakdown are not only financial.Where children are drawn into parental conflict they are more likely to suffer poor outcomes, doing less well at school and being more likely to run away from home.As one young person explained to us: "The young kids are always outside, even in the snow and the rain... their house is not their sanctuary, it’s something to escape from."Growing up in a dysfunctional family... living in poor housing... or an unsafe or deprived area...... these are the disadvantages that children experience acutely...... and which surely, a better measure of child poverty must do more to reflect.Access to quality educationIf home life is important, so too school life.When children don’t get the best start in life, it is often left to the education system to pick up the pieces.What’s more, how well a child does at school is another of the strongest determinants of how well they go on to do in adulthood.Quality early years education, followed by a school with good teachers, facilities and ethos can open the door to opportunity and achievement...... whereas attending a failing school can crush ambition, pushing disadvantaged children still further into a cycle of poverty.This is a bleak future, and one which we can no longer overlook.Only through a better representation of this experience will we truly know how many children are living in poverty in the UK.The challengeWhether it be debt, worklessness, ill health, addiction, family breakdown or educational failure...... across the Coalition, we are taking action to address the barriers that hold children back.The challenge remains how wemeasuretheir effect.It is possible: local authorities already include a wide basket of indicators in measuring child poverty.The local data released last week showed both that the number of children in workless households fell and that wider indicators of child poverty were improving.It is time for our national measurements to catch up.Expertise beyond WhitehallIn developing a new multidimensional measure, we need to consider how different dimensions interrelate, which overlap, and which can be easily quantified.Doing so will require a wide range of expertise.Our consultation is a call to action.Launched today, it will run until 15 February 2013.I urge you to bring your knowledge to bear on what the future measure could look like.This is groundbreaking work...... and a unique opportunity to shape how child poverty is understood...... now and for generations to come.ConclusionThe new measure is designed to expose the real scale of child poverty in this country, and to make clear the real challenge we face...... ensuring that improvement in the number of children in poverty is not just the result of an extra pound in a parent’s pocket, or worse, the economy shrinking...... but of a life that has beentransformed.Measuring Child Poverty: A consultation on better measures of child poverty(Department for Education) None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/15-11-12.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Better measures on child poverty – launch of the Government’s consultation 2012-11-15 Department for Work and Pensions Launch of the Government’s consultation on better measures of child poverty
Content31 October 2012Rt Hon Iain Duncan SmithSecretary of State for Work and PensionsGovKnow Conference: ‘Social Justice: Transforming Lives’[to check against delivery]IntroductionThanks to Tim Smith and Government Knowledge for organising, to Mark Fisher and the whole of the Social Justice Directorate at DWP.It is a pleasure to be here, at an event which brings together so many people in the cause of social justice.Collectively you have decades of experience and a wealth of expertise in addressing our most pressing social problems...... vital resources in our mission to transform the lives of Britain’s most disadvantaged individuals and families – those without a foot even on the first rung of the social ladder.It was enterprises and charities such as the many gathered today which inspired me to establish the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) back in 2004...... set up to champion the cause of the most disadvantaged communities and to help grassroots organisations make their voices heard in Government.Centre for Social JusticeAt the CSJ, our starting point was listening to what organisations such as yourselves had to say – through 3,000 hours of public hearings and over 2,000 written submissions, we learnt what worked and what didn’t.Our findings showed that even in the most dysfunctional and deprived households... in estates blighted by worklessness and dependency... it is possible to turn people’s lives around.Yet what was also clear was the necessity of tackling the root causes of social breakdown, not just treating the symptoms.You don’t cure drug dependency by parking addicts on methadone.You don’t help someone who’s ill by writing them off on benefits and forgetting about them.You don’t stop spiralling debt by leaving people to the loan sharks.And you don’t help families by shrugging your shoulders when parental relationships fall apart.Making a meaningful, sustainable difference to those in poverty means addressing the problem at its source.I hope this is a principle that all of us here would subscribe to.And it is important to acknowledge how far the debate has moved on in the last decade or so.Even in the face of scepticism and doubt, we are now seeing signs that this approach is guiding how the whole of Government delivers social programmes.A driving ethosWhen the Prime Minister invited me to lead the Social Justice Cabinet Committee, it was a real opportunity to take that aspiration and root it in a Government mechanism.By ranging across different departments, the Cabinet Committee ensures that whether in reform of the welfare system, the education system, the criminal justice system, addiction services, or whatever else…… Government social policy is collaborative, joined-up and underpinned by a single driving ethos.It is much to the credit of those working in my Department and others that we have achieved such traction in such a relatively short time.In March this year, we published the Social Justice strategy – establishing a radical new set of principles for transforming the lives of the most disadvantaged individuals and families.First, prioritising early intervention, preventing the root causes of disadvantage – whether it be family breakdown, educational failure, worklessness, addiction, or crime.Second, building and growing a market for a new way of funding social interventions, based on investment in social returns – so that the money follows the outcome, and we pay for what works.And third, being innovative and locally led, in partnerships with the private and voluntary sectors.These are the principles at the heart of the social justice agenda.Today marks another milestone in putting them into practice.Outcomes not inputsThe launch of the social justice outcomes framework highlights our priorities and sets out a new approach to how we measure our progress.It is about shining a light on the challenge we face, taking an unflinching look at the outcomes we are achieving, and holding ourselves to account.For too long, I believe, the success of social programmes has been judged on inputs – with politicians pouring money into projects so they are seen to be doing something...... and an entire lobbying industry measuring how much a government cares by the amount it spends.In this high level debate, too few stopped to ask what the results of all this were.Nothing illustrates this more clearly than the latest child poverty figures.Despite spending a vast amount of money in the pursuit of halving child poverty, in June we learnt that the last government failed to meet their target.Notwithstanding some £171 billion spent on tax credits between 2003/04 and 2010... and £90 billion on working age welfare in 2010 alone...... this strategy did not do enough to transform the lives of the poor, and too many of the root causes of poverty remained unchecked.Instead of big spending to grab media headlines and placate interest groups in the short term...... for every pound we should be asking – how does it promote lasting life change?Social Justice outcomes frameworkNow, drawing on our discussions with the voluntary and community sectors, we have designed a set of outcome measures that will actually track whether our policies are doing just that......  turning the focus away from inputs...... and towards the impact that social programmes are having in terms of transforming people’s lives.The framework is not a set of targets.Nor an additional burden on providers.It is about encouraging a cultural shift in how local authorities and government at large deliver services for the most vulnerable – driving programmes that make a real difference.FamiliesThat starts with the family, the most important building block in a child’s life.When families are strong and stable, so are children – showing higher levels of wellbeing and more positive outcomes.But when things go wrong – either through family breakdown or a damaged parental relationship – the impact on a child’s later life can be devastating.Take the fact that in a survey of offenders, 41% reported witnessing violence in their home as a child.That’s why we have already invested £30 million in relationship support, to prevent family breakdown rather than waiting to pick up the pieces.And it’s why we're working across Government to improve the support available for families who experience abuse at home – more effectively punishing the perpetrator and doing more to educate young people about domestic violence.The very first indictor in our outcomes framework makes clear that stable, loving families matter.They matter for this Government, and they matter for the most vulnerable in society.By measuring the proportion of children living with the same parents from birthandwhether their parents report a good quality relationship...... we are driving home the message that social programmes should promote family stability and avert breakdown.EducationBut if family is the most important building block, school is often the second most important in a child’s life.All the more shocking then, that schools are failing pupils from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.By the age of 10, a bright child on free school meals can be overtaken by more advantaged children who showed less promise when they were younger.From the back of the classroom it is all too often a slippery slope to truancy, and from there to a life of benefits, and in extreme cases, gangs and crime.More than half of young offenders were permanently excluded from school.This is a bleak future, and we must end it.Across Government... from extending free early education to the most disadvantaged two-year-olds, to the pupil premium to ensure poor children get fair access to a decent education...... we are putting provision in place to ensure that where a child starts out in life does not determine where they end up.The second and third of our key indicators are about measuring our progress towards this goal – focusing on whether children from disadvantaged backgrounds are attaining the same educational outcomes as their peers, and the percentage of young people falling into a pattern of offending.In other words, measuring how far we are enabling children and young people to realise their potential.WorklessnessBut as well as preventing people from falling into difficulty in the first place, when people’s lives do go off course we have a duty to offer a way out.How ironic, then, that the welfare system has often played a part in conditioning people to grow dependent on state support, and treat it as a long-term income stream.After the recession, some 5 million people claiming out of work benefits, 1 million of them for a decade or more.This entrenched culture of worklessness and dependency is not only the source of soaring welfare bills...... more than that, there is a fundamental unfairness in confining people to the margins, leaving them to languish there unseen for years.This Government will always stand by its promise to protect the most vulnerable and provide support for those whose sickness or disability puts them in difficulty.But if we are serious about making a sustainable difference to those in poverty, for those who can, we must do all we are able to help them into work – moving from dependence to independenceThis belief underpins the whole package of reforms that I am driving in the Department for Work and Pensions.We are introducing the Universal Credit, a single payment withdrawn at a single rate, so it is always clear to people that work pays more than benefits.And we are delivering the Work Programme – offering personalised support to get people back into employment and keep them there.Almost 60% of those who currently claim working-age benefits have been doing so for at least three of the past four years.By measuring the proportion of those who are capable of work, or moving towards work in future, but have been on benefits for long periods...... the new outcomes framework will mean we concentrate our efforts on reaching those individuals for whom worklessness has become a way of life.Tackling multiple problemsThis marks a change in the welfare culture in this country, the renewal of a system that acts as a springboard rather than a trap.Part of social justice is about extending this cultural shift across the whole of Government – doing more to help individuals on a journey to an independent life beyond the state.Indicators 5 and 6 in the framework prioritise sustainable, full recovery – focusing on outcomes for those in treatment for addiction, and re-offending rates for those who have committed crime...... recognising that such problems are often linked and overlapping.Take the example of someone recently released from prison.Evidence shows that being in employment reduces the risk of re-offending by between a third and a half.So although those with a criminal record often face difficulties obtaining work, if we are to break the cycle of re-offending it is vital to help them secure a job.That’s why we have introduced a new provision so ex-offenders can access the Work Programme from day one.By taking Jobseeker’s Allowance claims in prisons, we ensure that offenders are prepared for the transition from the prison to the community.They receive immediate support to get them work-ready and find a job – rather than going back to a life of crime.Payment by resultsWhat’s more, the Work Programme actually incentivises providers to support the hardest to help…… pioneering the use of payment by results, with the biggest payouts for successfully keeping individuals in work for 2 years.Because we are paying by results, we will only pay for what works – reducing the risk on the taxpayerandensuring that every pound of Government money is targeted where it has a positive impact on people’s lives.Our intention is to see an outcome-based approach extended across Government services...... as the best way to shift focus towards the delivering meaningful, sustainable results.Just this month the Prime Minister announced his intention to roll out payment by results across the probation services, making it the norm by 2015.Back in April we launched 8 national drug and alcohol recovery pilots, paying providers not just for putting addicts through treatment but for the results they achieve in rehabilitating addicts.In this case, for the outcomes to be sustainable, one thing is absolutely clear – rehabilitation means getting individuals off drugs and alcohol altogether rather than dependent on a substitute.No one knows this better than Noreen Oliver, whom you will have heard from earlier – an inspirational woman putting this idea into practice.She and Bac O’Connor have been championing this approach for years...... but we are now starting to embed the same principle into the benefits, health and justice systems.Solve that problem – get someone clean……get them free of crime…... get them into work……and you help them find a foothold in society again – and stay there.Early interventionA payment by results system works best when the ways we measure are relatively straightforward.But across Government, we are prioritising early intervention – getting to the root of social problems early, rather than waiting to pick up the pieces.It’s very promising to see other organisations doing the same, and I’d like to welcome the announcement by the Big Lottery Fund today, of new funding for children’s early years.By improving life chances, we stand to reap the benefits further down the line – alleviating the social problems which so are often more difficult to tackle once they become entrenched.But because these are dynamic interventions, the impact is trickier to measure and more difficult to forecast.So if we are to unlock new funding streams it is vital to establish a measurable quality to programmes that deliver over a longer period...... giving potential investors a better understanding of what the financial outcomes might be.That is why we’re establishing the Early Intervention Foundation which will provide advice on social finance... assisting local commissioners with their own procurement and evaluation... as well building the evidence base around what works and for whom.And it’s why we’re testing a variety of cutting edge programmes through our £30 million Innovation Fund, so practitioners can develop a proof of concept – in turn making it easier to access alternative funding streams.Today, I am pleased to announce the successful bidders in a second round of funding, focused specifically on supporting the most disadvantaged 14 and 15 year olds – those in care, disengaged from school, or involved in gangs, crime and drugs.These bidders – Prevista, Social Finance and 3SC – join a growing list of organisations bringing together government money in partnership with businesses and charities...... making the UK a world leader in Social Impact Bonds.Social investmentWe are making progress in opening up the social investment market – the final piece of our outcomes framework.You will all have heard of the Peterborough pilot, where social investment is funding charities to run rehabilitation programmes with prisoners.But from Perth to the Midlands, Merseyside to London, we are channelling private money to help improve the employment prospects of our most disadvantaged young people.In all cases, investors see a return only if a meaningful outcome is achieved – reoffending falls, more teenagers engage in education – paid for by the Government out of the reduced costs of social breakdown.The challenge is how to build on these early successes – something I’m sure that the Minister for Civil Society will be talking about in more detail later.Social investment is worth around £190 million, a number that pales in comparison with the £3.6 billion annual outlay on philanthropic grant funding.So clearly, there is more to do to grow the market – and now, we have an indicator to measure just that.Reconnecting the top and bottomIf we can get it right, I believe social investment has huge potential.Because someone is risking their money on an investment – money that could otherwise be reaping a return elsewhere – it brings a whole new discipline and rigour to how Government delivers social programmes.But more than that – perhaps most importantly – social investment could be a powerful tool for building a more cohesive society.The gap between the top and bottom of society is in many cases larger than it has ever been.We have a group of skilled professionals and wealth creators at the top of society who have little or no connection to those at the bottom.Yet in so many cases what divides the two is little more than a different start in life. I believe social investment gives us an opportunity to lock not just the wealth but also the skills of those at the top of society back into our most disadvantaged areas.Imagine you create a social bond in a particular deprived neighbourhood. Investors buy into it and as with any investment, will want to see it flourish – taking an interest in that community where they would otherwise be totally detached.At the same time, these wealth creators can have a dramatic effect on the communities themselves...... showing those at the bottom that they have an opportunity to turn their own lives around and move up the social ladder.PartnershipsThis takes me back the point I made at the very beginning.At the heart of everything we are doing is a focus on communities and local solutions.Charities and social enterprises are the true heartbeat of social reform, leading local regeneration, reaching the most marginalised individuals, and challenging us to work with them to resolve society’s most pressing problems.If we are harness this power, Government’s approach to commissioning support services has a crucial part to play.I am pleased to announce that the Department for Work and Pensions is actively reviewing its approach to commissioning, looking at how this can support the wider aims of reform and social justice.Wherever possible, we want to ensure that we pay for results, provide value for money......andsupport a vibrant voluntary and community sector.ConclusionOur purpose should be to put in place the mechanisms to restore people...... enabling those trapped on the margins to take control of their lives, and giving them hope and aspiration for their future and their children’s futures.You told us what you needed to achieve that kind of life change.And although we’re not there yet, we are pushing hard to put the right structures in place and remove the barriers that hinder your work.Now is not the time to slow the pace of reform, and we must work collaboratively across and beyond Government to push harder and do more.For those people who feel trapped, dependent on a broken society, there is no time to waste.For their sake we must change the ethos of government, from one obsessed with inputs...... to one concerned about outcomes...... having the courage to be open and honest about whether those outcomes are being achieved. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/31-10-12a.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP GovKnow Conference "Social Justice: Transforming Lives" 2012-10-31 Department for Work and Pensions GovKnow Conference: ‘Social Justice: Transforming Lives’
Content31 October 2012Lord FreudMinister for Welfare ReformNational Landlords AssociationKenilworth[Check against delivery]Thank you for inviting me here today to discuss the important issues of welfare reform and the role of private sector landlords.Firstly I want to congratulate private sector landlords for the important role they have played in the economy as a whole.You have been of huge value during these recent turbulent times. Taking over 590,000 extra tenants on Housing Benefit, an increase of over 50% – for which we are extremely grateful.Over the last ten years Housing Benefit expenditure has almost doubled in cash terms from £12 billion in 2001 to £23 billion in 2011. Without our reforms this will increase to £25 billion by 2014/15.Sadly this is the system we have inherited. A system that allowed some families who were living in areas with incredibly high rents, to claim over £100,000 a year in housing costs. This means they had very little chance of ever earning enough to escape being on benefits. This is why, when the Coalition Government came to power 2 years ago, we made a commitment to turn these people’s lives around and to take control of the spiralling welfare costs.The economic reality was that we needed a massive increase in private rental supply. Private sector landlords have proved to be immensely successful in helping to meet this challenge. But with such strong demand, there is always a risk of tenants (and taxpayers) paying over the odds for housing. To help keep rents from rising further we have set Local Housing Allowance rates at the 30th percentile of rents, rather than the median or 50th percentile. All but the most expensive parts of London will have properties available at around 30th percentile levels.We have also made clearer what the state is prepared to pay.We have imposed the overall weekly Housing Benefit cap so that the highest rate any household could claim was £400 per week – still no small sum – it still adds up to more than £20,000 per year. We accept that in some cases people may have to move out of the more expensive properties but they will not have to move far and most areas of London are still affordable within the LHA cap levels.And from next April, householders overall benefits will be capped – meaning no couple or single parent household can claim more than £500 a week. That works out at generous £35,000 gross income per year, with single adults receiving the equivalent of £23,000 gross per year.   Of course we want people to continue to have access to decent housing but the support provided has to be founded on principles of fairness, affordability and making work pay.We are making huge strides in tackling these issues and bringing fairness back to the system.For example the temporary scheme to enable landlords to receive direct payments in return for a reduction in rent has been very successful. In London alone, a third of claimants who tried to re-negotiate their rent received a rent cut. This arrangement will stay in place for Housing Benefit claimants, prior to the move to Universal Credit.We are of course monitoring the impact of our Housing Benefit reforms.Early findings from the Independent research carried out earlier this year by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University reported that:Very few claimants (only 2 per cent) reported having to move due to eviction or because their landlord was no longer letting to housing benefit tenants.Of those who have moved – few claimants gave finance-related reasons for the move from their previous accommodation and hardly any mentioned cuts in benefit.34 per cent of London claimants chose to look for a job to make up a housing shortfall.And nationally the majority of landlords, 77 per cent, said they intend to continue letting to Housing Benefit tenants.What these early findings also show is that the many scare stories about the negative effects of housing benefit reform are simply not materialising.There has been no mass exodus of people moving out of city centres or of wide-spread homelessness because of our housing reforms.Overall claimants are making the right choices, to either make up the shortfall – perhaps by taking a job or working more hours – or choosing to move having recognised that they are living in an area which they could never afford if they were working and not claiming benefits.Universal Credit, which will simplify the benefit system and tackle welfare dependency by making work pay, will also help to stabilise the rental market by bringing an end to a situation where a claimants benefit stops as soon as they start work. 2.8 million households will gain under Universal Credit – of these 1.3 million households will see their benefit increase by more than £25 per week.Households with a lower entitlement will have their benefits transitionally protected. And around 900,000 children and adults will be lifted out of poverty because people will get full benefit entitlement not just the benefits they had applied for.There will be an early roll out of Universal Credit (Pathfinder) in April 2013 in the North West to test the new payment system with local authorities, employers and claimants in a live environment. This will be a gradual process to ensure we get it right.We will roll-out Universal Credit nationally from October 2013. It will be introduced in stages – as is right and appropriate for such a large programme. All new unemployed claimants will be making claims to Universal Credit by April 2014. From then we will close down the existing benefits and move people gradually onto Universal Credit with the whole process complete by 2017.We will pay Universal Credit monthly to reflect the fact that 75% of people in work are paid that way. The system will be designed around the patterns of working life, but we will make sure people who may struggle, don’t fall through the cracks.I know there is some concern that the switch from fortnightly to monthly payments may cause a ‘mass’ of claimants to fall into arrears at the onset. But that’s not going to be the case. The fact is that claimant transition will be gradual over a four year period. There will be no big bang effect and we do not expect landlords to suffer sudden losses of income.To make sure landlords and claimants are supported and protected from the change over. We will set up new financial products alongside Universal Credit to help claimants budget their benefits and earnings effectively.  For example, we want them to have access to bank accounts that offer individualised accounts with access to direct debit facilities to encourage claimants to put by sums of money each month to pay their rent and utility bills. We have just issued a call for interest to providers like banks and mobile phone providers to deliver these new products (with £80-145 million available in funding for providers).Budgeting support will be tailored for individual needs. For example, someone with debts may be referred to a debt advisory service. Some claimants could be made an exception to the Universal Credit monthly payment rule for a period of time, whilst they tackle their debts and learn to manage their finances better. Alongside new banking products, plans are also being considered to ensure claimants who have debt problems or other vulnerabilities such as poor numeracy skills, drug addiction or mental health issues are given practical support at the onset of their claim.And as claimants on Housing Benefit move across to Universal Credit, I expect local authorities to also play a role supporting vulnerable people who need additional help as they claim this new single benefit payment.We are also testing the direct payment of Housing Benefit to social rented sector tenants in six areas across England, Scotland and Wales ahead of the introduction of the direct payment of Universal Credit.Yesterday I announced early findings from the projects.They show the majority of claimants are ready to manage their own money, including paying their rent direct to landlord. But they are also showing there is more to do to ensure vulnerable groups are supported.54% of respondents thought they would be able to manage direct payment of housing benefit.And 48% reported being never late with their bills.Only around a quarter (24%) of people surveyed reported that they would need support if HB were to be paid directly to them.The findings also tell us that social landlords are discovering for the first time how little they know about their tenants and they are learning how to build more productive rounded relationships.And most importantly the Projects are helping to identify tenants at risk who may not be suitable for direct payments at the start.These learning’s from the Demonstration Projects are invaluable for both social and private sector landlords. They will help us to understand what safeguards are needed to help landlords protect their income and how best to support tenants and landlords experiencing financial difficulties.We will continue to share our learning’s with you over the coming months.Thank you – I think there is time for a few questions. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/31-10-12.shtml Lord Freud National Landlords Association 2012-10-31 Department for Work and Pensions National Landlords Association
Content25 October 2012Rt Hon Iain Duncan SmithSecretary of State for Work and PensionsCambridge Public Policy lecture: Reforming welfare, transforming lives[to check against delivery]IntroductionThanks to Simon Heffer, Miranda Gomperts and others for arranging tonight’s event.It is a pleasure to be here this evening.With a new Masters degree in public policy starting at the University next year, I hope that vigorous policy thinking in Cambridge will filter through to Westminster…… strengthening the links I know my Department already has with the Centre for Science and Policy...... and bringing a network of knowledge, evidence and expertise to bear on what we are delivering in Government.In my area of responsibility – welfare policy – the challenge we face is not an abstract one.Nor is it simply a question of institutions and systems.My mission has always been aboutpeople– improving the life chances of the most disadvantaged and providing effective support to those in need.That was the reason I founded the Centre for Social Justice back in 2004, an organisation set up to better understand the drivers of poverty and to find effective solutions.And it remains my purpose in office – where tens of millions of people rely on the Department for Work and Pensions every day.We are currently delivering an extensive reform of the benefits system, and I do want to spend some time reflecting on this programme.But if we are to make a real difference to people’s lives, what we need to deliver iscultural change– both in society and even in Government itself.BeveridgeTo explain what I mean let me start by taking you back to the early 1940s, when Beveridge was laying out his vision for the modern welfare state.Beveridge was driven by a desire to slay the ‘five giants’ that he identified in society at the time: want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness.But he was also clear about the risks that were attached to this laudable cause.He warned that:“The danger of providing benefits, which are both adequate in amount and indefinite in duration, is that men as creatures who adapt themselves to circumstances, may settle down to them.”And he was clear that the system should not be allowed to “stifle incentive, opportunity, or responsibility”.In other words he was focussed on the kind ofculturethat the welfare system could underpin.Would it be one that fostered a society where people took responsibility for themselves and their families, and treated welfare as atemporarysafety net in times of need……or one that conditioned people to grow dependent on state support, and treat it as a long-term crutch?His fear was that if the balance was wrong it would lead to the creation of a semi-permanent underclass.70 years after the publication of Beveridge’s seminal report, I wonder what he would make of the system now?Welfare inheritanceSome 4.6 million people –12% of the working age population – on out of work benefits.1 in every 5 households with no one working, and 2 million children living in workless families – a higher proportion than almost any country in Europe.This culture of entrenched worklessness and dependency was not just a product of the recession.There were over 4 million people on out of work benefits throughout the years of growth. Under the previous Government whilst employment rose by 2.4 million, more than half of that was accounted for by foreign nationals. Let me be clear, this is not even a point about borders.It was an issue of supply and demand.The facts serve to illustrate an issue with our workforce at home – and the enormity of the first cultural challenge we faced.Large numbers sitting on out of work benefits unchallenged, many unwilling or unable to take advantage of the job opportunities being created.Whilst companies were unable to get British people to fill these jobs, workers from overseas stepped in.Overburdened systemPart of the problem was that while oureconomywas subject to a fundamental overhaul – freeing up the markets and moving power away from the state...… after Beveridge, governments of all hues seemed to forget about the need forsocialreform.They assumed that the renewed economy alone would do the trick of creating a more prosperous and more cohesive nation and so our welfare system was subject to an incredibly reactive process of change.A new challenge would emerge and governments would respond by tweaking things…… creating add-ons to employment support – at one stage, the New Deal for young people, the New Deal for those 50+, even the New Deal for musicians…...and introducing new supplements, even new benefits into the welfare system.Small wonder we were left with a hugely overburdened system, comprised of over 30 benefits.For disabled people alone a complicated muddle of 7 additional payments, 3 different premiums, 4 components in the main out of work benefits and tax credits... each with separate rules, rates and purposes... some means-tested, others linked, many overlapping.On top of this over 25 passported benefits in England, and around 20 in Wales and Scotland.For example:Non-repayment of children’s welfare loans. Healthy Start vouchers and vitamins . Exemption from paying the cost of board and lodging on residential trips. Energy Assistance Package Stages 3 and 4. WaterSure.Ah yes, WaterSure. I had to ask around to find out what this was, and it turns out it is to cap the bills of certain utilities customers who have a water meter.You might think this is an isolated benefit – but no, there is also one for reduced telephone tariffs called BT Basic.All these benefits introduced with the best of intentions – yet each with different eligibility criteria and each giving rise to confusion, fraud and error.It is a system of byzantine complexity.Worse still, it is a system set around the minority.An exemption here, an addition there, all designed around the needs of the most dysfunctional and disadvantaged few.Instead of supporting people in difficulty, the system all too oftencompoundsthat difficulty – doing nothing for those already facing the greatest problems, and dragging the rest down with it.Obsession with spendingWhat do we find as a result?Under the last Government, spending on benefits and tax credits increased by over 60%, rising even before the recession – when growth was booming, jobs were being created, and welfare bills should have been falling.More money spent on welfare than ever before – by 2010, costing every household in Britain an extra £3,000 a year in tax.Small wonder that the Government racked up the largest deficit since the Second World War.We were unable to pay our way, with an economy built on debt and consumption.This then is the second cultural challenge I want to touch on tonight – a problem which lies, to a large extent, in the culture of government spending which has developed.This is a culture marked by an obsession withinputs– with pouring money into social programmes – so that governments are seen to be doing something.Of course big spending is attractive because it brings big headlines.Chasing media attention and placating lobby groups in the short term.But my concern is that no one asks about theoutcome– in other words what impact the spending will have on people’s lives.Take the fact that 120,000 of the most disadvantaged families cost the Government some £9 billion per year in special interventions, from an array of agencies.The police, the ambulance service, the Council, youth offending teams…… all of them administering selective help, most often without discussion with other groups, trying to manage their own bit of the problem rather than addressing what was holding the family back.We were paying out some £75,000 per family, yet without doing anything to transform their dysfunctional lives.So we saw social breakdown on the rise at the same time.And income inequality stretched to its highest level since records began.That is what I mean when I speak about inputs versus outcomes – we have become comfortable with the idea of measuring the money we put in, but without really caring to ask what that money achieves in terms of life change at the other end.PensionsIn many ways the problem I’ve touched on here is also relevant to our pension system.Irresponsible government spending is symptomatic of a wider problem – of a society reliant on debt, rather than saving and investment.Currently, some 11 million people the UK aren’t saving enough for their retirement.Why?Because under the pensions means test, hard-working people who try to save can find themselves retiring on the same income as their neighbour – someone who hasn’t saved at all but is eligible to claim for Pension Credit.What kind of message does that send out?It tells people on low incomes that it’s not worth saving – it’s not even worth working. Just sit back and wait for the government to pay out when you retire. Over the years we seem to have become addicted to debt instead.Even before the recession we accumulated one of the highest rates of personal debt in the whole of Western Europe, around £1.5 trillion – the size of the whole UK economy.We embraced a culture of ‘live now, pay later’ and looked to future generations to pick up the bill.ReformHow far from Beveridge’s original vision.And clearly a system ripe for reform.But how do you reform when there is no money?Gone are the days when governments could buy their way out of a problem.This Government is rightly committed to the vital task of cutting the deficit – and no department is exempt when it comes to getting the public finances in order.We have already taken action to reduce welfare bills by £18 billion by the end of this Parliament, and with continuing economic uncertainty we will have to find further savings.But from day one we have resisted an approach which focuses solely on the amount of money to be saved.The solution, I believe, lies in structural change – leading to a complete shift in the welfare culture in this country.We are bringing spending back under control.But instead of simply top-slicing the budget, we are focused on tackling the demand for welfare…… changing the incentives in the system so that it acts as a springboard rather than a trap, rewarding those who move into work...… and redesigning the system in a way that restores fiscal stabilitywhilst restoring lives at the same time.Journey to independenceThis Government will always stand by its promise to protect the most vulnerable and provide support for those whose sickness or disability puts them in difficulty.Nevertheless, my belief is that where they are able, those in the welfare system should be on ajourney. It should be taking people somewhere, helping them move from dependence to independence.So if you are able to work the system should make work worthwhile and should both support and encourage you.What it shouldnotdo is tug you in the wrong direction, to a place where you receive so much in benefits that a return to work is unaffordable.If you are sick but able to work in time the system should support you, stay with you as your condition changes or improves, and make sure you can take the opportunities to work when you are able.What it shouldnotdo is consign you to a life on benefits, never check on your condition, assuming that you are better off languishing there indefinitely – as has been the case for the 1 million people on incapacity benefits for a decade or more, many unseen for the whole duration.To achieve this journey requires an internal and external cultural change – whereby the welfare system supports people in need, but not toremainin need.Early actionMidway through this Parliament, we have already taken action to remove stumbling blocks on people’s way to independence.Let me give you just a few examples.First the changes we are making to cap Housing Benefit.Under the system we inherited, in certain cases where families were living in areas with incredibly high rents, it was actually possible for them to claim over £100,000 a year for help with housing costs.Think about what this means for someone who is considering taking a job.There’s a good chance they won’t, because they will fear losing their home as their Housing Benefit is tapered away.Unable to pay their rent from a salary, they cannot take that positive step.That is why we have limited the amount of Housing Benefit that a household can receive…… a change which means families face the same choices about where they live and what they can afford, regardless of whether they are on benefits or in work.Take our reforms toincapacity benefits.We are reassessing everyone, at a rate of 11,000 claimants per week.This is about staying with those who cannot work at the moment – regularly checking whether their condition has changed, worsened or improved.And again, for those who can, it is about moving back towards work, and an independent life beyond the state.Work ProgrammeIn many cases this process requires us to address the factors that cause people to be in difficulty in the first place.When you are dealing with people who are a long way from the workplace, who lack skills or the work habit… who are homeless or recently released from prison… you need a system that addresses these barriers in order to get them work-ready.That is what we are doing with the Work Programme.We have tasked the best organisations in the voluntary and private sectors to get people into employment, and then to help keep them there for up to 2 years.The Work Programme is already helping some 700,000 people – and is due to support 3.3 million over the lifetime of the contract.ResultsWithout a doubt, there are no quick fixes to get people back to work – particularly in difficult economic times.But whilst the overall economic outlook is still unsure, the labour market is holding up better than many might have expected.Nationally, we have seen 4 consecutive quarters of positive job growth – up 212,000 this quarter alone – and 3 consecutive quarters of falling unemployment.There are now more people overall – and more women – in work than ever before…… and the latest migration data shows that over the past 2 years a majority of the increase has come from UK nationals.What’s more, we are seeing some positive signs that our reforms are having an effect.There are now 170,000 fewer people claiming the main out of work benefits than when this Government entered office – driven by falling numbers on incapacity and lone parent benefits. This is important. It means even though we’ve had four years of difficult economic times, we no longer let people just drift away from the labour market.Let’s contrast this with what has happened in America.There theunemploymentrate has been similar – last month it fell to 7.8%, just below the UK figure of 7.9%.But since the recession, theinactivityrate in America has risen by 2 percentage points, that’s 2% of the working age population giving up on work.In the UK, despite the recession, and despite more young people staying on longer to study, the inactivity rate is close tothe lowest in a generation.The biggest demotivating factorDespite these promising signs, there is still more to do.For if we are to build a new journey, we have to recognise a simple fact.Not everyone is starting from the same place.There is no point assuming – for example – that everyone understands the intrinsic benefits of work, the feelings of self-worth, or the opportunity to build self-esteem.For someone from a family or peer group where no one has ever held work, the pressure to conform is enormous, underscored by the notion that taking a job is a mug’s game.Thus, across generations and throughout communities, worklessness has become ingrained into everyday life.Take somewhere like the London Borough of Hackney, which has a high number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance – almost 10 thousand people in just one district.Yet in September alone, Jobcentre Plus took some 8,000 new vacancies in Hackney and the neighbouring boroughs.Overall, there were over 40 thousand new vacancies across London, and across the UK there are almost half a million unfilled vacancies at any one time – many in low skilled jobs.So as well as providing people with support to get back to work, it is vital to tackle the biggest demotivating factor that many people face…… the fact that the complexity of the system and the way it is set up creates the clear perception thatwork simply does not pay.Under the current mess of benefits and tax credits, people on low wages face losing up to 96 pence in every pound they earn as they increase their hours in work.In other words for every extra pound they earn, 4 pence goes in their pocket and the rest goes back to government in tax and benefit withdrawals.It is this factor which can stop someone’s journey back to work in its tracks.Universal CreditChanging this is what Universal Credit is all about.From 2013, it will replace the main out of work benefits and tax credits with single, simple payment withdrawn at a clear and consistent rate.By removing the cliff edges in the current system which mean it’s worthwhile working either 16 hours, 24 hours, 30 hours or not at all...... Universal Credit will make work pay – at each and every hour.80% of financial gains will go to those in the bottom 40% of the income distribution, lifting some 900,000 adults and children out of poverty.Rebalancing the systemImportantly, our guiding principle in designing the new system is that it should be set around the majority.Over 75% of people in work are paid monthly in arrears.Over 78% of working age benefit claimants use the internet now.And over 71% of those receiving housing benefit in the private sector already take responsibility for paying their own rent.That is why as a default, Universal Credit will be paid monthly, online, and directly to claimants themselves.We are rebalancing the system so that it caters to the needs and expectations of the mainstream, and making it a seamless transition into work – meaning Universal Credit will be simpler both to use and to administer.But more than that, because we are no longer going by the lowest common denominator, Universal Credit will enable us toidentifythe most vulnerable people much more quickly than now.For the minority who cannot budget, cannot pay their debts, or are struggling to manage...… instead of maintaining them on benefits or waiting for them to crash out of work……. we should be doing more to address the root cause of this hardship – whether it be financial illiteracy, addiction, mental illness, or another problem.Using interventions targeted and coordinated to restore stability to those who have been left behind, Universal Credit offers an opportunity to help these individuals rejoin the rest of society.A new contractUnderpinning this improved support isconditionality.By this I mean the set of obligations that claimants must meet in return for benefit – too often confused, poorly communicated and inconsistently applied in the current regime.Under Universal Credit we are changing this, requiring everyone to sign up to a claimant commitment as a condition of entitlement to benefit.Just as those in work have obligations to their employer, much like a contract, this commitment will clearly set out claimants’ responsibilities to the taxpayer.Those who can work but are unemployed will be expected to engage with us, treating their search for work as a full-time job.If someone fails to do so without good reason, the commitment will also spell out the robust set of sanctions they face – losing their benefit for 3 months for the first offence, 6 months for the second and 3 years for the third.This marks the renewal of personal responsibility within the welfare system, just as for those in work.Clarity that will lead the claimant to commitment or to conditionality.By ending the something for nothing entrapment we can make a meaningful, sustainable change to people’s lives……andone that is likely to be more affordable in the long term, as we put individuals on the path to independence and reduce the churn in the system.PensionsAs in welfare, so too in my other area of responsibility. We are plotting a journey in our pensions system as well.Here we are looking to set people on the road to a decent and sustainable retirement.The solution here is to get people saving – and to get them started early.That is why we have introduced auto enrolment, helping up to 9 million people into a workplace pension scheme – making saving the norm.But that still leaves us with the problem of the means test, which acts as a disincentive to saving.So the second thing we are doing is pushing ahead with plans to radically simplify the State Pension system – creating a ‘single tier’ pension set above the level of the means test, so that if you contribute, you will see the rewards.Universal Credit and the single tier pension are two sides of the same coin – ensuring that it pays,first to workandthen it pays to save.Positive action which will change lives.Going furtherIn all this, we take our lead from Beveridge.His guiding belief, that a “revolutionary moment in the world's history is a time for revolutions, not for patching" is as true now as it was in the 1940s.All too often, Government’s response to social breakdown has been a classic case of "patching" – a case of handing money out… containing problems and limiting the damage… but supporting – even reinforcing – dysfunctional behaviour.This has to change, and is beginning to.Yet if we are committed to a radical overhaul, there is scope to scrutinise the existing system further still, driving out perverse incentives.First, you have to ask which bits of the system are most important in changing lives.And you have to look at which parts of the system promote positive behaviours, and which are actually promoting destructive ones.Should families expect never ending amounts of money for every child… when working households must make tough choices about what they can afford?Is it right that young people should be able to move directly from school to a life on housing benefit, without finding a job first… when so many of their peers live at home, working hard to save up for a flat?As Beveridge said: “The insured persons should not feel that income [from the state] can come from a bottomless purse.”Especially so, when the economy isn’t growing as we had hoped, the public finances remain under pressureandthe social outcomes have been so poor.So these kind of questions need to be asked as we develop this theme.Government spendingYet there is one final piece to the puzzle.I have covered a cultural change in society at large, and cultural change in the welfare system.But we must also achieve a shift in the culture of government spending.We have to reject the old tendency to lavish money on programmes in the hope that they will succeed.The history of such programmes is of great hope followed by embarrassing failure… with taxpayers carrying the risk when they failed.Instead of focussing solely on money going in, we must open up a whole new dimension – one focussed solely on the impact that spending has.Every pound for life change.That means changing not justhow muchwe spend, buthowwe spend it.Work ProgrammeSo let me return to the example of the Government’s Work Programme, where we have been pioneering the use of payment by results.We do that by putting the cost of helping people back to work onto the 18 Prime Providers who compete to deliver the Work Programme in different parts of the country.They raise the money to deliver the programme alongside their subcontractors…… we then pay them when they deliver the results – with the biggest payouts of up to £14,000 for supporting the hardest to help into work, and sustaining them there.Because we are paying for results we will only pay for what works, reducing the risk on the taxpayer……andmaking sure each pound is having a transformative impact on someone’s life.Early interventionA payment by results system works best when the timescales for success are short and the metrics relatively straightforward.But across Government, we are prioritising early intervention – getting to the root of social problems before they arise, rather than waiting to pick up the pieces.Whether in welfare, health, education or family policy, we are focusing our attention and spending on improving life chances.Take an example in my own Department, where we are acting on Dame Carol Black and David Frost’s Sickness Absence Review...... preventing workers from dropping out of the labour market altogether when they become sick, rather than trying to catch them in the benefits system once they’ve fallen.In doing so, we will reap the benefits further down the line – alleviating the social problems which so are often more difficult to tackle once they become entrenched.But because these are dynamic interventions, the impact is trickier to measure and more difficult to forecast.So beyond payment by results, this makes it vital to establish a measurable quality to programmes that deliver over a longer period...... whilst unlocking new streams of funding.Social investmentIn particular, we are making good progress in opening up the social investment market.I see this as a huge and exciting opportunity to get much more private money working in pursuit of the social good.Historically it has been assumed that people could either be ‘good citizens’ and put their money into charitable works, but without expecting anything in return……or they could be ‘profit maximisers’, who invest their money in commercial ventures and have to forget about the social consequences.Social investment is a way of uniting the two – it is about saying to investors:‘You can use your money to have a positive impact on society,andyou can make a return.’We are leading the field in putting this idea into practice.Of the 7 Social Impact Bonds established in the UK, 6 of them are being delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions...... with government money working in partnership with businesses and charities.This is the model being piloted in Peterborough, where investors are funding charities to run rehabilitation programmes with prisoners.If reoffending falls by 7.5%, the investors receive a return paid for out of the reduced costs of social breakdown.Just last week the Prime Minister announced his intention to roll out an outcome-based approach across the probation and rehabilitation services, making payment by results the norm.But to replicate the success of social bonds elsewhere, we need programmes that have a real chance of seeing a return.They need to be proven to be effective.That’s why we’re testing a variety of cutting edge programmes through our £30 million Innovation Fund, so practitioners can develop a proof of concept – in turn making it easier to access alternative funding streams.And it’s why we are establishing the Early Intervention Foundation which will accredit programmes of work and provide a rigorous assessment of their likely social returns.Huge potentialThere is still more to do to grow the market – with researchers and academics playing a crucial role in developing evidence-based policy.But if we can get it right, I believe social investment has huge potential.First, it has the potential to greatly increase the amount of funding available for social programmes by bringing in private investment money on top of that provided by Government or pure philanthropy alone.Second, it brings a whole new level of discipline and rigour to how government delivers social programmes. Because the money follows the outcome, it therefore requires that spending has a demonstrable purpose – we must invest in proven programmes that change lives, rather than chasing a few media headlines.But third – and perhaps most importantly – social investment could be a powerful tool for building a more cohesive society.The gap between the top and bottom of society is in many cases larger than it has ever been.We have a group of skilled professionals and wealth creators at the top of society who have little or no connection to those at the bottom.Yet in so many cases what divides the two is little more than a different start in life. I believe social investment gives us an opportunity to lock not just the wealth but also the skills of those at the top of society back into our most disadvantaged areas.Imagine you create a social bond in a particular deprived neighbourhood. Investors buy into it and as with any investment, will want to see it flourish – taking an interest in that community where they would otherwise be totally detached.At the same time, these wealth creators can have a dramatic effect on the communities themselves – showing those at the bottom that they have an opportunity to turn their own lives around and move up the social ladder.ConclusionOur failure to make each pound count has cost us again and again over the years.Not only in terms of afinancialcost – higher taxes, inflated welfare bills and lower productivity, as people sit on benefits long-term.But also thesocialcost of a fundamentally divided Britain – one in which a section of society has been left behind.We must no longer allow ourselves to accept that some people are written off.Our reforms are about improving the life chances of the most disadvantaged – not changing people but restoring them.Breaking the spirals of deprivation, and giving them the opportunity to take control of their own lives.The prize for doing so could be immense.It pays to work....... it pays to save...... and spending is about outcomes not inputs.Amounting to sound public finances and a modern economy, matched by a fairer and more unified society. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/25-10-12.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Cambridge Public Policy lecture: Reforming welfare, transforming lives 2012-10-25 Department for Work and Pensions Cambridge Public Policy lecture: Reforming welfare, transforming lives
Content04 October 2012Lord FreudMinister for Welfare ReformIRRV Annual Conference and Exhibition 2012TelfordInternational Centre[Check against delivery]Good afternoon. Thank you for inviting me here today.It’s good to have the opportunity to outline our welfare reforms and to hear your views.Most people agree with the principles of what we’re doing.We want a welfare system that provides financial support for those unable to work – that goes without saying. But for those who can work, we want a system that encourages a return to employment as quickly as possible.At the heart of Universal Credit are some simple goals which are:That work should pay – so people are always better off in work;There is no risk involved in taking a job or increasing your hours – because Universal Credit will be paid in and out of work;That the experience of Universal Credit should be more like the experience of being in work and receiving a wage – so Universal Credit will be paid monthlyMore importantly, we all agree that we need to prepare for change. And I have been impressed by willingness of housing associations, local authorities and third sector groups to engage with us.We are already working with councils across England, Wales and Scotland to prepare for Universal Credit, for example - soyoucan tell us how best to support people with more complex needs. The feedback I’m hearing is that good working partnerships are developing between the DWP and local councils. I am keen that we continue to build even stronger relationships in future.Today I hope to give you a broad overview of how welfare is changing, what I think that means for local government – and to hear your views.I’m only going to talk for about 20 minutes so there should be plenty of time for questions at the end.2013 will see the start of major reforms that will affect many of your residentsNext year sees the start of:Universal Credit,Personal Independence Payments,local council tax support schemes,a Housing Benefit size criteria in the social rented sectorthe Benefit Cap,the Single Fraud Investigation Service, andAround £170m Local Welfare provision a year, formerly the Social Fund.In a considerable number of cases, we are passing responsibilities over to you.This means that you can make use of local expertise and ensure that services are tailored for residents in your areas.And where it makes sense we are moving to a single national service: as in the case of Universal Credit. I don’t underestimate the scale of change. But I will emphasise that many of these measures will be implemented gradually over a number of years, to ensure a smooth transition.That is why we are moving on an incremental approach rather than big bang.DWP and local councils already have a history of effective partnerships in delivering of local services.I know Councils work closely with their local Jobcentres. And District Managers in Jobcentre Plus now have much greater flexibility to optimise their Jobcentre services and a number of new delivery models are emerging.For example, in Central Bedfordshire, Jobcentre Plus and council staff now work side-by-side as teams co-locate in single premises.In other areas, councils and Jobcentre Plus are integrating services much more closely.So residents looking for some support receive a more seamless service – from both Jobcentre Plus and from their council.Community Budget pilot areas allow funds to be pooled – so distinct neighbourhoods or larger areas can be focused on – and councils, Jobcentre Plus and other bodies work more closely together.Councils are also playing a strong role in helping people into employment, supporting Work Programme providers in their area – as well as working directly with local businesses.Looking ahead, local authorities have a major role in the joint delivery of Universal Credit.We’re working with you to test elements of the reformed service now.We have Demonstration Projects in 6 areas that are testing direct payment of housing benefit to tenants.In another 12 areas, pilots run by local authorities are focusing on ways of delivering Universal Credit successfully to people with more complex needs. One of the most interesting things I’ve learned from the Demonstration Projects is how housing providers are developing their role far beyond that of a landlord.They are beginning to look at their tenant base in a much more intensive way.They are learning more about their tenants and are uncovering and tackling problems as a result.The work that is being done with tenants has resulted in more people opening bank accounts and becoming financially aware. We will be publishing some early findings at the end of the month to ensure that what we are learning is being shared with you and with social landlords. The Local Authority Led pilots are looking at budgeting too. And at ways to help people to get online, both to claim Universal Credit but also to access other online services and to develop the sort of IT skills that are often required by employers.I was really impressed with the quality of the Local Authority pilot proposals. The important thing is that we find solutions that work locally to help people get online, to manage their money and to find work.In order to do this I know you will need to know more about Universal Credit and the services that DWP will provide to claimants who may need additional help to do certain things. This will enable you to identify the changes to services that you may need to make in supporting vulnerable people – beyond the existing support you already provide – as Universal Credit comes in.We’re working on all of this now. And soon we will be able to provide you with more detail about exactly how we will work with you to establish a framework for this local support.Continuing on the theme of partnership working, different branches of government will work together with common goals under the new Single Fraud Investigation ServiceInvestigators fighting against fraud will be able to work far more closely – so they can investigate fraudulent benefits claims in their entirety.The new model will see teams across HMRC, DWP and local authorities operating with the same procedures when investigating all benefit fraud.This will help them to carry out single investigations from start to finish.We will also look at how the Single Investigation Service can work in partnership with other fraud teams – for example when a housing fraud leads to the uncovering of a living together fraud or a criminal gang exploiting the benefits system wholesale.This will save the countless hours spent working across different branches of government as we try to nail these criminals.I am pleased to announce here today that the four pilots that will be going ahead to test the model for the single service. They are:Corby Borough CouncilGlasgow City CouncilLondon Borough of HillingdonWrexham CouncilWe are looking forward to working with all four pilots.We are also calling on other councils who have not yet become involved, to engage with us to work with us as we move forward.The success here – as with much of what I have discussed – depends on all partners coming together to help us make sure that services are delivered successfully on the ground.As well as developing strong partnerships, major powers and responsibilities are being devolved to local authorities – most importantly Council Tax Benefit and the local welfare provision – what was the Social Fund.These are both clear examples were it makes sense for people with local expertise to be in charge of local decisions and spending. DCLG is providing councils with £30 million to help with the costs of planning the new Council Tax support schemes and we have also provided clear guidance on how new schemes can complement Universal Credit in ensuring that people are better off in work.Taking control of around £170m local welfare provision will also allow local authorities to respond far more actively to local people’s needs.This means families being helped by one branch of the council will be able to access further support more clearly from the same organisation.I want councils to build on what they do well – and continue what many are currently doing now by bringing different services together. So to conclude, 2013 will see major changes come in that will affect councils, residents and service users.I know it will be a busy period for you and will require your customary support and flexibility as you help claimants to move to new systems.However, I want you to leave here certain that our reforms will be introduced incrementally. It will not be a single big bang.This will give you time to adjust and also for us to listen and adapt as necessary.We will work in partnership with you to develop local welfare support and services that work for your residents. And which support people into work where possible - and to independence.We have a huge agenda of change.Thank you for your work to date – and I look forward to strengthening our partnerships as we move towards implementation in 2013. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/04-10-12.shtml Lord Freud IRRV Annual Conference and Exhibition 2012 2012-10-04 Department for Work and Pensions IRRV Annual Conference and Exhibition 2012
Content3 October 2012Lord FreudABI Seminar – Mesothelioma support scheme: Next stepsLondon[Check against delivery]Good morning.I firstly want to say how important this meeting is today.Agreeing a mesothelioma support scheme was a major break-through for the insurance industry, for the Government and most importantly for many of the victims of this terrible disease.Both industry and government have failed to resolve the terrible situation that many victims of mesothelioma have faced.People were sceptical that an agreement could be reached – so we should congratulate ourselves for this first major step.That we have an agreement is an achievement.But both the industry and the Government still have work to do.We have started the process and we both now need to deliver.The package of solutions we are working on will mean that people who, through no fault of their own, are forced to rely on a limited package of state benefits, will now receive a higher level of support and receive it quickly.Although we are still working on the numbers we estimate that, over the first ten years of the scheme, around 3,000 people will receive in the order of £300 million in support.We have ensured the support scheme sets the right balance between encouraging people to trace an employer or insurer and providing a level of payment to reflect the terrible nature of the disease.I want to put on record my thanks to the ABI and the insurance industry for coming to the table to work with us to get this deal and their effort, time and enthusiasm in putting this together.And also thank the teams involved for recognising the urgency of the matter to get this agreement in place as quickly as we did.It was critical that we found a solution ahead of the forecast peak of deaths in 2015 and we have achieved that.We worked hard to get the agreement reached in July so that we can have support for people from that date.The agreement we have reached on funding the scheme, and working to put the Employers’ Liability Tracing Office on a statutory footing are major steps forward.Before legislation, we will see real gains.With 99 per cent of Employment Liability insurers taking part in the tracing office already, I hope to see strong results later this year showing more people than ever have been helped to find their employer’s insurer.A system that provides speedy resolution will ease the major pressure that people face at an extremely stressful time in their life.It was important to us that we worked collaboratively with the insurance industry. It was the best way to deliver a solution more quickly than by government acting unilaterally.The negotiations were not always easy and went right to the wire but, by working with the insurance industry, we were able to forge an agreement that meets all our needs, that involves all the industry and puts us on a much stronger footing.However, the hard work we put into the deal should only be seen as the first step. Now we need to make it happen.I hope these meetings can keep the momentum going – both on Government, as we get the necessary legislation through parliament to establish the scheme, but also on the insurance industry.On our side, I want to be absolutely clear that we will resist any pressure to widen the scope of the scheme.What we have in place is the best solution for getting support quickly to a distinct group who are facing a terrible, terminal, illness and we will stand by it.As you are no doubt aware the Ministry of Justice is also playing its part.I have spoken with the new Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, the new Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling, about the package of measures in the justice system that will support victims alongside the new scheme.I know that officials in MoJ are working to streamline the process of bringing a claim for mesothelioma, and that the Master of the Rolls and the Civil Justice Council are looking at proposals for a new mesothelioma specific pre-action protocol to accelerate the pre-litigation process for mesothelioma claims.Also the review of measures in the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment Act should not be seen as a blockage to our work.The amendment that was put forward by Lord Alton was quite rightly designed to provide safeguards to ensure the Government honoured its commitment to provide support for mesothelioma sufferers. The review that it requires will be taken forward at the appropriate time in line with the work we are doing and supports our work.Overall the MOJ work will help to both cut the costs of civil litigation for victims and ease the process for them.But there is still considerable work ahead of us.The work on the Employers’ Liability Tracing Office and the establishment of a single online claims portal remain a major priority.Streamlining the process to allow people to seek compensation and support more quickly will be a great step forward.Families that are facing mesothelioma do not want to have the final months with their loved ones blighted by a fight with bureaucracy. They want the support they are rightly eligible for, paid without needless hurdles.And we must press ahead to get the legislation we need to make this scheme operational onto the statute book.But it is clearly in all of our interests to get those payments flowing as soon as possible, to get money into the hands of those who need it, and to minimise the build-up of cases the scheme has to deal with when it is launched.To conclude, while major strides have been made there is clearly more to be done.I hope the work here today will continue that process so we can build on our efforts and deliver.But throughout this process, we need to keep the reason for all this hard work at the front of our minds; to ensure people receive support they deserve. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/03-10-12.shtml Lord Freud ABI Seminar – Mesothelioma support scheme: Next steps 2012-10-03 Department for Work and Pensions London
Content26 September 2012Lord FreudMinister for Welfare ReformCentre for Responsible Credit Annual ConferenceLondon[Check against delivery]The provision of debt advice and financial inclusion are hugely important issues, particularly in today’s economic environment.The way current benefits are paid means that many claimants receive more than one benefit, with different paydays and frequencies, and to different people in the household.This makes it difficult to control household budgets – and often forces people to use pre-payment cards to cover the cost of essential items such as utility bills and mobile phones.This ‘hand to mouth’ existence also prevents people from getting value for money - by making it difficult to shop online for example - as they have no access to affordable credit. They are instead often forced to use pay day lenders or to buy essential items via high interest catalogues and shops like Brighthouse. Shockingly around seven million people are said to be impacted by this ‘poverty premium’.  Universal Credit is an opportunity to change this.So it’s vital that the Government and private and third sector organisations continue to work together to ensure people on lower incomes are able to access the right advice and support and that we do all we can to steer them away from predatory lenders.I am therefore very pleased to be here today to tell you more about what we are doing, and how we are working with private and third sector organisations to help claimants access products and better manage their finances when Universal Credit is introduced next year.But first, let me set out the context around Universal Credit.Universal Credit is a radical redesign of the benefit system, wrapping up main working age benefits. It will replace the current complex system, tackle welfare dependency, incentivise work to make work pay, reduce poverty and increase personal responsibility.2.8 million households will gain under Universal Credit – of these 1.3 million households will see their benefit increase by more than £25 per week.Households with a lower entitlement will have their benefits transitionally protected. And around 900,000 children and adults will be lifted out of poverty because people will get full benefit entitlement not just the benefits they had applied for.An additional £300 million has been invested into childcare support under Universal Credit, making 80,000 more families eligible for this help, which will help people make the journey from being inactive into work.But this reform is not about saving money. We will spend £2bn more on benefits under Universal credit than we do now.We are building a new system, using agile methodology, to deliver Universal Credit incorporating many existing IT systems run by the department today.  We are already testing the process on real claimants so we know what works and what needs changing.There will be an early roll out of Universal Credit (Pathfinder) to test the new simpler, single benefit payment system with local authorities, employers and claimants in a live environment. It will launch in April 2013, working with four local authorities – Tameside, Wigan, Oldham and Warrington. This will be a gradual process to ensure we get it right.The most important test we are doing are the Housing Demonstration Projects and Local Authority led pilots to test the processes to make sure we have the early ground work in place ahead of the roll out next year.The six demonstration projects, which went live this summer, are testing how claimants can manage housing benefit monthly payments and looking at what safeguards are needed to help secure landlord income streams if tenants fall behind on their rent.A further twelve pilots will also run from this autumn with local authorities. They will explore how local expertise can be used to support residents under Universal Credit, including helping claimants to build online skills to claim and look for jobs, as well as to help with developing better financial management skills.We will pay Universal Credit monthly to reflect the fact that 75 per cent of people in work are paid that way. This will help people with the transition into work.There are real benefits to moving to a single monthly payment Universal Credit. It will enable low income households to develop a greater responsibility for managing their household budget which will in turn support their transition into work. And one big monthly payment helps with the poverty premium, rather than receiving it in dribs and drabs.We know that most people on low incomes manage their money well, but around 1.3 million adults still do not have access to a mainstream bank account.  The introduction of Universal Credit has therefore provided us with an opportunity to offer all claimants access to suitable banking products so that they can budget their benefits and earnings from work effectively.Earlier this month we published a Prior Information Notice alerting suppliers that we are ready to engage with the market to explore this proposition. We are prepared to invest up to £145 million.We are calling on a wide range of financial providers to engage with us, including high street banks and credit unions, mobile phone operators and pre pay card providers who can supply products with extra budgeting functions to support claimants as they move to Universal Credit.These products will need to offer essential features to help people on low incomes to budget, but we want the final design to be left open to the market to devise, including:Support for claimants to budget and manage their money Regular payments for housing and other main billsFacility for Direct DebitsOptions for multiple income streams from work and benefitsAccess to all claimants, irrespective of credit history Options to build up a credit rating Availability to people once they have moved off Universal CreditThese accounts will increase the support to families who are facing multiple disadvantages, many of whom become burdened by the effects of excess of debt, which in turn is likely to increase the chances of family breakdown, reduce opportunity of educational attainment for their children and increases their chances of remaining out of work. Alongside this support we will also offer an advance to people who need it when they move onto Universal Credit, so they don’t see any gap in their payments when they move from a fortnightly to monthly system. We expect the advance to be made at the two week point to bridge the gap.It’s also important that we do all we can to help people avoid unmanageable debt in the first place. And so we are investing in organisations such as Credit Unions who offer affordable financial services to people who would otherwise be unable to access them.Credit Union loans can save borrowers on average £401 a year. But alarmingly some people on low income are paying anywhere from 270% to over 2000% APR for loans from other legal and regulated agencies. The interest rates become even more extortionate if people are forced to use a loan shark.Applying an APR to a loan doesn't work very well when we are talking about very short term loans.If for example Joe borrowed £50.00 on a Monday and had to pay back £55.00 on the Friday that £5 paid on top of repaying the amount loaned would equate to an APR of 14,299%.This is because APR assumes the repayment period is 52 weeks and that the charge compounds over that time. In fact because an extra day would be included in the calculation the same loan made in a leap year would equate to 14,496%. Clearly using APR in this circumstance isn't helpfulCredit unions are growing – they have almost doubled in membership since 2006 – but we want them to be a mainstream option for savers and borrowers just as they are in other countries.That’s why in June, we announced a £38m investment to help Credit Unions modernise and expand. Our investment will help them reach up to one million new customers providing a real alternative to rip-off interest rates from payday loans, doorstep lenders and illegal loan sharks.We are also considering how to ensure that Universal Credit claimants who have debt problems or other vulnerabilities such as poor numeracy skills, drug addiction or mental health issues are given practical support at the onset of their claim. For example, under Universal Credit someone with debts may be referred to a debt advisory service. Some claimants could be made an exception to the Universal Credit monthly payment rule for a period of time, whilst they tackle their debts and learn to manage their finances better. Our guidance on exceptions to monthly payments is still being developed but the most likely scenario is that claimants’ financial circumstances will be reviewed periodically on a case by case basis, with a minimum and maximum review period - ranging from 6 months and two years. Findings from the direct payment demonstration pilots will help to inform the final development and design of payment exceptions.Conclusion:Universal Credit is a huge agenda of work and a huge opportunity to draw on the help and support of third sector and private companies.We will continue to provide updates on our work with Credit Unions and on the new financial products over the coming months. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/26-09-12.shtml Lord Freud Centre for Responsible Credit Annual Conference 2012-09-26 Department for Work and Pensions Centre for Responsible Credit Annual Conference
Content19 September 2012Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of State for Work and PensionsWelfare to Work Conference, Glasgow19 September 2012[to check against delivery]Introduction – GlasgowIt is a pleasure to be here today.And it is always a pleasure to be in Scotland.Glasgow in particular holds a special significance for me – as a place where my political priorities were refocused.My time visiting and meeting people in Glasgow led me to found the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ)…… to better understand the drivers of poverty and find effective solutions, solutions forged on the ground in communities like Gallowgate and Easterhouse.In 2006, the CSJ published a report called “Breakthrough Glasgow”, in which we found that almost a quarter of Glasgow’s total population lived in the most deprived 5% of Scotland’s neighbourhoods – almost half in the most deprived 15%.So in Glasgow, and across the UK, the challenge we face is how to rebalance the distribution of wealth and work – enabling those previously stuck at the bottom to play a productive role in society.Root causesOn coming into Office in 2010, the Prime Minister invited me to chair the Social Justice Cabinet Committee.With 7 different departments taking a joined up approach, this was an opportunity to do more to tackle the root causes of social breakdown – rather than, as has too often been the case, simply treating the symptoms.Whether it be worklessness and welfare dependency, addiction, educational failure, debt, or family breakdown…… these are the multiple and overlapping problems that underpin disadvantage – and if we are to make real progress on closing the poverty gap we must to address them.Social JusticeIn March this year, we published the Social Justice strategy, establishing a set of guiding principles.First, early intervention – preventing problems before they arise, rather than waiting to pick up the pieces.This means investing in stable families and improving children’s life chances – as we are doing by working with Devolved Authorities to expand the Family Nurse Partnerships scheme and through putting £30 million into relationship support across the UK.But as well as prevention, the strategy is also about second chances.That’s why, for example, we’re protecting the role of the money advice service and supporting Britain’s Credit Unions, to help people manage their finances and get clear of the loan sharks.All this is underpinned by a belief that through the right interventions, delivered in the right way, we can help people turn their own lives around.Work as the route outImportantly, the Social Justice strategy shows that where families are facing multiple disadvantages, making a sustainable difference to their lives requires more than money alone.So whilst this Government has promised to protect the most vulnerable and financial support will always be available to those in need…… we must also do more to help people towards an independent life beyond the State – moving from dependence to independence.For those who are able to work, we must promote this as the most sustainable route out of poverty.For work and the income it brings is transformative – boosting confidence and self-esteem, providing a structure for people and giving them a stake in their community.If we are serious about helping people find a foothold in society, we must do all we can to support them into work.Work ProgrammeTake the example of someone recently released from prison.Evidence shows that being in employment reduces the risk of re-offending by between a third and a half.So although those with a criminal record often face difficulties obtaining work, if we are to break the cycle of re-offending it is vital to help them secure a job.That’s why, working together with the Scottish Government and Prison Service to overcome differences in the prison release process, we have introduced a new provision in the Work Programme to ensure day one access for ex-offenders.Instead of waiting for individuals to be released, we are now taking Jobseeker’s Allowance claims in prisons…… ensuring that offenders are prepared for the transition from the prison to the community, and receive immediate support to get them work-ready, find a job and stay there for a sustained period.What’s more, the Work Programme actually incentivises providers to support the hardest to help…… pioneering the use of payment by results, with the biggest payouts for successfully keeping individuals in work for 6 months, one year, 18 months, or up to 2 years in some cases.Because we are paying by results, we will only pay for what works – ensuring that every pound of Government money is only being spent where it has a positive impact on people’s lives.Local providersThe Work Programme is a huge investment in local providers, giving them complete freedom to deliver support.In Scotland, almost 70% of the supply chain and 83% of those delivering specialist interventions are made up of voluntary and community organisations.It comes as no surprise to me that these figures are higher than the UK average.Scotland’s third sector has long played an invaluable role in helping people to rebuild their lives and achieve their potential.So as well as representatives from Local Authorities and the public sector, I am pleased to have so many representatives from the voluntary sector here today.Working together with central Government, Jobcentre Plus and local businesses, I believe we can achieve even more.Youth unemploymentNowhere is this a more vital task than in tackling youth unemployment.In Perth and Kinross, the £30 million Innovation Fund has already created Scotland’s first Social Impact Bond, targeted at supporting disadvantaged young people to turn their lives around.The idea here is to unlock private finance in the pursuit of the social good, getting investors to do something positive for their community while seeing a return on their investment at the same time.Equally, through our £1 billion investment in the Youth Contract, we now have hundreds of employers across the UK committing to help young people into work.This is about working together to support young people in addressing the barriers they face.We know that a lack of experience often proves a problem.So we are working with employers to provide an extra 250,000 work experience places over the next three years, lasting up to 8 weeks – and with funding for another month where places are linked to an offer of an apprenticeship or a job.We know that for businesses, employing a young person comes with both a cost and a risk attached.That’s why we’re introducing 160,000 new wage incentives, worth up to £2,275 each to encourage employers to take on young people from the Work Programme – targeted in hotspots where youth unemployment is particularly high, including 3 areas in Scotland.By easing the costs a bit, it becomes much more straightforward to give young people a chance.All of this is about trying to make sure young people don’t end up stuck on the margins of society – intervening before worklessness becomes entrenched.Promising signsThere are no quick fixes or easy routes to engaging people in the labour market – particularly in difficult economic times.But whilst unemployment is still unacceptably high, the latest jobs figures do show some promising signs both in Scotland and across the UK – with the labour market holding up better than many might have expected.Nationally, we have seen 3 consecutive quarters of positive job growth – 2 consecutive quarters in Scotland – with over one million more people employed in the private sector now than in 2010, over 50,000 of them here in Scotland.This is more than offsetting job losses in the public sector, much to the credit of the British businesses that will drive our economic recovery.Overall, there are 700,000 more people in work now than there were in 2010 – 54,000 in Scotland.Yes, unemployment in Scotland is 0.1% higher than the UK average, but this in part reflects the changes we are making to move people off inactive benefits and into the labour market…… helping more people to fill the vacancies available now, and ensuring that Scotland, as much as other parts of the UK, has the labour market it needs to support economic growth in the future.And before anyone suggests that the UK-wide figures mask a much worse picture in Scotland, let me say that Scotland actually has similar employment rate than the UK – 71.4% compared to 71.2%...… and like the UK, has seen two consecutive months where the claimant count has fallen.Scotland also has an inactivity rate broadly equivalent to that of the UK – against a backdrop of economic difficulty, we have managed to get the national rate down to its lowest since 1992.In fact, what has been particularly interesting in recent years is how little different parts of the UK have diverged compared to past recessions.I do not mean to say that there aren’t differences.Some areas faced a more difficult situation before the recession, some have since been hit harder since – and we will do whatever it takes to respond to these challenges.Unemployment remains my top priority – and we are making some progress even in an immensely tough economic climate.Universal CreditWe still have more to do…… getting welfare inactivity down even further as our other reforms take effect.This is particularly pressing in Scotland where the workless household rate, at 20.3%, is 2.4 percentage points higher than for the UK as a whole.From next year, we will begin to tackle the biggest disincentive that many people face…… the fact that the current mess of benefits and tax credits creates a clear perception that work does not pay.It is this factor which can stop an individual’s journey back to work in its tracks.Changing this is what the Universal Credit is all about. A single, simple payment… withdrawn at a clear and consistent rate when people move into work…… it will make work pay, at each and every hour – removing the stumbling block in the current system whereby some people lose up to 96 pence of every pound they earn.Universal Credit is dynamic.In Scotland alone, around 100,000 people will have a better incentive to increase their hours in work – on average keeping an extra 37 pence per pound they earn.And UC is progressive.With 80% of the gains going to the bottom 40% of the income distribution, reforming the system will start to redress the imbalance between the top and bottom of society that has persisted for too long in places like Glasgow.ImplementationLet me be very clear. Universal Credit is on time and within budget.The delivery programme is challenging, but we are handling the risks.There is an investment of £2 billion to get the infrastructure and IT system right – and we have made good progress so far, ready for phased roll-out across the country in October 2013.Before that, we are running a range of projects to learn valuable lessons about what works and what doesn’t.This includes 5 projects to trial direct payments to landlords…… 12 council-led pilots that will test the online claims service, including 3 in Scotland…… and the Universal Credit Pathfinder which will be launched in Greater Manchester in April 2013.There is no big bang launch here.And rightly so, since the safe delivery of Universal Credit is our primary objective.The staged Agile approach means the transition from current benefits and tax credits is expected to be completed by the end of 2017…… with scope to continually improve and develop the service along the way.Conclusion – working togetherIt is my belief that we need to work together on delivering these changes, both in Scotland and the rest of the UK.For although Scotland now has its mandate to hold a referendum on independence, while we might spend a lot of time talking about these issues in the media or the corridors of power…… from day to day, the UK and Scottish Governments will be getting on……in partnership… with supporting our most disadvantaged groups.I believe we’re better off, stronger, and fairer doing so together.Take the fact that having a single welfare system allows Scotland to absorb spending per person at a level 6% higher than the rest of the UK.Or the fact that Scotland’s population is ageing faster than the rest of the UK.In Scotland over a quarter of the population will be over 65 by 2033, and this proportion is rising further, increasing cost pressures in pensions, health and social care. The UK as whole does not reach this point until after 2050, a generation later.So while some want the debate about independence to be about raising welfare provision…… the reality is that these increased pressures would need to be dealt with.Together, the UK – with a broader and more sustainable tax base – is in a stronger position to tackle these challenges and to maintain public services in the process.And just as our welfare union is of considerable benefit to Scotland, by pooling both the resources and risks, we all share in the benefits of a unified UK.This doesn’t need to be an all or nothing choice – through devolution, I believe Scotland can have the best of both worlds.So I hope that when the Scottish people come to vote, Scotland will continue to play a central role in shaping Great Britain’s future.Let welfare reform be a joint ambition – with solidarity between everyone in the UK.As we take steps to reshape the economy…… investing in infrastructure, business and regeneration…… we must accept that we will fail unless we can lock all in society to the benefits of this change…… so that those now left behind are enabled to play a full part in this future. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/19-09-12a.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Welfare to Work Conference, Glasgow 2012-09-19 Department for Work and Pensions It is a pleasure to be here today.
Content19 September 2012Mark HobanMinister for EmploymentTackling youth unemploymentChannel 4, Horseferry Road, London[Check against delivery]I would like to begin by thanking Channel 4 for asking me to open this debate today.Although I am reasonably new to the post of Minister for Employment, that does not mean I am not acutely aware of the problems some young people experience when looking for that first job.Let me be plain. For any young person who is able to work to be out of a job is a tragedy.It is a tragedy for the individual, who finds themselves unable to get on in life…It is a tragedy for their family, who have to motivate and support them…And it is a tragedy for the country, which is missing out on a huge amount of untapped talent.And I know that our young people are talented. The vast majority of young people are hard working……They are ambitious……And, above all, they have great potential.You will be asking in your first session today if we are heading towards a lost generation of unemployed young people.Let me say categorically: no, we are not.As a government we are working tirelessly to make sure this does not happen. Indeed most 18-24 year olds leave JSA quickly. Around 60% of new claims last less than 3 months and 80% less than 6 months.But it is true that the number of young people currently out of work is too high, and we are being honest about the scale of the challenge we face.Previous governments have conveniently hidden the true scale of youth unemployment. They moved young people off JSA, called it something different, then put them back on again.They were still unemployed, but it made the figures look better. They weren’t so much ‘lost’ – they were purposefully hidden.We do not do this.But getting the figures right is no substitute for sorting out the problem. So I am going to spend a few minutes telling you what wearedoing.For any young person looking for a job, often the biggest stumbling block is a lack of experience.Sometimes it’s that they have a lack of understanding of what the world of work is really like. But more often it’s that a young person simply hasn’t had the chance to prove themselves. You need to be able to show an employer what you are capable of.That is why, as part of the Government’s one billion pound Youth Contract, we are creating a quarter of a million extra work experience places over the next three years.This gives 18-24 year olds the chance to do up to eight weeks of work experience while keeping their benefits. This provides a vital opportunity for young people to get their first foot on the career ladder.But, of course, giving young people work experience is only one side of the coin. It will only be worth doing if we can help turn that experience into a real job.And that is exactly what wearedoing.From January 2011 to May this year there have been nearly 65,000 young people starting a work experience placement. And our assessments show that nearly half of people who go on work experience are off benefits 21 weeks later. This is good for them and good for the country.Let me give you one example of how we are helping people find jobs – much of the amazing work carried out during the Olympics was done by the army of volunteers, many of whom were young people looking to gain experience to help them find work.Their enthusiasm, their work ethic, and their commitment was, I think you’ll all agree, second to none. Any sane employer should snap them up in an instant. Which why we are holding an event in Stratford today where 2,000 of those involved in the Olympics will meet employers with vacancies to offer now.This will be the first in a series of such events. Events which are specifically targeted at those who were Games Makers or worked at Olympic venues. We want to help the people who helped to make the Olympic and Paralympic Games such a success, by moving them into long-term employment.What a great lasting legacy that would be.Whilst we will work with you to get you in work, we also need to work with business to make sure the jobs are there.As our Olympics event shows, only by engaging with businesses can you create the jobs people need. Companies such as Whitbread, Debenhams, Ocado and Stagecoach will all be at the park this week, along with a number of smaller local businesses, all there to give people jobs.So working with business is, in my view, vital. As a Government we need to show employers that taking on young people will be good for their business.Indeed, later on today I will be with the CBI for the launch of the CIPD’s business case for investing in young people, which does just that. It will highlight the business imperatives that make young people such a vital component in an employers’ workforce. We need to show employers that through things like our work experience and apprenticeship schemes we are creating a generation which is eager. A generation which is skilled. And a generation which is better prepared for the world of work. And because we know times are tough for businesses, we want to make it easier to employ and train young people.That is why, through our Youth Contract, the Government is offering up to 20,000 new Apprenticeship Grants to encourage new employers to take on young apprentices.And that is why we are offering 160,000 cash payments of up to £2, 275 for employers to recruit young people from the Work Programme, or from Jobcentre Plus in 20 youth unemployment ‘hotspot’ areas. So in opening today’s debate, I would like to conclude by saying to young people across the country that ensuring you are given every chance to get a job is my number one priority.I don’t underestimate the challenges we face in an uncertain economy, but only by making sure you have the training, work experience and opportunities you need will we ensure our future.And I would like to finish by appealing to businesses across the country:Whether you are big or small, multinational or a local start-up: make use of the schemes we have in place. Work with us to help give a young person a chance.Give them a chance to get their foot on the ladder……give them a chance to help your business grow……give them a chance to prove to you what they can do. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/19-09-12.shtml Mark Hoban MP Tackling youth unemployment 2012-09-19 Department for Work and Pensions Tackling youth unemployment
Content20 July 2012Lord FreudMinister for Welfare Reform“Welfare Reform Act 2012 – Implications and challenges for Local Authorities”Local Government Association ConferenceLocal Government House, Smith Square, London[Check against delivery]I want to thank Sharon Taylor, the Local Government Association and local authorities for your longstanding work in providing welfare services in your local communities that make a difference.And for your crucial support as we reshape welfare for the future.It is a pleasure to be sharing the platform with Lord Adebowale.He has made a valuable contribution to debates on the Welfare Reform Bill.  And helped many people with complex needs find work and get their lives back on track through Turning Point.I will be announcing the recommended local authority led pilot sites to help residents prepare for the introduction of Universal Credit in a moment.With so many excellent bids, we’re having a very difficult time making our selection.  You suddenly see the real enthusiasm and determination of local authorities to promote financial and digital access, so they can bring everyone in their communities into 21st century society.You will have the opportunity to hear more about the impact of our welfare reforms, and discuss them, in the plenary sessions and workshops later today.And I look forward to taking your questions.All the changes happening mean that local authorities will take on a breadth of new powers and responsibilities. And the community and voluntary sector will have an even more important role to play.I know there are challenges ahead too and I want to touch on those later.And I fully understand the funding challenges that local authorities will face. But I want to start by setting out what our reforms are really about: providing a lever for social change. Helping people regain the independence and self-reliance they have lost because our welfare system kept them trapped down in dependency.And how I see welfare reform changing the social ecology of communities throughout the country.At the heart of welfare change is Universal Credit.Universal Credit will change the benefits landscape.Transforming the way services are delivered, and transforming local communities as a result.We have been working closely with the LGA and local authorities to support the introduction of Universal Credit from October 2013And local authority led pilots will provide a unique opportunity for councils to shape the development of Universal CreditUniversal CreditUniversal Credit will tackle the root causes of welfare dependency, providing a simpler, more efficient system that will make work pay.And because Universal Credit is not restricted to people out of work, it is safe for claimants to try a job, or increase their earnings, without the fear of losing their benefit.Universal Credit will help claimants and their families manage their benefits and wages independently and, where possible, become independent of state support.Financial and Digital InclusionWhat I see developing is a whole new area of common ground where social inclusion can take root and flourish.We want to make it as fertile as possible. And we recognise this will need a lot of different intermediaries.Local authorities, the community and voluntary sector, credit unions, and social landlords among others.Most people on a low income already have bank accounts, and manage their money well. However, we recognise that some people will need extra support when Universal Credit comes into force.People on low incomes who can’t get mainstream financial services face a poverty premium.They end up paying more because they cannot get direct debit discounts or affordable credit. And they can fall prey to loan sharks and doorstep lenders.This hinders the regeneration of whole local communities.So we are working with banks to increase access to accounts that accept income from wages as well as benefits; transactional accounts, which will allow facilities like direct debits and simple standing orders.And we are exploring the types of budgeting advice and information services that claimants will need.We are also looking at ways to provide specific, practical support at the start of their claim for people who have debt problems, poor numeracy skills, drug addiction or mental health issues.We are designing Universal Credit to be digital by default to boost online access for people of working age.Clearly where broadband access is not available we intend to make sure that appropriate alternative support is at hand for them.New research [by Ipsos Mori, published by DWP) reveals that 74 per cent of claimants surveyed have a broadband connection at home.And 62 per cent say they would be willing to apply for a benefit or Tax Credit online.   These are encouraging results.Wider ContextBut let’s take a moment to stand back and look at why we need to take action.Our welfare system is failing the very people it was set up to help.A system that stifles incentive, opportunity and responsibility.A system that denies them the opportunity to get on in life that everyone deserves.We have to restore integrity and fairness. And end the complexity and cost which has spiralled out of control.Housing Benefitspend doubled in the last decade from £11 billion to £21 billion in 2010/11 in cash terms. We simply can’t afford to continue paying Housing Benefit as we have done in the past.So we have capped Housing Benefit. Putting an end to the scandal of families on benefits living in houses hard-working families could never afford.This is the right and fair thing to do.Housing Benefit will still be able to meet rents of £20,000 a year.Independent research into housing benefit reform [ by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University, published June] shows many scare stories about housing benefit reform are simply not happening.77% of LHA landlords say they intend to continue letting to LHA tenants in the next 12 months.   Most landlords work with tenants to reduce arrears. And a third of all LHA landlords said they had either reduced rents for tenants in exchange for direct payments or would consider doing so.The six demonstration projects we have set up to trial direct payments to Housing Benefits claimants living in social sector housing are underway.These will help us learn how best to introduce directs payments when Universal Credit comes in.These reforms illustrate how the relationship between central and local government is changing.We understand this means you will have much greater involvement with your tenants.OnSocial Sector Size Criteria, nearly one third of working age social housing tenants on Housing Benefit are living in accommodation that is too big for their needs.Despite the fact that a quarter of a million households today are living in overcrowded social housing and there are very large waiting lists.We will stop the practice of the state paying for rooms beyond the claimants needs and help tackle the social housing shortage that blights too many lives.Without this reform our Housing Benefit bill would reach £25 billion by 2014/15 in cash terms.Another important area of reform is theBenefits Cap.It is simply not fair that people on benefits can receive more in welfare payments than hard working families.   And where a life on benefits robs people of achieving their potential.We have to put an end to the culture that says a life on benefits is an acceptable alternative to work.A Benefits Cap of £26,000 will mean that no family on benefits will earn more than the average salary of a working family (£35,000 a year gross or £26,000 net).The rationale behind the pilotsLet me now turn to the local authority led pilots. These pilots will help local authorities and DWP identify the best ways to help Universal Credit claimants when Universal Credit comes in.They will test different propositions and help local authorities set up their systems.I know from my visits to Lewisham and Sevenoaks Councils earlier this year the vital work that local authorities already offer many of those who will be Universal Credit claimants.Many local authorities are involved in the various steering, assurance and working groups on the design of Universal Credit.We are working with the LGA right across the Universal Credit programme.And we recognise the very important contribution that housing sector and voluntary sector organisations are making to Universal Credit.Local Authority Led Pilots AnnouncementThe idea for the pilots came from a roundtable I had with the LGA, and various representatives of all national local authority associations, at the beginning of the year.From these talks we developed proposals to run a dozen or so local authority led pilots across Great Britain, to deliver face to face support to people who may need to claim Universal Credit.The pilots will look at:encouraging claimants to access online support independently;improving financial independence budgeting support and helping people find work;delivering efficiencies and reducing fraud and error; andreducing homelessness.The LGA had the unenviable task of choosing from 38 strong applications. All the recommended local authorities offer very interesting ideas on how they might help people with their claims for Universal Credit and progress into work.And I am pleased to announce that the LGA has recommended15 proposalsas potential local authority led pilot sites in Englandfor us to make our final selection.We have a separate process to select around five pilots for Scotland and Wales and we will expect to announce those shortly.They based this choice on the best fit with what we agreed we wanted to test.Digital self-service, financial inclusion with a focus on work, efficiency, and reducing fraud and homelessness;And they made sure their recommendations for us to select from represented a broad range of demographic mix and type of authority.The 15 authorities recommended by LGA are:BarnetBath and North East SomersetBirminghamHammersmith and Fulham (in consortium with Kensington and Chelsea, Wandsworth and Westminster)LeedsLewishamMeltonNewcastle under LyneNorth DorsetOldhamOxfordRushcliffeA consortium of North Yorkshire authorities led by ScarboroughWest Lindsey; andWigan.I met representatives from all 15 authorities last week, and I was really excited by the quality and scope of their plans.They have a very clear focus on increasing online access and reducing reliance on mediated support, and promoting financial inclusion.All the recommended local authorities offer very exciting ideas on how they might help people with their claims for Universal Credit and progress into work.We are now working through the long-list with a view to announcing the final dozen or so successful authorities across Great Britain in the summer.We are talking to all the authorities individually to see how effective their proposals are in practice, how they line up with DWP's own operational work in these areas, and to check on value for money. The pilots will start in the autumn.But even for those authorities we can’t include in the final selection, we are keen to involve all those who are interested in this agenda.And we will develop a network of all local authorities who are interested in working with us, so we can keep them plugged into developments as we move towards Universal Credit going live in October 2013.The breadth of responsibilities local authorities will haveLooking beyond Universal Credit, the whole direction of welfare reform will provide greater powers for councils to localise welfare support.You have the local expertise and knowledge to apply it where you can have a real impact.And we strongly believe the most effective solutions are designed and delivered locally. You will gain a breadth of new responsibilities.Let me be clear about this.   All local authorities will have to look at changing their systems.You will have to look hard at how you organise yourselves.When you look at the responsibilities moving across to local government , you will have to decide who gets Social Fund payments, localised council tax support, and direct payments for Local Housing AllowanceYou will provide support for troubled families, continue help for homelessness, and have a greater role in supporting the most vulnerable members of your communities.It will be up to you to help ensure that financial inclusion and digital inclusion work in practice. So it’s vital that the services you design and provide have a real fit with Universal Credit and our reforms, so that people get the seamless support they need.We will work with you to make sure we get this right. I am absolutely determined we will do all we can to help local authorities in this vital work And clearly the pilots are a very important part of this.ConclusionSo let me sum up. Welfare reform will bring about radical social change.It is a challenge. But I am confident it is a challenge the Local Government Association, local authorities and the community and voluntary sector will meet.Working together we can really start to transform our communities.And help people regain the independence, self-reliance and wellbeing our welfare system has denied them for far too long. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/20-07-12.shtml Lord Freud Welfare Reform Act 2012 – Implications and challenges for Local Authorities 2012-07-20 Department for Work and Pensions “Welfare Reform Act 2012 – Implications and challenges for Local Authorities”
Content27 June 2012Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of State for Work and PensionsWays and Means Committee, House of CongressWashington D.C., United States of AmericaWednesday 27 June 2012[Check against delivery]Thank you, Chairmen Davis and Tiberi, Ranking Members Doggett and Neal, and Members of the Subcommittees. It is a pleasure to appear before you today, to share my views on the case for welfare reform in the UK and to offer an overview of the changes I am implementing.  The Government’s inheritanceWhen the Coalition Government entered office in 2010, it faced an enormous problem. A country with a debt burden of 75% of GDP which was set to grow by 16% of GDP over the years to 2013, fuelled by one of the largest current account deficits amongst advanced economies.Our budget deficit was larger than every economy in Europe with the single exception of Ireland and compared to US gross debt in 2010 of 99% of GDP, expected to grow by 12% of GDP over the same period. Spending on the public sector rose by 68.3% between 1997 and 2010.This runaway government spending was a symptom of a wider problem, of a society built on debt and consumption rather than saving and investment. Partially fuelled by some policies which encouraged spending over saving and hugely assisted by the incredibly easy access to cheap credit, the public borrowed more than ever before. Over the years, we seemed to become addicted to debt.In the lead-up to the recession, the UK accumulated one of the highest rates of personal debt in the whole of Western Europe: around £1.4 trillion – some 98% of GDP – even before the recession started. That compares to £9.1 trillion in the United States, equivalent to 120% of GDP. Interestingly, in Spain, personal debt stood at around only 83% of GDP.We embraced a culture of "live now, pay later" and looked to future generations to pick up the bill. The fact is that debt-fuelled booms feel good while they last, but like all addictions the detox is long and painful.The first reason for this economic crisis was that we had become too reliant on financial services. This once great manufacturing nation had given up on the idea of being a world leader in production.Over the last decade, manufacturing as a share of total output in the UK declined from 14% to 10%. 10 years ago, 1 in 4 jobs in the UK was in manufacturing, today it’s less than 1 in 5 – a decline of 6 percentage points as a proportion of the workforce. The UK too easily believed a modern western economy couldn’t compete in manufacturing.However look at Germany. Their record shows that after their labour market reforms in the first decade of the millennium, their productivity rose again. Over the same period, Germany’s manufacturing has grown such that it has managed to maintain a much higher 22% share of its economic output. Equally, although the USA experienced a decline in terms of manufacturing as a proportion of the national output, in the last decade the sector grew by some 23% from around $1,500 billion to $1,800 billion.The second important reason was a benefit system of such fiendish complexity that too many chose a life on benefits over work. This was compounded by a lack of conditionality so far too many were able to sit on benefits unchallenged, and was made worse by the pursuit of a poverty target which cost more and more just to stand still. The safety net had become a cage.The welfare challengeTake some of the figures we were confronted with when we came into office: 5 million people – some 12% of the working age population – on out of work benefits, 1 million of them stuck there for a decade or more. 1 in every 5 UK households had no one working, and almost 2 million children were growing up in workless families. This was the cultural challenge we faced – entrenched and intergenerational worklessness and welfare dependency.This problem was not just a product of the recession, as some might have us believe. In the UK, we had over 4 million people – 11% of the working age population – on out of work benefits throughout the years of growth.Employment rose by some 2.5 million, yet more than half of that was accounted for by foreign nationals. To be clear, this is not a point about immigration, rather the facts serve to remind us that we had a huge challenge with our workforce at home.Put simply, it was a question of supply and demand. Large numbers were on out of work benefits, yet many were unwilling or unable to take advantage of the job opportunities being created. This is an issue that I understand may have some relevance in the USA too, where according to the OECD, the inactivity rate actually increased by 2 percentage points from 22.6% to 24.6% in the decade between 1998 and 2008.So what we need to achieve in the coming years is not political and technocratic welfare reform, but internal and external cultural change.To explain what I mean let me start by taking you back to the early 1940s, when William Beveridge was laying out his vision for the modern welfare state.A great economist and social reformer, appointed as Under-Secretary in the Ministry of Labour during the war years, Beveridge was driven by a desire to slay the "five giants" that he identified in society at the time: want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness.But he was also clear about the risks that were attached to this laudable cause. He warned that:"The danger of providing benefits, which are both adequate in amount and indefinite in duration, is that men as creatures who adapt themselves to circumstances, may settle down to them."And he was clear that the system should not be allowed to "stifle incentive, opportunity, or responsibility".In other words, Beveridge was focussed on the kind of culture that the welfare system could underpin. Would it be one that fostered a society where people took responsibility for themselves and their families, and treated welfare as a temporary safety net in times of need, or one that conditioned people to grow dependent on state support, and in turn treat it as a long-term crutch? His fear was that if the balance was wrong it would lead to the creation of a semi-permanent underclass.Beveridge’s warning went unheeded and our welfare system received little more than a patch-up job, under an incredibly reactive process. A new challenge would emerge in the system and Government would respond by tweaking things, adding new rules, new supplements, even new benefits. But it was all built on a creaking edifice, and the result was a system of monstrous complexity. More than 30 different benefits, complicated by additions within each benefit.This was then compounded by the fact that when an individual started work part time, they found it impossible to calculate if they would be better off or not. Some of their benefits were withdrawn at 40% as they moved into work, some at 65%, some at 100%; some net, some gross; some only available at 16 hours, some at 24, some at 30.Feed all of that into a complicated computer system – because no normal person can calculate what it all means for their income – and something extremely damaging happens. People on low wages lose up to 96 pence in every pound they earn as they increase their hours in work. In other words for every extra pound they earn, 4 pence goes in their pocket and the rest goes back to the Government in tax and benefit withdrawals.So suddenly you have a system that is incomprehensible to those that use it, except for one thing that seems clear – it’s not worth the risk of working. Debt and consumptionAs a result under the last Government, the amount spent on welfare was remarkable, increasing by 40% in real terms even in a decade of unprecedented growth and rising employment. In 2009/10 alone, around £90 billion was paid out in benefit payments to working age people and their families – about the same as the entire education budget. Yet even as money was poured in, scant attention was paid to the results the other end.Take the example of child poverty, where in the years from 2003/04 to 2010, there was an almost £30 billion increase in welfare spending and £171 billion paid out in tax credits – that’s to say benefits for those in work but on a low income. Yet over the same period, there was no actual reduction in child poverty. The last Government spent all this just to keep the poverty rate flat.So too in healthcare, in crime, in education, where Government paid out to manage and maintain social problems, rather than tackling them at their root.This is a culture marked by an obsession with inputs – with pouring money into social programmes – so that governments are seen to be doing something. Of course big spending is attractive because it brings big media headlines. But my concern is that no one asks what will come out at the other end, in terms of what impact the spending will have on people’s lives.So we are now faced with a fundamental challenge. Levels of social breakdown high and rising; millions of people stuck out of work on benefits; millions not saving nearly enough for their retirement; and politicians – of all hues – addicted to spending levels as a measurement of success, rather than life change as a measurement of success.These are areas ripe for reform, but how do you reform when there is no money? The answer – you change the way you reform. Not just cheese-slicing, but recalibrating whole systems so that you change behaviours, and change the culture that allowed spending to get out of control in the first place.This is absolutely critical. When welfare spending balloons, as it has done, the temptation for successive governments has been to squeeze it back down again. But rather like a balloon, when you squeeze it at one end it will tend to grow at the other.So whilst savings must be made, they must also be sustainable. Otherwise, once the public finances are back in order, and the economy grows again, so the bidding war starts once more. Lobby groups put pressure on government to spend more. Government in turn dip its hands into taxpayer pockets to buy media headlines, and the vicious cycle continues.Welfare reformStructural change, leading to cultural change, is the key to this dilemma. In other words you have to tackle the demand itself, changing the effects of welfare by changing the incentives in the system.My belief is that everyone in the welfare system should be on a journey – it should be taking them somewhere, helping them move from dependence to independence.So if you are looking for work, the system should make work worthwhile and it should both support and encourage you. If you are a lone parent the system should support you with your caring responsibilities while your child is young, but it should also keep you in touch with the world of work and ensure at the earliest opportunity that you move back to the world of work. What we will not do is put anyone on benefits and then forget about them, as was so frequently the case for those on sickness benefits in the UK.But if a journey for people is our purpose, we have to recognise that our current welfare system is not fit to provide it. That’s why we are reforming it in a way that brings welfare spending back under control, whilst changing lives at the same time.Universal Credit and the Work ProgrammeBut as we reform, we also have to recognise a simple fact. Not everyone is starting from the same place. There is no point assuming, for example, that everyone understands the intrinsic benefits of work, the feelings of self-worth, or the opportunity to build self-esteem. If you are dealing with someone from a family where no one has ever held work, or no one in their circle of peers has ever held work, there is no point in simply lecturing them about the moral purpose of work.What you must tackle is the biggest demotivating factor that many people face – the fact that the complexity of the system and the way it is set up creates the clear perception that work simply does not pay.Thus, after generations in key communities, worklessness has become ingrained into everyday life. The cultural pressure to conform to this lifestyle is enormous, underscored by the easy perception that taking a job is a mug’s game. It is this factor which can stop someone’s journey back to work in its tracks.Changing this is what the Universal Credit and the Work Programme are all about.  Universal Credit is a new system we are introducing from next year, which will replace all work-related benefits and tax credits with a single, simple, payment. It will be withdrawn at a single, constant rate, so that people know exactly how much better off they will be for each extra hour they work. This rate will be significantly lower than the current average, meaning that work will pay for everyone, and at each and every hour.This requires investment up front and we are spending some £2 billion to get it right. But if we do so, and start reaping the effects of cultural change, it will save government huge amounts down the line, as workless households become working households.But Universal Credit alone is not enough. When you are dealing with people who are a long way from the workplace, who do not have many skills, and do not have the work habit, you need to provide a system that supports them and helps them to get work-ready.That’s what we are doing with the Work Programme, and we have asked some of the best organisations in the private and voluntary sectors to deliver it for us.They are tasked with getting people back to work, and then helping to keep them there. They are given complete freedom to deliver support, without Government dictating what they must do, through what we call the "black box". That means trusting that these organisations are best placed to know what works.Universal Credit and the Work Programme are two sides of the same coin. Either without the other would not have the same impact, but together they will become formidable tools for taking people on this journey.Through the two, we are creating a contract with clear obligations. Each unemployed person will understand that we support them to find work and ensure they are better off in work than they are on benefits. In return, they are required to be permanently work ready, attend interviews and try to get work and take work when it is offered. Failure to comply and we take their benefit away – for 3 months the first time, 6 months the second time and 3 years the third time.The wider reform agendaMore than that, we are capping the total amount an individual can earn whilst on benefits so that even if different benefits add up to more than the cap, they don’t get it. Yet this isn’t about punishing people, rather it is about removing a major stumbling block as people try to move back to work.Under the system we inherited, some people with large families on Housing Benefit were living in areas with incredibly high rents. It was actually possible for families to claim over £100,000 a year for help with housing costs in certain cases, and on top of that they received other benefits. Well from next year this will no longer be the case. No matter how the different benefits add up, claimants will not receive more than average earnings.We are also reforming the culture that allowed people to avoid work by languishing on a sickness benefit for years – almost one million for a decade or more.Large numbers are being checked – of some 130,000 initial outcomes, 37% were found fit for work and some 34% were placed in what we call the "work-related activity group", ready to move back to work when their condition improves. So more than 70% who once would have languished unseen on a sickness benefit, will now be engaged on a journey to independence through work.We are plotting out a journey in our pensions system as well, except here we are looking to set people on a journey to a decent and sustainable retirement whilst also reducing the pressure on the public purse.We are pushing ahead with plans to automatically enrol all of those without pension coverage into pension schemes to make saving the norm, and we are making progress with plans to radically simplify the State Pension system – creating a "single tier" pension which is set above the level of the means-test, so that people know that it makes sense to save.Together with raising the retirement age alongside rising life expectancy which alone will save around £90 billion, these measures are set to deliver enormous savings to the exchequer in due course.Cultural changeThis is not just welfare reform, rather cultural change. The end of the something for nothing entrapment and the renewal of a welfare system that should be seen as a means of temporary support, the beginning of a journey back from dependence to independence.We are already seeing positive signs that this cultural change is beginning to happen. Though the overall economic outlook is still poor, the jobs figures for the last 3 consecutive months in the UK showed some encouraging signs of stability, particularly stronger than expected growth in jobs from the private sector.Latest statistics show that even with a big fall in public sector employment, private sector employment was up 205,000 on this quarter. There are now 419,000 more people in work than in there were when this Government came into power in 2010.What’s more, the total number on out-of-work benefits is down by 80,000 in the same period because of the changes we have introduced to get more people looking for work and into the jobs market. We are reassessing claimants on old incapacity benefits at a rate of 10,000 people a week, and with a further reduction in the age limit for single parents with young children claiming what we call "Income support", almost 100,000 lone parents have moved off inactive benefits since 2010.In this year, we have reduced the economic inactivity level to its lowest since 1992, and we will get welfare inactivity down even further, as our other reforms start to bite.Just take the changes we are making to cap Housing Benefit. Research published this month shows that of those Housing Benefit claimants affected, a third said they would be looking for a job in future.This is what I mean by dynamic reform – creating a welfare culture that incentivises work and promotes independence over dependency. In other words, reform that is not just about the benefits system, but about social renewal, part of a wider vision for stable families, with educated children, growing up in areas of low crime.Government spendingYet there is one final piece to the puzzle. I have covered what I call external cultural change, change in society at large. But we must also achieve an internal cultural shift, changing the culture of government spending.It is here that I think we still have much work left to do. We have to reject the old focus on inputs – the old mantra which says that "more spending equals good, less spending equals cuts…which equals bad" – and open up a whole new dimension, one focussed solely on the impact that spending has on people’s lives. That means changing not just how much we spend, but how we spend it.So let me return to the example of the Government’s Work Programme, where we have been pioneering the use of payment by results. While supporting someone into work obviously has a cost attached, you find that cost is quickly outweighed by the reductions you can make to the welfare bill when you get someone back into work and paying tax. The key point is that we use these future savings to pay for the Work Programme now.We do that by putting the onus on the 18 Prime Providers who compete to deliver the Work Programme in different parts of the country. They raise the money to deliver the programme alongside their subcontractors; we then pay them when they deliver the results. That means first, getting people back into work. But from day one we’ve been clear that getting people into work on its own isn’t enough. If people do not have "the work habit" – in other words they are not used to the workplace, or convinced that working is right for them – the risk is that they will soon fall out of employment again. So the providers get the biggest payouts when they keep someone in work for 6 months, one year, 18 months, or up to two years in some cases.Because we are paying for results we will only pay for what works, therefore hugely reducing the risk on the taxpayer, and we make sure that every pound is only being paid out because it has a positive impact on people’s lives.A payment by results system works best when the timescales for success are short and the metrics relatively straightforward. But in addition to Payment by Results there are other areas as well. In particular, we are really trying to open up the social investment market.I see this as a huge opportunity to get much more private money working in pursuit of the social good. Historically it has been assumed that people could either be "good citizens" and put their money into charitable works, whilst not expecting anything in return, or they could be "profit maximisers", who invest their money in commercial ventures and have to forget about the social consequences. Social investment is a way of uniting the two – it is about saying to investors: "You can use your money to have a positive impact on society, AND you can make a return."But to get this investment you need to have programmes that are tested and accredited. That then allows you to create a social bond that people can invest money in.That is why we have we have agreed to establish an independent foundation that will accredit programmes of work and provide a rigorous assessment of their likely social returns. It’s why we’re testing a variety of cutting edge programmes through our Innovation Fund, which will help build the evidence base around social investment models, and it’s why we have launched Big Society Capital, capitalised with £600 million, and tasked it with the sole mission of growing the social investment market.This market may still be in its infancy, but I believe it has huge potential. First, it has the potential to greatly increase the amount of funding available for social programmes by bringing in private investment money.Second, it brings a whole new level of discipline and rigour. Too often in the past good, proven programmes have been introduced by Government but haven’t worked.This isn’t necessarily due to a problem with the programme itself, rather it is because as the programme has trickled through the system bits have been added or subtracted, modified and changed, so that in many cases the programme has been neutered.Why? Because when Government care more about inputs than outcomes it doesn’t have much interest in whether the programme actually works. Once it is underway the nature of the programme itself becomes largely irrelevant.But if the money follows the outcome – as it does with payment by results, or with social investment – we can bring a whole new level of fidelity to the way that civil servants, local authorities, and government at large do social programmes.It is my personal that if we can truly grow the social investment market it will mark the single biggest change to the culture of spending in Government.Social renewalSo the prize could be enormous if we get all of this right: cultural reform of society, and of government, in a way that restores effectiveness in public spending, and restores the idea of mobility in our welfare system. In other words restoring the idea that no matter how hard things get for you we will be there with you to help you on an upward path.But we’ve got to lock this process in, and as with the process of making savings that I spoke about earlier, it has to be done in a sustainable way or the problems will pop back up again just a few years down the line.That means we need to change the incentives in the system. In welfare that means understanding that work has to be seen to pay, and people have to know that there is support available for them. In Government, it means making the money follow the outcome.Through this process, and through the tool of social investment, I believe we can achieve something else as well. We can start to lock those at the top of society back into to our most disadvantaged families and communities at the bottom. We can get our biggest and best business people bringing their time and their skills to some of society’s most intractable social problems.Ironically, perhaps, it has taken difficult times to create a driver for change. When the economy was growing it was just too easy to say "not now, but later". For after all, this does involve very tough choices.But as we try to reshape our economy, and revitalise and refloat the entrepreneurial spirit that has historically characterised the citizens of this global trading nation, we must accept that we will fail unless we can lock all in society to the benefits of this change.I believe the economies are beginning to show that more manufacturing will return to modern western societies if they have the skills to make it work. Technologies and the best of transport offer a new opportunity to revitalise our countries as manufacturing hubs of sophisticated goods.None of this will happen unless we reform our societies, so that those now left behind are enabled to play a full part in this future. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/27-06-12.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Statement to US Congress Ways and Means Committee 2012-06-27 Department for Work and Pensions Ways and Means Committee, House of Congress
Content14 June 2012The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of State for Work and PensionsThe Abbey Centre, WestminsterThursday 14 June 2012[Check against delivery]IntroductionThank you all for coming today.Tackling poverty and social breakdown is an issue that has been important to me for many years now.It was the reason I set up the Centre for Social Justice back in 2004: to better understand the drivers of social breakdown, and to find effective solutions.We spent a great deal of time travelling up and down the country, taking evidence from community groups and voluntary organisations.And we documented the evidence in our key reports, which laid bare the extent of social disadvantage and breakdown across Britain – even before the recession started.So having spent many years engaged in how poverty affects our poorest communities, I am not altogether surprised by today’s statistics.Today’s statisticsThe figures published this morning confirm that the last Government missed the target they had set themselves to halve child poverty by 2010.In 2010/11, 18% of children – some 2.3 million children – were growing up in households under the relative poverty line…… meaning overall, the previous Government missed their target by 600,000 children.It is sad that in our wealthy society, such a large number of people remained stuck on the margins, trapped in poverty throughout a period of unprecedented growth.Government spendingYet that’s not to say this went unnoticed.The last Government spoke about the need to tackle poverty, and poured vast amounts of money into the pursuit of this ambition.Looking back at their track record, we can see the earlier and easier successes on child poverty being made between 1999 and 2001 – when the rate of relative child poverty fell from 26 percent to 23 percent.The next significant drop occurs between 2002 and 2005…… but coinciding with rise in spending on tax credits from £13.2 billion to £22.9 billion – an increase in expenditure of around 75%, with much of it targeted at families with children.From then until the 2009, the last Government just about managed to keep the poverty rate flat…… but at a cost of over £300 billion in working age welfare and tax credits.In 2009/10 alone, around £90 billion was paid out in welfare payments to working age people and their families – about the same as the entire education budget.The welfare bill increased by some 40% in real terms, even in a decade of rising growth and rising employment.Overall, spending in the years when the last Government’s child poverty reductions went flat was remarkable.£171 billion on tax credits and an almost £30 billion net increase in welfare spending in the years from 2003/04 to 2010justto sustain their position.Of course big spending is attractive because it brings big media headlines.But today’s statistics clearly show that over the course of the last Government, the money failed to have the impact it was supposed to.I’ll say it again: 2.3 million children still live in poverty.‘Poverty plus a pound’I believe the problem lay to a large extent in the common discourse around child poverty – which, in recent years, has become overwhelmingly focused on relative income.If a family has less than 60% of the median income it is said to be poor, if it has 60% or more it is not.By this narrow measure, if you have a family who sit one pound below the poverty line you can do a magical thing.Give them one pound more, say through increased benefit payments, and you can apparently change everything – you are said to have pulled them out of poverty.Yet moving someone from one pound below the poverty line to one pound above it might be enough to hit a target.But what about the people stuck at the very bottom?Looking beyond the headline statistics, we also find that in 2010 there were 600,000 children living severe poverty and 1.4 million in households suffering from absolute low income.These are the families hardest hit, with the lowest incomes, and unable to afford essential day-to-day items.But – equally importantly – even when someone is lifted above the 60% relative income line that isn’t enough.There must be some kind of change in their life or they will risk slipping back.Fuelling dependencyOf course money is important.But increased income from welfare transfers is temporary if nothing changes.Just take the example of a poor family where the parents are suffering from a drug addiction. Giving the parents extra money moves them over the line and out of ‘poverty’ on paper.Yet because much of the money will almost certainly go on drugs, the family still lives in poverty. Coming off drugs is a therefore a vital step for them getting out of poverty and staying there.Or take a family where no one has ever worked. Simply increasing the household’s income – while taking no other proactive action – will only push the family further into dependency and weaken the incentive to take up work.So while income is important we should be clear that the source of that income can have very different effects.Income through benefits maintains people on a low income and can risk feeding social problems.Whereas research shows that work and the income it brings can change lives – boosting confidence and self-esteem, providing a structure to people’s lives and giving them a stake in their community.What today’s figures make clear is that as the years rolled by, the ‘poverty plus a pound’ approach did not do enough to transform the lives of those in need.Treating symptomsOn coming into Government, we could have continued on this path.The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimated in 2009 that the 2020 child poverty targets could be hit through an extra £19 billion in welfare transfers.But that would have been £19 billion spent as a one-off, without hope of transformation for those living in poverty.For although income transfers might treat the symptoms, maintaining people just above the relative income line…… all too often, the root causes remain unchecked.Root causesThis Government is committed to eradicating child poverty, and across departments our aim is to tackle the problemat its source.Whether it be worklessness and welfare dependency… addiction… educational failure … debt … or family breakdown…… these are the multiple and overlapping problems that underpin social disadvantage – and if we are to make real inroads to tackling child poverty we need to address them. Government strategyIn March, we published the Social Justice Strategy – which establishes new principles for ensuring the most disadvantaged families and individuals can put a foot on the first rung of the social ladder.This strategy concentrates on two major principles. Early intervention – preventing people from falling into difficulty in the first place.And providing second chances for those whose lives do go off track, with a focus on recovery and independence as the ultimate outcome.This builds on last year’s Social Mobility strategy, in which we set out our commitment to making sure people are able to move up that social ladder and realise their potential.Together, these combine as our strategy for ending child poverty – supporting parents and their children to overcome the barriers that trap them in poverty, and setting them on the path to an independent life beyond the state.Culture changeBut we won’t improve children’s life chances on paper – real change comes through reforming the whole culture of government interventions…… getting to the root causes of problems early, instead of waiting to manage the symptoms.That’s why we’re investing in the Pupil Premium, ensuring that pupils from the most disadvantaged backgrounds have fair access to a decent education.It’s why we’re providing relationship support, ensuring that the most vulnerable families receive the support they need to provide a stable home life for their children.Family breakdown is too often the scourge of the poorest in society. Children from broken homes… underperforming at school… and mothers unable to ‘cope’.At the CSJ, we found that the Government was spending £20 billion a year on the results of family breakdown and too little on support for families in difficulty.That is changing.And so too elsewhere in government.Wherever we see a maintenance culture, we will replace it with a transformational one.That’s why we’re protecting the role of the money advice service and supporting Credit Unions, to make sure people can get the advice and help they need to manage their finances, to help get them clear of the loan sharks.It’s why we’re abolishing the National Treatment Agency – which spawned an industry soaking up government money to maintain people on drugs and alcohol, rather than using rehabilitation to get people free from a life of addiction.And it’s why we’re introducing the Universal Credit, which will support more people into work, which we know is the best way for families to lift themselves out of poverty.Universal CreditThis last point is particularly important.For some people, such as those with severe disabilities, income from the state will always play a vital role – and this Government has promised to protect the most vulnerable.However, for those who are able to work, this has to be seen as the best route out of poverty.For work is not just about more money – it is transformative.It’s about taking responsibility for yourself and your family…… playing a productive part in your community…… creating an environment where success through hard work is celebrated, so that children can aspire to even more.So we also have a simple message for those who can work: we will make work pay more than a life on benefits.Under Universal Credit, by stripping away the complexity of the current system, we will make the journey into work smoother and more rewarding…… and in doing so, make a real difference to people’s lives.It is estimated that Universal Credit could lift 350,000 children and 550,000 adults out of poverty.And our latest analysis suggests that Universal Credit will ensure the vast majority of children will be lifted out of poverty if at least one parent works 35 hours a week at the minimum wage – or 24 hours if they are a lone parent…… which is why we are placing such a high priority on work incentives.If people take steps with us to find and stay in employment, they will see the rewards.We are investing £2 billion to make work pay – and together with the other programmes we are delivering across Government, this has the potential to completely alter a child’s future.Because getting a family into work…… supporting strong relationships, getting parents off drugs and out of debt …… all this an do more for a child’s wellbeing than any amount of money in out of work benefits.With the right support a child growing up in a dysfunctional household, who was destined for a lifetime on benefits could be put on an entirely different track – one which sees them move into fulfilling and sustainable work.In doing so they will pull themselves out of poverty.Economic climateI could stand here today and claim that today’s statistics are good news for the Coalition in the first year of government.For at a first glance, that is what they show.The decrease in child poverty by 2% points looks like a step in the right direction.But the reality, like poverty itself, is more complex.In 2010/11 the economic downturn brought with it the largest drop in median income since 1980, dragging the relative poverty threshold down with it.But even as relative poverty fell, absolute poverty remained flat at 11%.So these figures make the powerful point that while some families may have crossed an arbitrary threshold, real incomes did not rise and the lives of the poorest did not change.How perverse that the simplest way of reducing child poverty is to collapse the economy.When in fact, deficit reduction is vital if we are to generate sustainable growth and job creation – which in itself is a pre-requisite for ending child poverty.Gone are the days when taxpayers’ money could be poured into politicians’ pet projects in the pursuit of short term goals.Resources are incredibly tight.In such economic circumstances we must focus our actions where they will be most effective and long lasting.That is why our reforms are about changing thecultureof welfare, so that it acts as a springboard rather than a trap…… reducing the costs of treating poverty further down the line, and changing lives at the same time.A new measureToday I have published a practical guide on what we know works – the Government can’t tackle child poverty on its own and we need the support of local providers, and community and voluntary organisations.But alongside dynamic interventions to tackle poverty, it is important that also look more closely at the effect they have.We remain committed to the targets set out in the Child Poverty Act but it is increasingly clear that poverty is not about income alone.Today, I am pleased to announce that the Government is very interested in developing better measurements of child poverty – which include income but do more to reflect the reality of child poverty in the UK today.We will be seeking a wide range of views in the autumn as part of a consultation on how best to measure child poverty.This is not an easy task and we will need help from experts in the field.But it is vital work, for unless we find a way of properly measuring changes to children’s life chances…… rather than the present measurement of income alone…… we risk repeating the failures of the past.ConclusionThe decade from 2000 to 2010 saw a huge amount of money transferred to meet a poverty target increasingly more difficult to achieve.However what become clear was that all that spending failed to meet its objective…… because the process failed to understand that unless something changes in the lives of the recipients then they becomemoredependent notless.The objective should be to show that life change is the key to moving people out of poverty…… helping them to effect the change they need to rise above the dependency which has so reduced the quality of their lives.Today’s figures show that we must bring an end to the tick box culture that cost so much and progressively failed to achieve its aim.What we need is a system that understands that government policy should be measured by the effect social programmes have on changing lives…… not just counting how much money is put in. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/14-06-12a.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP The Abbey Centre, Westminster – Child poverty 2012-06-14 Department for Work and Pensions The Abbey Centre, Westminster
Content13 June 2012Lord FreudMinister for Welfare ReformCIH Housing 2012 ConferenceManchester Central, ManchesterWednesday 13 June 2012[Check against delivery]Good morning.Let me first start out by saying how important I hold speaking to the housing sector and my thanks for being invited here to the Chartered Institute of Housing conference to discuss welfare reform with you all today.The social housing sector is of great importance to the success of welfare reform – particularly in supporting those at the heart of your organisations; your tenants.What we are doing, and at the centre of our reform is the aim of putting to an end to the benefits system that has kept people away from work instead of encouraging them into taking up employment.The results of this system are pretty stark; there are 390,000 households where no one has ever worked and 1.9 million children living in workless households in Great Britain todayThe object of Universal Credit is to change this reality – by directly lifting hundreds of thousands of children and adults out of poverty, and more importantly we are changing long-term behaviour.I know the social housing sector can help us to make this change and I want to use this opportunity to discuss how we can deliver real support.Social sector size criteriaThe changes to the social sector size criteria are coming in April 2013, in a little under nine months, and many of you will be affected.But let’s be clear here; people renting in the private sector receiving housing benefit get the support they need for the size of their family.Broadly there is no reason why people in the social sector should be treated differently.Every day people in the private sector make choices about the kind of property they are able to afford; be it paying more for an extra bedroom or deciding to live in a different area.But, currently people renting in the social sector are not facing that sort of decision and this is not an effective use of our housing stock.There are about 5 million people on the social housing waiting list in England and over a quarter of a million tenants living in overcrowded conditions.Creating this level playing field between the private and social sectors should help increase mobility. We are working closely with landlords to support them through this necessary change.Our hosts, the CIH, today are launching their guide for social housing providers on preparing for the social sector size criteria.The guide – Making It Fit – gives examples of how landlords are already making these preparations.This is the consensus I am hearing from social landlords – they are taking a pragmatic approach highlighting the need to prepare and take practical steps.The CIH guidance is part of work to provide solid examples, background and advice for social landlords.The guidance covers:communicating with staff ;supporting tenants and explaining their housing options; andpractical examples of support already in placeExamples of practical support in place include:London Borough of Southwark’s ‘speed dating’ coffee mornings to help people find mutual exchanges     Stockport Homes offering its single housing applicants the opportunity to have joint tenancies with others  Wigan Council’s work with Citizens Advice to establish a social lettings agency. andLondon Borough of Islington’s Smartmove service that matches under-occupied tenants with overcrowded tenants.I would like to thank very much the CIH for putting this excellent piece of work together with the support of:the National Housing Federationthe Local Government Associationthe Northern Housing Consortiumthe Department for Communities and Local Government, and, of course,     staff from my Department.Clearly in the social sector size criteria changes, there will be pressures on the social housing sector. But I am confident the sector can respond.Universal CreditNow let me turn to Universal Credit.Clearly there is broad support here for the changes Universal Credit will bring.The mechanisms of Universal Credit will change people’s lives, their behaviour towards work and their relationship with benefits.The most important change will to bring about greater inclusion; financial inclusion, digital inclusion and social inclusion.Universal Credit will achieve this, by ensuring that people are better of in work than on benefits and through a massive simplification of the benefits system.Currently there are around 30 different benefits, each with its own rules and criteria and blighted by overlaps, duplication and complication.The struggle to understand the different benefits and how they interact leaves claimants completely at a loss.I do not think there is a single person in the country who understands the whole benefit system.Universal Credit brings together different benefits into a single payment that will reduce as people move into work and increase hours but which they know will still leave them better off in work.Universal Credit pathfinderThe first steps towards this change will be made in April next year in Greater Manchester and Cheshire, not a stone’s throw away from us here, where in a phased rollout the first people will start to receive Universal Credit in a pilot of the new payment.We will learn lessons as we expand the numbers claiming.From April, we expect to see up to 1,500 new Universal Credit claimants coming on stream each month across Tameside, Oldham, Wigan and Warrington.And from October 2013 we start a four year process that will see nationally 8 million households gradually move over to Universal Credit from their current raft of benefits.The first people to claim will be unemployed new claimants and those who have changes in their claims.This means we are not disrupting claimants who may shortly be moving off benefits or those who need greater support to prepare.From Spring 2014, we will begin the process of widening the range of people claiming Universal Credit to include those in work and those who are ill, disabled or may be lone parents.From the end of 2015 and up to 2017, the final households will be transferring across.The final stages are when the greatest support will be needed, and when the remaining housing benefit claims are closed.We are actively preparing the support that will be in place for these changes.Alongside the early roll-out in Greater Manchester and Cheshire, our Local Authority led pilots and the housing Demonstration Projects are making sure we have the early ground work in place.I know there are representatives from the housing associations and councils involved in these here today. And I know many of you are eager to hear how lessons form these may be shared. Demonstration ProjectsBut let me first focus on why the Demonstration Projects are happening.The issue of paying housing benefit directly to tenants will probably have vexed a lot of people here today.It is necessary to give people a single benefit payment that allows them to budget in and out of work in exactly the same way.Not paying your own rent creates a genuine barrier stopping people getting into work or taking a short-term position.For those who have their housing benefit paid direct to their landlord the decision of whether to go into work is made more difficult as they have to take on the new responsibility of paying rent, while uncertain if their employment will last.This barrier stops people taking up short-term positions that could become long-term jobs – as the effort of moving back and forth from paying and not paying rent is deemed too complex.This complexity is on top of the uncertainty of whether they will be better off working or not.We are aware this is a shift for many tenants and are making sure that we are prepared and that people will receive the support they need.The Demonstration Projects are now up and running in five areas across the country, with the Scottish project due to start shortly.The projects will make sure there are safeguards in place, just as there are safeguards in the private rented sector today. The first cycle of payments in the Demonstration Projects will start later this month.The response from tenants has been strong. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by the numbers who already have bank accounts in place.For those that do not have a bank account, the projects are running support to help people set up bank accounts and direct debits, working with local banks and credit unions.We are looking at the tools and skills that really matter - so households can take a first step to financial inclusion and we can really change their budgeting and money management skills.Working with the banks and credit unions - we are aiming to create financial services that are far more accessible and supportive to low income households – such as 'jam jar' accounts that allow people to budget far more easily.This will allow people to access fairer deals on a wide range of products – such as direct debit discounts for utility bills.With the Demonstration Projects, we are being intelligent about who should be paid their rent directly.As with the rollout of Universal Credit, we are moving people over gradually ensuring those who are ready and able move first.We are not making a sudden shift.I hope this allays fears you might have, for both your tenants and your finances.The underlying reason for the projects is to learn lessons.These lessons will be shared through the online learning network. Professor Paul Hickman, who is carrying out the evaluation of the demonstration projects, will no doubt talk about how lessons are being learnt and Tim Power, from Oxford City Council will be talking about how this learning will be shared.I encourage you to get in contactConclusionSo to conclude: I want you to know that reform, now well on its way, will benefit very many of your tenants.The benefits system will function to support those who need help with a clear safety net.I hope that you here today and the social housing sector more widely can work with us to ensure your tenants can benefit from this transformation of our welfare system.Thank you None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/14-06-12.shtml Lord Freud Chartered Institute of Housing – Housing 2012 Conference 2012-06-13 Department for Work and Pensions Good morning.
Content13 June 2012The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of State for Work and PensionsInstitute of Grocery Distribution, Skills Summit 2012LondonWednesday 13 June 2012[Check against delivery]IntroductionIt is a pleasure to be here today.It’s a little known fact that Britain’s food and grocery sector employs over 3.5 million people – some 13% of the national total.Adam Smith declared it inThe Wealth of Nationsback in 1776, but we are still "a nation of shopkeepers".The food sector is a crucial part of UK industry, and it is businesses such as those gathered here today that will drive this country’s financial recovery.Though the overall economic outlook is still poor, last month’s jobs figures at least showed some encouraging signs of stability, particularly stronger than expected growth in jobs from the private sector.Latest statistics show that even with a 37,000 fall in public sector employment...... private sector employment was up 45,000 on the latest quarter.Indeed there are currently 370,000 more people in work than in there were in 2010.What’s more, the total number on out-of-work benefits is down by nearly 70,000 over the same period – because of the changes we have introduced to move more people off inactive benefits and into the labour market.We are reassessing claimants on incapacity benefit at a rate of 11,000 people a week, and of the first 129,200 outcomes, 37% – some 47,400 people – were found fit for work.And with a further reduction in the age limit for single parents with young children claiming income support, almost 100,000 lone parents have moved off inactive benefits since 2010.These are important signs that that our welfare reforms are beginning to impact...... because if we are serious about transforming both our economy and our society, we have to be focussed on getting welfare inactivity down...... tackling what I call the problem of the ‘residual unemployed’ – reducing the number of people who been more or less permanently out of work, even throughout the years of growth.Entrenched worklessnessThis is a task I have been committed to for many years, even before coming into office.Back in 2004 I set up an organisation called the Centre for Social Justice.Spending time in Britain’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, I saw whole communities blighted by worklessness – even before the recession started.All too often, generations of the same family were stuck in a vicious cycle.Growing up in dysfunctional homes where no one had ever held a job...... attending underperforming schools... too many even abandoning school in their early teens or dropping out aged 16 without any qualifications.Finally, young people ended up in the jobcentre aged 18, too often set to live the same failed lives as their parents – out of work even when job opportunities were being created.Employment was up by some 3 million in the decade before the recession, yet between 1996 and 2010, the number of UK household where no one had ever worked doubled...... and we continued to pay for almost 5 million working-age people to sit on out of work benefits.In fact more than half of the rise in employment under the previous Government was accounted for by foreign nationals – businesses were forced to look elsewhere because they couldn’t find what they needed at home.A lack of incentives and a culture of welfare dependency played a part...... but in too many cases, the potential workforce just didn’t have the skills for the job.Institutional failureThis isn’t just bad news for growth and productivity. It’s also a real waste of people’s potential.There are currently 954,000 NEETs in England – young people aged 16-24 ‘not in employment, education, or training’.Yet many of the young people who are out of work and on the dole are harbouring a range of skills that could well be put to use in growing our economy.These young people aren’t stupid.But their potential is left unrealised, sometimes perverted by the wrong peer group to criminal ends.All because, too often, their dysfunctional families have failed to give them a proper start...... then their schools have failed them...... and finally the welfare system has just parked them unwanted and unready for the world beyond the jobcentre.Academic versus vocationalA big part of the problem is that as a society, we have majored on academic achievement as a measure of young people’s success.What’s gone missing is the understanding that there should be another route – a way of gaining top qualifications that doesn’t involve going to university.Our technical education remains weaker than most other developed nations – particularly in contrast to other European countries.Take the example of Germany, where the ‘dual system’ allows pupils to combine on-the-job experience with career-specific lessons. Or the example of the Netherlands, where all 16-year-olds are assessed in foreign languages, arts, sciences, maths and history...... but where children can move onto a technical route from as young as 12.Research by the think tank Demos suggests that in England, of those in employment 11 out of every 1,000 people completed an apprenticeship, compared with 40 out of every 1,000 in Germany and 43 in Switzerland.The same trend is found in business too, with under a third of big UK companies offering apprenticeships compared with 100 per cent of big companies in Germany.So it’s no coincidence that our international competitors also boast more robust manufacturing industries – Europe’s most competitive export economies are built on valuing practical skills alongside academic ones.HollandIt was on a visit to the Netherlands as Conservative Party leader, that I realised what was meant by giving academic and vocational learning equal weight.I met a headmaster who had worked in both English and Dutch schools.He pointed out the similarities between the UK and the Netherlands – both advocates of the free market, with a strong financial sector and opportunities for smart graduates.But he also pointed out a crucial difference.As he described it, in the UK, we consider bankers, IT consultants and businessmen to be most important people in the world.What we in this countrydon’tvalue is the fact that when someone goes home from their city job, they need a home to go to – and one that has been built with some skill.They need to be able to open the front door without it falling down.To turn on the lights without electrocuting themselves.To run the bath without it flooding.In the Netherlands, the headteacher told me, people want those jobs done properly, by someone with qualifications – rather than by a cowboy.So the builder, the electrician, the plumber – the grocer, any tradesmen in fact...... all of them are as valuable as the city worker, and qualifications gained through school and college lift the status of those who occupy these positions.Here in the UK, however, our education system has long failed to reflect that value.Action for changeOn coming into Government, I was not alone in thinking we had to put this right.The Coalition Agreement confirmed the Government’s intention to improve the quality of vocational education – making sure it was no longer second best to academic study.One of the first steps we took was to commission an independent review led by Professor Alison Wolf.Published in March 2011, the Wolf Report made 27 recommendations to improve the quality of vocational education for young people aged 14 to 19.Michael Gove accepted them all – and across different Departments we are now beginning to see progress being made.SchoolsAt the Department for Education, Michael Gove is doing a great deal to develop a more diverse schools provision.The first 6 studio schools are already open – offering 14-19 year olds the opportunity to split their time between work placements and project-based learning.And just two weeks ago, the Department for Education gave the go-ahead for 15 new University Technical Colleges, which will work in partnership with local universities and employers.From Southwark to Stoke-on-Trent, Norfolk to Newcastle, a total of 12 studio schools and 24 University Technical Colleges are set to open in the coming years...... providing young people with the technical knowledge and skills that industry demands.ApprenticeshipsThere has also been a real push on apprenticeships as a practical route into employment.This not only means delivering at least 250,000 more apprenticeships than the previous Government had planned. ...... but also taking steps to make it as simple and rewarding as possible for employers to take on an apprentice...... reducing bureaucracy around the process and introducing 40,000 incentive payments worth £1,500 for small employers who take on their first new apprentice aged 16-24.I am keen to see apprenticeships being offered, not only in technical fields such as engineering and manufacturing – but also in other industries, I hope such as market trading.After all, what better way to teach a young person about commerce than to get them into the marketplace, experiencing the roar of business on a stall?By developing apprenticeship programmes in different trades, we can ensure young people are equipped with the skills that Britain’s businesses need to prosper.DWP measuresFinally, in my own Department, we’re doing more to try and help young people address particular barriers they face in moving into work.We know that a lack of experience often proves a problem.So we are working with employers to provide an extra 250,000 work experience places over the next three years.These places will last up to 8 weeks – some with pre-employment training and guaranteed interviews – and we’ll provide funding for another month where places are linked to an offer of an apprenticeship or a job.We know that for businesses, employing a young person comes with both a cost and a risk attached.That’s why we’re introducing 160,000 new wage incentives, worth up to £2,275 each to encourage employers to take on young people from the Work Programme. By easing the costs a bit, it becomes much more straightforward to give young people a chance.Across the board, from the £30 million Innovation Fund where a proportion of funding is specifically targeted at supporting disadvantaged young people to turn their lives around...... to an almost £1 billion investment in the Youth Contract, providing intensive support to those who do end up on the unemployment register...... and to the Work Programme, where we are paying private and voluntary sector providers for the results they achieve in moving disengaged young people into work and keeping them there...... all of this is about trying to make sure young people don’t end up stuck on the margins of society – intervening before worklessness becomes entrenched.Feeding Britain’s FutureIt’s great to see British businesses – both large and small – pledging their support for these initiatives.These employers have not just committed to a Government programme – they have committed to saving our nation’s youth, and we should be immensely proud of them.In return, I would like to take this opportunity to express my support for ‘Feeding Britain’s Future’, an event which we’re looking forward to seeing more of in the Autumn.With businesses showcasing the diversity of jobs available and giving young people an insight into the skills needed to succeed...... I hope this event will inspire young people to put their talents to use in the food and grocery sector.ConclusionThat is the message today.Work is a vital component in our daily lives.It is about more than money – it shapes us, develops us, helps us create friends and contacts.The money we earn gives us choices, and the work we do helps us to develop so we can make the most of those choices.This industry is all about that...... for it is an industry with a great enterprising spirit – nothing illustrates this better than Margaret Thatcher, famously the daughter of a grocer.As she said: “pennies don’t fall from heaven, they have to be earned here on earth”.The money we earn is always more powerful than the money we are given.My reforms are about changing our system so that young people can feel the satisfaction of a day’s pay for a day’s work. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/13-06-12.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Institute of Grocery Distribution, Skills Summit 2012 2012-06-13 Department for Work and Pensions Institute of Grocery Distribution, Skills Summit 2012
Content30 May 2012Lord FreudMinister for Welfare ReformNational Digital ConferenceOld Billingsgate, London[Check against delivery]Thanks for inviting me to take part in today’s debateI want to talk about Universal Credit – the new single benefit for people on low income, whether they are in or out of work. It replaces Jobseeker’s Allowance, Tax Credits, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance and Housing Benefits.Cornerstone of Universal Credit is that work should always pay. Benefit will be withdrawn gradually as claimants start work or increase their earnings, meaning their total income goes up.And because Universal Credit is not restricted to people out of work, it is safe for claimants to try a job or to increase their earnings without the fear of losing their benefit.This is not just another benefit reform. It’s a transformation of the welfare state designed to change attitudes and behaviours.To help claimants and their families manage their benefits and wages independently, and where possible to become independent of state support.For example:Universal Credit will be paid monthly, like a salary, to mirror the experience of work. 70% of people are paid monthly.A single monthly payment to the household. 12 million benefit and tax credit claims will become 8 million Universal Credit household claims.It will be digital by default.From the outset we have designed Universal Credit as an online service.We expect people to claim Universal Credit online and then to track their claim and report changes just as they do with online banking.For many people this will more convenient. They will be able to manage their claim 24/7 from home.However, we do recognise that not everyone is ready and able to shop, bank or use services online.When Universal Credit goes live in October next year, there will still be face to face and telephone support in place.The important difference is that this support will be geared towards helping people to use the online channel.I am determined to make the most of the opportunity – and the financial incentive – presented by Universal Credit to identify claimants who lack computer skills and to help them to become "digitally independent".This is about work as much as it’s about welfare. As you know, employers expect digital skills for almost all jobs.It also opens up opportunities for managing money better via online banking or budgeting support. Or accessing money saving services like internet-rates and paper-less billing.DWP cannot do this alone. We’re still looking at options – but there are a number of external organisations that are well placed to help people to make a Universal Credit claim online and to stay online.The more I think about it the more I realise that digital and financial inclusion go hand in hand. Both are at the heart of Universal Credit. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/30a-05-12.shtml Lord Freud National Digital Conference 2012-05-30 Department for Work and Pensions National Digital Conference
Content30 May 2012The Work Programme a year on – a revolution is under wayRt Hon Chris GraylingMinister for EmploymentThe Work Programme a year on – a revolution is under wayInstitute of Economic Affairs, London[Check against delivery]I would like to welcome you all today, the week when we reach an important milestone as we mark the first anniversary of the Work Programme. All of you here know the difference the initiative is making to people’s lives. Some of those people are with us today – employers with a motivated new employee, and employees with a bright career ahead of them. It’s great to see you all.Over the past year I have visited every prime provider across the country and almost every region. Tragically many of the stories the same, "I’ve been unemployed for years", "I’d lost confidence", "I didn’t think anyone would employ me".But there is hope. Time and again I have met people who have either made it back into the workplace, often against their expectation, or those whose lives have been turned round and are starting to believe again.One such an individual I met was Stephen Stubbs, a partially sighted man from Darlington in the North East. When we met in February he had sent hundreds of jobs applications but had had no success in making a connection with employers. He felt there was no one out there to help him and been without a job for 16 months.At that stage he had just made connection with his local provider and was beginning to see the difference they made.Within 8 weeks Stephen secured the first two interviews of his entire job hunt. The first was unsuccessful, but the second resulted in a job with the Student Loans Company. He credited the turnaround in his fortunes to the support of his adviser at Triage in Darlington; they offered him training, interview preparation and advice that transformed his approach to job seeking.Stephen said it best: "They do not sit back and let you do all the work. They will actually sell you to employers. It was them who provided me with the links to the Student Loans Company, which allowed me to apply for the job; otherwise I would have missed it."You should all be proud of giving people the chance to realise their potential.Over the past year you have all been part of a revolution. One that many who watch this industry are still coming to grips with. It’s a simple proposition. You do what you believe will work. But we won’t pay you unless you succeed, not just in helping someone find a job, but in making sure they stay there too.There is no payment by results scheme quite like it anywhere in the world, as far as we can establish. And many other countries have beaten a path to our door to find out more.Now I want to make one thing absolutely clear.There have been some unwelcome headlines over the welfare to work industry over the past few months and that’s not something any of us can shy away from.But the issues that we all know about were not about the Work Programme. It belongs to the future and not the past.Over the past week alone we have had several reports that focus on the Work Programme. We were pleased that the National Audit Office recognised the steps we had taken in designing the Work Programme to make sure it looks after every pound of taxpayers’ money that is spent on it.That reinforces just how different the Work Programme is from previous schemes.We know that we are putting the onus firmly onto our providers to deliver results. And to put their own money on the line. There are no day one bonuses in the Work Programme – instead we have long term in work support to make sure people don’t just get into work – they stay there.And for the first time we require providers to set out minimum standards for participants along with a complaints system to make sure they are treated fairly.It’s been ironic in the past few weeks to see many in the media demanding to know where taxpayers’ money is being spent, whereas of course now most of the money being spent is being provided by the industry and not by us.So what I want to do today is to set out for you where we have got to and where I believe we will be heading over the next twelve months.Let’s start with the progress you have made so far.The Statistics Act sets pretty clear rules within which we have to act. And that means making sure the data is properly collected and adequate for the job before we publish.But there are some things I can definitely say about the Work Programme.The Work Programme had a good start last summer and autumn, a difficult winter when the labour market was tough, and is enjoying a pretty good spring.We now have emerging information from providers about what has happened to the first group of people who joined the programme in the first three and a half months last summer. If you include everyone, including those in the hardest to help groups, the job entry rate is approximately 22%. That adds up to around 60,000 jobs. When you take into account the people who have joined the Work Programme since the end of last September, the total number of unemployed people placed in jobs will now be well on the way to 100,000.We don’t yet have reliable data about the number of people who are staying in jobs once they have started, and so are earning the first outcome and sustainment payments for providers, but it is already clear from feedback from the front line that a substantial majority are staying in work once they get there.Bear in mind that over some twenty months of the Flexible New Deal, only fifty thousand people – around 10% - managed to stay in work for six* months. People I meet say that this is an industry that is well ahead of where it was at the same stage with the Flexible New Deal.You may remember that the recent NAO report cast doubts on the Work Programme’s ability to get as many people into work as expected. Their estimate was that of the conventional adult job seekers, only 26% would get into work and stay there. We know from data published by the industry that the job entry rate for all participants including the hardest to help is already 22%. The early indication I am getting from talking to providers about what is happening to those conventional adult job seekers – excluding the hardest to help - is that the proportion of job starts is already well above 26% in much of the country after nine months of a two year programme.Now I don’t want to overplay this. It’s early days. The job market is still difficult. The industry is saying that it’s more challenging than they expected, and that achieving goals will be tough. But it’s been a decent start.We know there are also big variations between providers. The range of performance between different providers on job entries goes from 18% to 26%, according to data from the industry itself. That’s a big gulf. Our leading providers are well on the way to achieving the goals we set out in the Work Programme tender documents and are blazing a trail for others to follow. But some have a lot of catching up to do.Despite the tough jobs market I expect Work Programme providers to pull out all the stops to get people into sustainable jobs. Remember that each working day JobCentre Plus takes in something like 10,000 new vacancies. And that this is estimated to be around half the vacancies in the economy as a whole. That means millions of million people will get new jobs in the coming year. Your job is to make sure that the long term unemployed are among them.I won’t settle for second best, and nor should those relying on providers to help them get their life back on track. It’s not acceptable that some providers should only be performing two thirds as well as their counterparts. Those who have already fallen behind should expect to feel the heat in the months ahead.Competition is an important part of the Work Programme. I am not sentimental about who does what – my single goal is to help unemployed people back into work. This scheme never was and never will be about providing an income stream for charities or the private sector. And competition means that if you’re not coming up with the results, someone else will, and they’ll get the work.I have no doubt that over the coming months, as organisations in the Work Programme find themselves falling behind their competitors, and sometimes drop out altogether, that some people will seize upon this as a sign of failure in the programme.They will be absolutely wrong. It is a sign that we are breaking through to a new level of performance, of success in getting the long term unemployed back to work. The black box is specifically designed to chase out best practice, to make sure that the best rise to the top.So I’m completely relaxed about the fact that some organisations will drop out of the Work Programme, while those that perform will get the rewards.As the programme beds in we will take swift action to ensure that jobseekers are best served and if a provider is not living up to expectations we will increase the number of referrals to those who are. I make no apology for setting a tough challenge to providers and demanding the very best, so my message today is simple: it’s time to deliver or we’ll find someone else to do it for us.We always expected there to be movement in the supply chain. But we also want fair treatment. That’s why we have launched the Merlin Standard. A set of behaviours prime providers are expected to adhere to in their relationships with their subcontractors. It is designed to encourage excellence in supply chain management by prime providers, to ensure fair treatment of sub-contractors and development of healthy high performing supply chains.The other criticism is that we are somehow parking the hardest to help. Nothing could be further from the truth.We have a payment system designed in a way that incentivises providers to help harder to reach claimants.And ironically, because of the mix of people coming through the Incapacity Benefit reassessment process, we have providers saying they are not getting enough of the hardest to help people. So they are hardly planning to park them once they get them.In fact the truth about ESA referrals is very straightforward. We have fewer ESA participants in the harder to help groups than expected. But we also have far more JSA claimants in the harder to help groups that expected.In the middle, £6,000 bracket, which includes most of the JSA and ESA harder to help groups, we have more people on the Work Programme than expected. In the smaller, £14,000 bracket, we have fewer than expected.And no one is being left at home without support.Everyone on ESA who wants the support provided by the Work Programme has access to it any time they want. Indeed everyone in the Work Related Activity Group is sent for an initial induction session with providers to offer them the opportunity to volunteer.What has happened is the mix of people coming through the incapacity benefit reassessment is different to what we expected. We have more people fit for work, and moving to JSA. We have more people needing long term unconditional support than expected. And those in the middle group, who would expect before too long to be mandated to the Work Programme, have proved to be sicker and further from the workplace than we expected. So it will take far more time than we predicted for them to be ready to make a return to work.It is no more and no less complicated than that.But there are today something like 700,000 people on the Work Programme. There is no shortage of people who need the help of this industry.The Work Programme is a vital part of our welfare reforms, just as we are making sure that people will always be better off in work than on benefits, we need to make sure people have a real chance to gain sustainable employment.The importance of the Incapacity Benefit reassessment process is that we need to see who can return to work, even if it is in a different role to before. The latest figures we have shows that 37% of those reassessed are fit to work, some of them have been on benefits for 15, 20 years and are now having to find their way through a jobs market totally different to the one they knew two decades ago. Your efforts, combined with a more flexible approach through Jobcentre Plus is providing the most personalised back to work support there has ever been.We simply cannot afford to have people languishing on benefits.Your organisations are in the best place to forge links with a local jobs market and scoping out opportunities with employers. Last year in a speech I said "there is no limit to our aspiration". It was true then and remains so now.I was delighted to hear in Edinburgh recently that Ingeus worked with Nandos as they were opening new premises to offer not one or two candidates but 35! Ingeus provided the employers with an end to end recruitment process and now 15 people, half of the entire staff at the new restaurant, grillers, cashiers and serving staff have all been recruited from the Work Programme. The local manager believes those people from the work programme bring with them such diverse skills, experience and the desire to work that they are his best employees.Since its launch a year ago we have expanded the Work Programme to help other harder to reach groups.We took action to boost the prospects of the young unemployed. Through the Youth Contract we are offering employers a wage incentive of £2,275 to take on a young person from the Work Programme, and providers say there are already signs that more companies are looking to recruit from the scheme as a result.We also launched support for prisoners, ensuring that the Work Programme will support them from the day they are released. Getting former offenders into work is absolutely crucial to tackling crime. The rate of reoffending in Britain is far too high, and we had to come up with solutions to reduce it. In the past we just sent people out onto the same streets where they offended in the first place with virtually no money and very little support. By getting you to find and keep them in employment we are working to change that.Yet some people still ask what the Work Programme is all about. What do we mean when we say it is a black box scheme? I like to use this story from Whitechapel to explain.A group of 25 Bengali women, all referred by their Jobcentre Plus to the Work Programme not only devised a way of getting work, but also contributing to their community and potentially saving the NHS thousands of pounds a year.The women keen to become self-employed and had been attending weekly enterprise sessions run by The Twist Partnership. The sessions sought to inspire people to use their experiences to find a way into employment. The women realised that together they all knew of the health problems and social isolation that many Bengali people in London suffer, especially the older generation.They knew better than anyone the reasons why bad diet, lack of exercise and ignorance about health services continue to be problems for the Bengali community.The group approached doctors at the Royal London Hospital and received enthusiastic support. Aided by the Team Up initiative run by the London Deanery which aims to get Junior Doctors involved in community projects and with the help of a grant from the medical charity London Catalyst, they launched a Healthy Women’s Club.I met them just after they launched the project back in March and was impressed by the way they had used their skills and experiences to create a real grass roots organisation. And to provide their community with a much better platform to find work.This is what the Work Programme is all about. It’s about leaving it down to providers to decide what help will best serve the needs of the individual – and only paying if it works. It’s about delivering a personal service that gives each individual the best chance of finding work. I’ve seen the way it is transforming lives, and the positive first steps we are making. No one’s suggesting it’s going to be easy, but work never is easy.The Work Programme started against a hugely difficult backdrop in the labour market.There’s no doubt that it makes your job more difficult.It also started in double quick time.People across the industry made huge efforts this time last year to deliver change at a pace that caused real surprise across Whitehall. They didn’t think it could be done. But it was.But the real work has come since then.And I think you’ve made a pretty good start.But there is a lot further to go.Not everyone is going to make it.But what we are doing is making this country a world leader for Welfare to Work.We are providing a vehicle to bring forward all the skills and innovation in your industry.Yes it is survival of the fittest.But it is also survival of the best.Best at getting the long-term unemployed into work.Best at transforming lives.And that’s something we should all be proud of.Thank you.*An inaccuracy in the original published copy of the speech was corrected at time of delivery. This copy has now been amended. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/30-05-12.shtml Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP The Work Programme a year on – a revolution is under way 2012-05-30 Department for Work and Pensions Minister for Employment
Content18 May 2012The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Secretary of State for Work and Pensions"Social Consequence of Poor Infant Attachment...Two is Too Late"Northamptonshire Parent Infant Project (NORPIP) conferenceWhittlebury ParkFriday 18 May 2012[Check against delivery]IntroductionI’d like to offer my thanks to Andrea Leadsom for her introduction.It is a pleasure to be here today.When Andrea asked me to become a founding patron of NORPIP, I had no hesitation in accepting.Tackling family and social breakdown is an issue that has been close to my heart for many years now.It was back in 2004 that I set up the Centre for Social Justice. Spending time in disadvantaged communities up and down the country, what I found was a section of British society that had been completely left behind.In many cases, I saw children following the same dysfunctional path as their parents, confined to the margins of society because of where they had started out in life.By the time they reached school, many of these children had already been the victims of violence, had witnessed parents on drugs or suffering depression.And from the back of the classroom it was a slippery slope to truancy, to school exclusion, and from there to addiction, debt and crime.At the Centre for Social Justice, we recognised that making a real difference  to these families’ lives meant targeting the pathways to poverty that led had them there.Treating symptomsAll too often, however, Government social policy was conditioned to focus on managing problems – on containing them – rather than investing in changing them.The failures of this approach were clear to see. Huge numbers of people maintained on out of work benefits – one million for a decade or more.Young people forced to accept that their level of attainment depended on their background rather than their ability.High and rising levels of family breakdown – with money spent on picking up the pieces of breakup rather than in preventing it.Addicts moved onto less harmful drugs but not offered sustainable help to get clean.And offenders locked up and swept under the carpet rather than being worked with and rehabilitated.All this, a legacy of treating symptoms rather than tackling root causes.Dysfunctional governmentPart of the problem was that Government tended to work in silos – each department focused on their own narrow brief, but no one was looking at the individual or family as a whole.This is the point the Prime Minister made when he launched the Government’s Troubled Families Programme. He told a story of a family in the North-West who in a single year were the subject of a huge amount of disconnected state activity.The police, the ambulance service, A&E, the council, youth offending teams, and more.Each tried to deal with the problems in their own particular area. But no one saw the family as a whole – there was management and maintenance of their problems, but no vision for helping them change their lives. Social Justice Cabinet CommitteeOn coming into office, the challenge was how to change all this.When the Prime Minister invited me to lead the Social Justice Cabinet Committee, it was a real opportunity.First, to end the culture of siloed government.But more than that, with departments taking a holistic approach to tackling social disadvantage, we could go back to an even earlier stage in children’s development – intervening early, and helping parents in order to give their children a better start in life.It is as the Chair of this Committee – and as a representative of the different departments involved – that I speak to you today.Early interventionOne of the first steps we took after forming the Committee was to commission a series of reports on children’s early years, including Frank Field’s report on poverty and life chances, and two reports from Graham Allen that focused on early intervention.This was about developing a cross-party consensus on what needed to be done in this space. And then building the principles of this into policy, processes, and institutions across Government.I wanted early intervention to be a golden thread weaving through everything the Government was doing to tackle social problems.And both on paper and in practice, we have made real progress.Early intervention runs through both the child poverty and social mobility strategies. And it’s a defining principle on page 1 of our Social Justice strategy – central to transforming the lives of our most disadvantaged families.What we are doingLet me explain what this means in action.It means that instead of leaving a single teenage mother struggling to cope, feeling detached from her newborn baby, and waiting for problems to stack up down the line, we are seeking to ensure that parents receive expert support and advice from pregnancy and into their child’s early years.Retaining a strong network of children’s centres is crucial, so that all families can access a core set of vital services.But we also need clear examples of best practice in the field – and I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the importance of the work being done by OXPIP and NORPIP.Offering therapeutic support for mothers and babies, helping them to develop a strong and loving attachment – this work is leading the way.Following the example set by innovative local projects such as this, Government is making the foundation years a priority.Whether it be in terms of health, where we have committed to doubling both the number of Family Nurse places and the number of health visitors by 2015…… or education, where we are extending free early education to the most disadvantaged two-year-olds…… or families, where we are trialling universal parenting support for mothers and fathers with a child under five.You may have woken up to the Prime Minister talking about this this morning.What we are trying to do is take the stigma out of the idea that needing help means you have somehow failed as a parent.In fact, statistics show that two in five of all new mums are struggling to cope with the demands of their newborn.And almost three quarters said they would have liked more professional help before the baby was born.For parents with a child under 3, the figure is even higher – with 85 percent saying they had sought help in the last year.So this is not a case of the nanny state intervening, but government responding to a need that is present across the social spectrum.Through all this,we are steering the focus and the spending towards areas which we know can make a real difference to improving children’s life chances.The futureYet there is one final piece to the puzzle.Together with achieving a cultural shift towards early intervention and tackling root causes, we must also change the culture of government spending, opening up a whole new dimension – one focussed solely on the impact that money has on transforming people’s lives.It is here that I think we have a really exciting opportunity still to exploit – with the social investment market offering a real chance to get more private money working in pursuit of the public good.Social investmentHistorically it has been assumed that people could either be "good citizens" and put their money into charitable works, but without expecting anything in return.Or they could be "profit maximisers", who invest their money in commercial ventures and have to forget about the social consequences.Social investment is a way of uniting the two – it is about saying to investors:"You can use your money to have a positive impact on society,andyou can make a return."In some cases this financial return will come from supporting a social enterprise which has profitable revenue streams.However some of the most interesting recent projects have involved Government money as well, with investors paying up front to fund the delivery of social programmes, and then Government paying for the returns, funded by the reduced costs of social breakdown.This is the model being used in the Social Impact Bond project in Peterborough, where investors are paying charities to run rehabilitation programmes with prisoners.If reoffending falls by 7.5% or more, then the investors will receive a return – paid for by Government out of the reduced costs.Growing the marketBut in order to grow the market, you need to have programmes that are proven to be effective, that are tested and accredited so that investors have a clear understanding of what the returns might be and how certain they are to accrue.Government’s job here is to sow the seeds, and to get the financial and regulatory conditions right so that the market can flourish.That’s why we have launched Big Society Capital, capitalised with £600 million, and tasked it with the mission of growing the social investment market.It’s why we’re testing a variety of cutting edge programmes through our Innovation Fund, which will help build the evidence base around social investment models.And it’s why we have we have agreed to establish the Early Intervention Foundation, which will accredit programmes of work and provide a rigorous assessment of their likely social returns.The potentialIf we get this right, the potential prize could be enormous.First, there is the potential to greatly increase the amount of funding available for social programmes, by bringing in private investment money on top of that provided by Government or pure philanthropy alone.Second, social investment brings a whole new level of discipline and rigour to this funding because people are investing their own money in expectation of a return – money that could otherwise be reaping a profit elsewhere.But third – and perhaps most importantly – it could be a powerful tool for building a more cohesive society.The gap between the top and bottom of society is in many cases larger than it has ever been.We have a group of skilled professionals and wealth creators at the top of society who have little or no connection to those at the bottom.Yet in so many cases what divides the two is nothing more than a different upbringing, or a different start in life. I believe social investment is our best hope for tying not just the wealth but also the skills of those at the top of society back into our most disadvantaged communities. The social investment market is in its infancy, but it is my personal belief that if we can truly develop this market, it will mark the single biggest change to how social interventions are funded in future – having a powerful effect on the way innovative early intervention programmes such as NORPIP are delivered.PIPUKWith PIPUK on the horizon, I believe this change is coming at just the right time.I know Andrea will elaborate on this later, but I would like to congratulate her now – together with everyone involved in OXPIP and NORPIP – on how far you have come.Having already helped hundreds of mothers and babies, the work you are doing is invaluable and I would like to offer my full support for developing a national network of PIPs in future.ConclusionSo let me finish by returning to my message from the beginning.Giving children the right start in life is critical.Every aspect of human development – physical, intellectual, and emotional – is established in early childhood.Equally, many of the social problems we face are a product of children’s earliest experiences in life.If we can invest in the early years – effectively and efficiently, and through the tool of social investment – the rewards may be great.Not only in terms of aneconomicreturn, but also asocialreturn.With our early intervention community bringing their time and their skills to some of society’s most intractable social problems, and what’s more, using interventions targeted to restore opportunity and hope to the most disadvantaged families, we can set children on the path to a productive and independent life beyond the state.Laying the future foundations for a strong and stable society. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/18-05-12.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Northamptonshire Parent Infant Project (NORPIP) conference 2012-05-18 Department for Work and Pensions Northamptonshire Parent Infant Project (NORPIP) conference
Content23 May 2012Lord FreudMinister for Welfare ReformNational Housing Federation: Welfare Reform: Handling the Change  The Commonwealth Club, LondonWednesday 23 May 2012 [Check against delivery]Good morning.These opportunities to speak to and hear from key members of the housing sector are invaluable for me.This conference is entitled ‘handling the change’. But perhaps it should be ‘benefiting from the change’.Change is happening. Change that I believe will substantially improve the opportunities for people across Britain.We are working very closely with the social housing sector to make sure you are not just handling the change, but working with tenants proactively to help them benefit.It is clear that the welfare system we have inherited in effect acted to increase welfare dependency and reduce financial independence of people.Our reforms must ensure that the benefit system should help people’s transition into work, not act as a barrier to it.Housing support and the work of social housing landlords are a key part of removing this barrier.LHA reform / Social Sector Size CriteriaLet me begin by touching on the housing benefit reforms and in particular the social sector size criteria, which I know has created concern among housing associations.Reform of housing benefit has been an absolute necessity.In the private sector, rents have spiralled as private landlords have known that the taxpayer was always ready to pick up the bill.If no action were taken, the Housing Benefit bill would reach £25 billion in cash terms by 2014/15 a year.We are now four months into our reforms and we are not seeing scare stories of mass migrations materialising.Some people will have to move, and we have always recognised that fact.But living in areas of central London at massive rents at the cost of the taxpayer was unacceptable.We are closely watching the reforms and their effects.Next month we will publish the initial findings of the consortium led by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, which we will use to monitor the change and help to form our future plans.Just as with LHA reform, we know reform to social sector size criteria is equally a big change.One of our aims is to level the playing field between private tenants and social housing tenants.Housing support should support the home size that people actually need – regardless of if a person is living in the private rented sector or in social housing.With around 5 million people on the social housing waiting list in England alone and over a quarter of a million tenants living in overcrowded conditions we need a better use of our housing stock.We are working closely with housing associations through this necessary change and we will provide £30 million a year to help those in adapted properties and foster carers.As we get near implementation we are looking for housing associations to respond intelligently and the early signs are that the industry is picking this up.There was much discussion in the House of Lords over how we would define a bedroom.But I don’t believe it is for DWP or Housing Benefit staff to provide a definition that stipulates bedroom sizes.We have been clear that we expect landlords and claimants to tell us how many bedrooms a property has and the rent charged should reflect the property size based on the number of bedrooms. The rent setting formula contains a specific element that requires the number of bedrooms to be fed into the calculationExactly as now, it is in a tenant’s best interest to decide whether the rooms are of a suitable size for their needs.For some a move to a more appropriately sized property may be the best option and they will need support in doing so.But we do not expect large numbers of people to move and we are relying on help from landlords to support their tenants.Support that is likely to be necessary is mainly through the provision of advice on making up the shortfall in rent through other means, such as moving into work, increasing working hours, taking in a lodger, or general budgeting.But it could be more practical help such as help with opening a bank account or making a claim for a discretionary housing payment.The Chartered Institute of Housing is producing clear guidance for social landlords with DCLG, DWP, the NHF and the Northern Housing Consortium backing.They plan to launch this at their annual conference on the 13th JuneThis provides advice on the change and shares good practice. In some limited circumstances landlords may feel that they can re-designate a property’s size where it is hard to let because of its location or accessibility.But this is a matter for the landlord and the tenant to discuss and agree.However, you must see the change as working alongside Universal Credit so giving people greater control over their budgets and their benefits.Universal Credit will make it easier for them to make choices about where they want to and can afford to live and bring fairness back to the benefits system.Benefit CapLet me turn now to the benefit cap.Returning fairness to welfare is why we will introduce the benefit cap.Very large – occasionally outrageous – benefit claims create a further barrier for people to get back into work.And there has to be a limit on the overall levels of benefit it is appropriate for the state to provide to those who are not working.The cap will stand at around £500 a week for couples and single parent households – the average household income after tax – and the equivalent of an annual gross salary of £35,000 gross or £26,000 net.People will know that claiming benefits cannot put people above the average income and receive the clear message on support the welfare state will give.We have now written to all people who may be affected a year ahead of the cap coming in in April 2013.We have been clear about the exemptions – such as those claiming disability benefits or war widows and widowers.Importantly households claiming Working Tax Credit will be exempt.The benefit cap – like much of our reforms – is focused on helping people back into work and achieving long-term positive behavioural effects.We believe that work should always pay more than benefits and this is at the heart of our welfare reform.  And we have been clear about the intensive help we will provide people to get into work. Over the coming year, Jobcentre Plus and the Work Programme will work with those affected to support them into work.Universal Credit will also tear down the barrier between being in and out of work.Universal Credit overviewUniversal Credit ties in closely with the work many housing associations are already doing to support tenants into work and into financial independence.Universal Credit brings changes and challenges ahead for all of us.And I know the social housing sector has given broad support to our reform.Worklessness is an issue social landlords know well.The profile of social tenants has changed remarkably in recent years. It used to be that the bulk of working age social housing tenants were in employment.Now only around 40 per cent are.It is a tragedy for a child to grow up in a workless household and Universal Credit will work to reduce this tragedy.It will also lift as many as 350,000 children and 550,000 adults out of poverty.Universal Credit is the vanguard of our welfare reform.It will provide claimants with a single monthly benefits payment – instead of multiple streams of income from numerous sources.One application will provide people with one benefit instead of claiming via their local council, Jobcentre Plus and HMRC.This replaces the current system of 30 different benefits – each with its own specific rules, complications and duplications.This also does away with the current problems people face with the stop-start process of applying for benefits and tax credits when they move up and down the number of hours they work or into workThe complexity stops people from getting into work and leaves them unsure if they will be better off in work than on benefits and is frankly bewildering for recipients.The one Universal Credit payment will replace various levels of support that cut in and out at different times.Bringing housing support into Universal Credit for private and social sector tenants is absolutely necessary.Housing support must be part of that single payment so that budgeting for households is no different when they are in and out of work.This means they will be able to move more fluidly between the two.It will break the barrier between in-work and out-of-work benefits and reduce the risks and fears that people have about moving into work and losing their benefits.Pathfinder overviewThe move to Universal Credit will not be a big bang.The transformation of 12 to 13 million tax credit and benefit claims into eight million Universal Credit payments cannot and should not happen overnight.I am committed to learning the lessons from implementation early which is why we have the local authority led pilots, the direct payment demonstration projects with housing associations and the Pathfinder all running ahead of the starting pistol for Universal Credit next October.Each of these we have mechanisms will ensure we will learn lessons over the entire rolling programme to ensure our success as more people move across to the new benefit.The roll-out will be phased, intelligent and gradual over four years.Our rolling pathfinder model will see a gradual expansion of the number of people receiving Universal Credit.The process starts in April next year with our first Pathfinder project, before we go live nationally in October 2013.We will shortly provide fuller details of the Pathfinder project.The early roll-out of Universal Credit will allow us to check that the new simpler Universal Credit service works for claimants and staff as well as for local authorities and employers.Demonstration Projects – financial inclusionAlongside the Pathfinders, we are also working on our Direct Payment Demonstration Projects and local authority pilots which will take on the issues of financial and digital exclusion.Tackling financial and digital exclusion are both massive positive side effects of Universal Credit.Being financially and digitally excluded mean a person is effectively excluded from 21st century life in Britain.Our work with you will help tackle these problems.The six demonstration projects are starting this summer across the UK, with the final project in Edinburgh with housing association Dunedin Canmore named this month.The projects are testing the direct payment of housing benefit to social sector tenants.Rent payment to tenants is essential for people to become independent.The projects are looking to test two key things.The first is how we communicate the changes to residents and identify those who need extra support.This extra support will be help with budgeting and setting up direct debits for the first time.Projects are working with credit unions and local banks to encourage uptake of basic bank accounts.Secondly, the demonstration projects will test safeguards and the triggers for when payment must switch back to landlord and the limited circumstances when payments should not be made directly to the tenant in the first place.Under Universal Credit we will continue to pay the landlord directly for pensioners and people with significant support needs, so these groups are excluded from the projects.These safeguards for tenants are part of the design so we do not undermine the finances of social landlords.And I repeat my determination that we will not undermine social landlords’ finances.The projects will undergo rigorous and independent evaluation to ensure that the recommendations taken forward into Universal Credit are sufficiently robust.The CIH has also established a Learning Network for councils and housing associations.The network will help those not directly involved in the projects to share in the learning and exchange information about implementing direct paymentsYou will be hearing more about the Demonstration Projects later this morning from Professor Paul Hickman, who is carrying out the evaluation of the projects, and Kevin Dodd, at Wakefield and District Housing which is taking part.But I must be clear – insulating tenants who could be working from the need to budget for themselves is not helping them in the long-term.Universal Credit gives people a simple relationship with the support they receive from the state and a clear way of reducing that support and being financially independent.Local authority led pilots – digital inclusionI also hope there will be housing association support and involvement in the local authority led pilots.We have published a prospectus with the Local Government Association for councils to bid to set up pilots, prior to the roll-out of Universal Credit.The pilots focus on the face-to-face support that people may need to claim online and become able to claim online independently.We are creating Universal Credit to be digital by default – so we do not forcing people into set channels from the first day of their claim.Universal Credit will be primarily accessed online creating a personal relationship between people and their benefits claim, just as they have with online banking.Telephone and face-to-face support will remain in place, just as it is now, but only for those unable to use the digital service.Our aim is to give those not online now the confidence to claim unaided so they will be able to handle claims for themselves.We are expecting diverse pilots to begin this year and they will directly feed into the planning and implementation of Universal Credit.But I do not expect a “one size fits all” model for local authorities – they are very different organisations and pilots should reflect that fact.This means councils could be working side by side supporting people with the existing public bodies in some areas – just as many councils and Jobcentre Plus staff already do.But we are also expecting councils to work with local community groups and charities or housing associations to create the right services for residents.This support is a part of councils’ growing role supporting vulnerable members of the community.Councils’ roles are expanding to include providing support for troubled families, developing localised council tax schemes, continuing with homelessness prevention and taking on parts of the social fund.Helping people claim the single Universal Credit should be part of this role, especially as we dramatically simplify housing support to make it easier to administer.ConclusionTo conclude, major reform is underway and will thoroughly revolutionise the welfare state in Britain.Universal Credit will benefit millions of people by encouraging financial independence, reducing benefit dependency and restoring fairness to a system that was left to spiral out of control.The social housing sector is central to the success of this reform and your handling of the change will be key in supporting your tenants.We have common goals here, I hope we can, and I know we are working together to handle and benefit from this change. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/23-05-12.shtml Lord Freud National Housing Federation: Welfare Reform: Handling the Change 2012-05-23 Department for Work and Pensions National Housing Federation: Welfare Reform: Handling the Change  
Content9 May 2012The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of State for Work and PensionsLeonard Steinberg Memorial LecturePolicy Exchange, Westminster, LondonWednesday 9 May 2012[Check against delivery]IntroductionIt’s a pleasure to be here to give the second Leonard Steinberg Memorial Lecture.I knew Leonard personally. He was a remarkable man.In his inaugural speech in the House of Lords, he described his life as follows:“I was born in Belfast into a Jewish middle-class family. When I grew up … I joined the Ulster Unionist Party; when I emigrated to Manchester, I became a member of the Conservative Party…. Along the way, I became a bookmaker and an ardent Zionist. Therefore, [you] can well imagine the heavy burden that I have had to bear.”Though said in a deadpan manner, it was true – Leonard was different in almost every way.But instead of sitting back and saying that he couldn’t succeed in such an environment, with his background, it drove him on.  Against the odds – and even in the face of death threats – he became a successful businessman, a public-spirited citizen, and a great philanthropist – and I am proud to say my good friend.Leonard embodied the principle that life is not what is given to you, but what you make of it and what you leave behind for others.How we apply that principle in reforming our welfare system and renewing our society is the topic of my lecture tonight.Cultural changeI note that this week marks the two year anniversary of the formation of the Coalition government.I don’t intend to use this evening for an in depth analysis of that period.But I do want to spend some time reflecting on the particular challenges which we face in my area of interest – the welfare system……as well as explaining how we are dealing with that challenge.    My lecture – you might be relieved to hear – will not be primarily a technical one.The real purpose of this speech is to set out my mission in the job.Put simply, what we need to achieve in the coming years is not political and technocratic welfare reform, but internal and external cultural change.By this I mean cultural change both within society, and within government itself.BeveridgeTo explain what I mean let me start by taking you back to the early 1940s, when Beveridge was laying out his vision for the modern welfare state.Beveridge was driven by a desire to slay the ‘five giants’ that he identified in society at the time: Want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness.But he was also clear about the risks that were attached to this laudable cause.He warned that:“The danger of providing benefits, which are both adequate in amount and indefinite in duration, is that men as creatures who adapt themselves to circumstances, may settle down to them.”And he was clear that the system should not be allowed to“stifle incentive, opportunity, or responsibility”.In other words he was focussed on the kind of culture that the welfare system could underpin.Would it be one that fostered a society where people took responsibility for themselves and their families, and treated welfare as a temporary safety net in times of need……or one that conditioned people to grow dependent on state support, and in turn treat it as a long-term crutch?His fear was that if the balance was wrong it would lead to the creation of a semi-permanent underclass.I wonder what he would think now…Welfare dependencyLet me just give you a flavour of some of the figures we were confronted with when we came into office:5 million people on out of work benefits1 million there for a decade or more1 in every 5 households with no one workingAnd almost 2 million children growing up in workless householdsSo this was the first cultural challenge we faced – entrenched and intergenerational worklessness and welfare dependency.And before you protest that this was just a product of the recession, remember that there were over 4 million people on out of work benefits throughout the years of growth.Under the previous Government employment rose by some 2.5 million, yet more than half of that was accounted for by foreign nationals. And I’m not just talking about computer scientists or smart bankers – I’m referring to the low-skilled jobs.To be clear I am not trying to make a point about immigration – rather the facts serve to remind us that we had a huge challenge with our workforce at home.Put simply, it was a question of supply and demand.Large numbers were on out of work benefits, yet many were unwilling or unable to take advantage of the job opportunities being created.It became increasingly apparent that while we had a modern economy, transformed under Mrs Thatcher……the nature of one section of society was left lagging behind.Broken welfare systemThe problem was that while our economy was subject to a fundamental overhaul, our systems of social support received little more than a patch-up job.It was an incredibly reactive process – a new challenge would emerge in the system and governments would respond by tweaking things……adding new rules, new supplements, even new benefits.But it was all built on a creaking edifice, and the result was a system of monstrous complexity.More than 30 different benefits, complicated by additions within each benefit.This was then compounded by the fact that when an individual started work part time, they found it impossible to calculate if they would be better off or not.Some of their benefits were withdrawn at 40% as they moved into work, some at 65%, some at 100%...…some net, some gross……some were only available at 16 hours, some at 24, some at 30.Feed all of that into a complicated computer system – because no normal person can calculate what it all means for their income – and you find that something extremely damaging happens…People on low wages lose up to 96 pence in every pound they earn as they increase their hours in work.In other words for every extra pound they earn, 4 pence goes in their pocket and the rest goes back to government in tax and benefit withdrawals.So suddenly you have a system that is incomprehensible to those that use it, except for one thing that seems clear – it’s not worth the risk of working. Debt and consumptionAnd so what did we find as a result?Even in the decade before the recession, while growth was booming, jobs were being created, and welfare bills should have been falling, spending on working age welfare actually increased by some 35%.And this wasn’t just about welfare – in healthcare, in crime, in education, Government paid out to manage and maintain social problems rather than tackling them at their root.This then is the second cultural challenge I want to touch on tonight – understanding how we, as a society, got to a place where we were unable to pay our way, with an economy built on debt and consumption.I think the problem lies, to a large extent, with the culture of government spending which has developed.This is a culture marked by an obsession with inputs – with pouring money into social programmes – so that governments are seen to be doing something.Of course big spending is attractive because it brings big media headlines.But my concern is that no one asks what will come out at the other end – in other words what impact the spending will have on people’s lives.Child povertyLet me give you the example of the approach to child poverty which has predominated in recent years, which has frequently focussed on the task of moving people from just below the poverty line, to just above it.Some £150 billion was spent on tax credits for families and children between 2004 and 2010, much of it in pursuit of this ambition.  Some people were indeed moved over the poverty line – and in government and amongst lobby groups that was seen as a cause for great celebration.Yet I am concerned that these celebrations may have been premature.Moving someone from one pound below the poverty line to one pound above it might be enough to hit a target.But what about the people stuck at the very bottom?There are people who weren’t even touched by this poverty drive – for example many of those trapped far below the line on less than 40% of the median income.But – equally importantly – when you do lift someone above the 60% relative income line, do you really have any idea what impact it actually has on their life?Do we have any idea what kind of sustainable change has been achieved?Because if it hasn’t made a sustainable change you won’t be celebrating for long – the family you have moved over the line are liable to fall back again if you haven’t tackled the real reason they find themselves on a low income in the first place.Let me give you the example of a family with seriously drug addicted parents – simply giving more money to the parents may do little more than feed their addiction, leaving them and their children locked into a cycle of poverty.But invest the same money in targeting the root causes of poverty, intervene early, and you can make a more sustainable change……AND one that is likely to be more affordable in the long term, as you put people back on the path to independence and reduce the churn in the system.But too often reductions in poverty have been achieved simply through out of work welfare transfers.That is what I mean when I speak about inputs versus outcomes – we have become comfortable with the idea of measuring the money we put in, but without really caring to ask what that money achieves in terms of life change at the other end.SavingIn many ways the problem I’ve touched on here is also relevant to our pension system.Runaway government spending is a symptom of a wider problem – it is symptomatic of a society built on debt and consumption, rather than saving and investment.We now know that some 7 million people in our country aren’t saving enough for their retirement.Why?Because saving simply isn’t seen to pay.This is the problem we currently face with the means-test.There are honest and hard-working people on low wages who work all their lives and pay in to the system, only to find that when they reach retirement their neighbour – who has never worked – can receive the same level of support through claiming for Pension Credit.What kind of message does that send out?It tells people on low incomes that it’s not worth saving – it’s not even worth working. Just sit back and wait for the government to pay out when you retire. Over the years we seem to have become addicted to debt instead – in the lead-up to the recession we accumulated one of the highest rates of personal debt in the whole of Western Europe, around £1.3 trillion even before the recession started.We embraced a culture of ‘live now, pay later’ and looked to future generations to pick up the bill.The fact is that debt fuelled booms feel good while they last, but like all addictions the detox is long and painful.The challengeSo we are now faced with a fundamental challenge.Millions of people stuck out of work on benefits.Millions not saving nearly enough for their retirement.And politicians – of all hues – addicted to spending levels as a measurement of success, rather than life change as a measurement of success.Three areas ripe for reform – but how do you reform when there is no money?The answer – you change the way you reform.Not just cheese-slicing, but recalibrating whole systems so that you change behaviours, and change the culture that allowed spending to get out of control in the first place.This is absolutely critical, and I want to take a moment to explain why.When welfare spending balloons – as it has done – the temptation for successive governments has been to squeeze it back down again.But – rather like a balloon – when you squeeze it at one end it will tend to grow at the other.So whilst savings must be made, they must also be sustainable.Otherwise, once the public finances are back in order, and the economy grows again, so the bidding war starts once more.Lobby groups put pressure on government to spend more.Government in turn dip its hands into all of your pockets to buy media headlines, and the vicious cycle continues.Welfare ReformStructural change – leading to cultural change – is the key to this dilemma.In other words you have to tackle the demand itself, changing the effects of welfare by changing the incentives in the system.Let me explain what I mean by this.My belief is that everyone in the welfare system should be on a journey – it should be taking them somewhere, helping them move from dependence to independence.So if you are looking for work the system should make work worthwhile and it should both support and encourage you.If you are a lone parent the system should support you with your caring responsibilities while your child is young, but it should also keep you in touch with the world of work and ensure at the earliest that you move back to the world of work.If you are sick but able to work in time the system should support you, stay with you as your condition improves and make sure you can take the opportunities to work when you are able.What we will not do is put anyone on benefits and then forget about them, as was so frequently the case for those on Incapacity Benefits.But if a journey for people is our purpose, we have to recognise that our current welfare system is not fit to provide it.That’s why we are redesigning it almost from scratch – making the journey more attractive, smoother, quicker, more supportive.And we will do so in a way that brings welfare spending back under control….….whilst changing lives at the same time.In other words we reduce the effective demand on the system by changing people’s incentives.In the words of Beveridge, now is “a time for revolutions, not for patching”.Universal CreditBut if we are to build a new journey, we have to recognise a simple fact.Not everyone is starting from the same place.There is no point assuming – for example – that everyone understands the intrinsic benefits of work……the feelings of self-worth, or the opportunity to build self-esteem.If you are dealing with someone from a family where no one has ever held work, or no one in their circle of peers has ever held work, there is no point in simply lecturing them about the moral purpose of work, or in just wielding a bigger and bigger stick.Politicians have tried this tactic over and over again – and to limited effect.What you must tackle is the biggest demotivating factor that many people face – the fact that the complexity of the system and the way it is set up creates the clear perception that work simply does not pay.Thus, after generations in key communities, worklessness has become ingrained into everyday life.The cultural pressure to conform with this lifestyle is enormous, underscored by the easy perception that taking a job is a mug’s game.  It is this factor which can stop someone’s journey back to work in its tracks.Changing this is what the Universal Credit and the Work Programme are all about.  Universal Credit is a new system we are introducing from next year, which will replace all work-related benefits and tax credits with a single, simple, payment.It will be withdrawn at a single, constant rate, so that people know exactly how much better off they will be for each extra hour they work.And this rate will be significantly lower than the current average, meaning that work will pay for everyone, and at each and every hour.This requires investment up front – we are spending some £2 billion to get it right.But if we do so, and start reaping the effects of cultural change, it will save government huge amounts down the line, as workless households become working households.Work ProgrammeBut Universal Credit alone is not enough.When you are dealing with people who are a long way from the workplace, who do not have many skills, and do not have the work habit, you need to provide a system that supports them and helps them to get work-ready.That’s what we are doing with the Work Programme, and we have asked some of the best organisations in the private and voluntary sectors to deliver it for us.They are tasked with getting people back to work, and then helping to keep them there.They are given complete freedom to deliver support – I don’t tell them how to do it, and nor does the Minister for Employment.This is about trusting that these organisations are best placed to know what works.Universal Credit and the Work Programme are two sides of the same coin.Either without the other would not have the same impact.Together, they will become formidable tools for taking people on this journey.  Of course we need that warning of benefits being removed if some of the unemployed don’t try, but imagine how much more effective that becomes when the majority are motivated to succeed.Housing BenefitAnd what about the other areas where we are making savings?Again – the journey is key.Let me give you a couple of examples.We are making savings in Housing Benefit, but this is in part about removing a major stumbling block as people try to move back to work.Under the system we inherited some people on Housing Benefit were living in areas with incredibly high rents – it was actually possible for families to claim over £100,000 a year for help with housing costs in certain cases.Think about what this means for someone who is considering taking a job.There’s a good chance they won’t, because they will fear losing their home as their Housing Benefit is tapered away – they cannot take that positive step.That is why we have capped the amount of Housing Benefit that a household can receive.Incapacity BenefitAnd take our reforms to Incapacity Benefit.Again, this is about moving people who can work back towards work……but it is also about staying with those who cannot work at the moment – not parking them for years without being seen, as under the previous system.Pension reformAnd we are plotting out a journey in our pensions system as well – except here we are looking to set people on a journey to a decent and sustainable retirement, whilst also reducing the pressure on the public purse.The solution here is to get people saving – and to get them started early.The first battle is to make saving the norm – that’s why we are pushing ahead with plans to automatically enrol all of those without pension coverage into pension schemes.But that still leaves us with the problem of the means test that I mentioned earlier.So the second thing we are doing is pushing ahead with plans to radically simplify the State Pension system – creating a ‘single tier’ pension which is set above the level of the means-test, so that people know that it makes sense to save.Cultural changeThis is cultural change.The renewal of a welfare system that is seen as a means of temporary support – the beginning of a journey back to independence.As Leonard once said:“Our culture should allow us to make choices, not to be told what to do.”Government spending Yet there is one final piece to the puzzle.I have covered what I call external cultural change, change in society at large.But we must also achieve an internal cultural shift – changing the culture of government spending.And it is here that I think we still have much work left to do.We have to reject the old focus on inputs……the old mantra which says that ‘more spending equals good, less spending equals cuts…which equals bad’……and open up a whole new dimension – one focussed solely on the impact that spending has on people’s lives.Every pound for life change.That means changing not just how much we spend, but how we spend it.Work ProgrammeSo let me return to the example of the Government’s Work Programme, where we have been pioneering the use of payment by results.While supporting someone into work obviously has a cost attached, you find that cost is quickly outweighed by the reductions you can make to the welfare bill when you get someone back into work and paying tax.The trick is to use these future savings to pay for the Work Programme now.We do that by putting the onus on the 18 Prime Providers who compete to deliver the Work Programme in different parts of the country.They raise the money to deliver the programme alongside their subcontractors – we then pay them when they deliver the results.That means first, getting people back into work.But from day one we’ve been clear that getting people into work – on its own – isn’t enough.If people do not have ‘the work habit’ – in other words they are not used to the workplace, or convinced that working is right for them – the risk is that they will soon fall out of employment again.So the providers get the biggest payouts when they keep someone in work for 6 months, one year, 18 months, or up to two years in some cases.In so doing we remove the risk from the taxpayer, and we make sure that every pound spent is only being paid out because it has a positive impact on people’s lives.Social investmentA payment by results system works best when the timescales for success are short and the metrics relatively straightforward.But in addition to Payment by Results there are other areas as well.In particular, we are really trying to open up the social investment market.I see this as a huge opportunity to get much more private money working in pursuit of the social good.Historically it has been assumed that people could either be ‘good citizens’ and put their money into charitable works, but without expecting anything in return……or they could be ‘profit maximisers’, who invest their money in commercial ventures and have to forget about the social consequences.Social investment is a way of uniting the two – it is about saying to investors:‘You can use your money to have a positive impact on society, AND you can make a return.’But to get this investment you need to have programmes that are tested and accredited.That then allows you to create a social bond that people can invest money in.That is why we have we have agreed to establish an independent foundation that will accredit programmes of work and provide a rigorous assessment of their likely social returns.It’s why we’re testing a variety of cutting edge programmes through our Innovation Fund, which will help build the evidence base around social investment models.And it’s why the Government has launched Big Society Capital, capitalised with £600 million, and tasked it with the sole mission of growing the social investment market.Huge potentialThis market may still be in its infancy, but I believe it has huge potential.First, it has the potential to greatly increase the amount of funding available for social programmes by bringing in private investment money.Second, it brings a whole new level of discipline and rigour.Too often in the past good, proven programmes have been introduced by Government but haven’t worked.This isn’t necessarily due to a problem with the programme itself – rather it is because as the programme has trickled through the system bits have been added or subtracted, modified and changed, so that in many cases the programme has been neutered.Why?Because when Government care more about inputs than outcomes it doesn’t have much interest in whether the programme actually works – once it is underway the nature of the programme itself becomes largely irrelevant.But if the money follows the outcome – as it does with payment by results, or with social investment – we can bring a whole new level of fidelity to the way that civil servants, local authorities, and government at large do social programmes.It is my personal belief that if we can truly grow the social investment market it will mark the single biggest change to the culture of spending in Government.ConclusionSo the prize could be enormous if we get all of this right.Cultural reform – of society, and of government – in a way that restores effectiveness in public spending, and restores the idea of mobility in our welfare system.In other words it restores the idea that no matter how hard things get for you we will be there with you to help you on an upward path.But we’ve got to lock this process in – as with the process of making savings that I spoke about earlier, it has to be done in a sustainable way or the problems will pop back up again just a few years down the line.That means we need to change the incentives in the system.In welfare that means understanding that work has to be seen to pay, and people have to know that there is support available for them.In pensions it means understanding that saving has to be seen to pay, and it has to be easy for people to save.And in government spending it means making the money follow the outcome, so that it is no longer possible to fiddle around with quality programmes or not see them through.Through this process, and through the tool of social investment, I think we can achieve something else as well.We can start to lock those at the top of society back into to our most disadvantaged families and communities at the bottom.We can get our biggest and best businesspeople bringing their time and their skills to some of society’s most intractable social problems.I hope and believe that as both a great entrepreneur and a great philanthropist this is an agenda that Leonard would have supported.He had an instinctive sense that with wealth comes responsibility – and he invested a remarkable amount of time, effort and money in giving back to the community.Ironically, perhaps, it has taken difficult times to create a driver for change.When the economy was growing it was just too easy to say ‘not now, but later’.For after all, this does involve very tough choices.As we try to reshape our economy, and revitalise and refloat the entrepreneurial spirit that has historically characterised the citizens of this global trading nation, we must accept that we will fail unless we can lock all in society to the benefits of this change.We must no longer allow ourselves to accept that some in society are beyond our reach.As our economy moves into the 21st Century, these welfare reforms are about ensuring that a previously disconnected section of society gets there at the same time. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/09-05-12.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Leonard Steinberg Memorial Lecture 2012-05-09 Department for Work and Pensions I knew Leonard personally. He was a remarkable man.
Content30 April 2012Lord FreudMinister for Welfare ReformCapita Reforming Housing Benefit ConferenceLondonMonday 30 April 2012 [Check against delivery]After the tough work ensuring the Welfare Reform Act is now in place, we are working on what matters, the implementation of Universal Credit.I have had a lot of involvement with the housing sector so far to make this happen and I am glad to have broad support for Universal Credit from social housing providers.Universal Credit will help to lift as many as 350,000 children and 500,000 adults out of poverty and create a massive incentive to find work.The changing profile of social housing tenants means you know the need for reform probably more than any other sector.It used to be that the bulk of working age social housing tenants were in employment. Now only around 40 per cent are.This means the housing environment has substantially changed as tenants become more dependent on the state. This makes it tougher to be a landlord.That is why Universal Credit is a great opportunity for social landlords and their tenants.I know the close relationship that exists between social landlords and tenants and we want to make sure that we can make the most of that relationship and help you to build upon it.Beveridge warned of a benefits system that stifled incentive, opportunity, and responsibility.This describes the benefits system we have today; a system that discourages people from returning to work and promotes dependency on benefits.Universal Credit will ensure the welfare state is a system that acts as a safety net and encourages financial independence.Universal Credit will change people’s behaviour and their circumstances for the better.It will tackle the root causes of a growing dependency on welfare and recreate a culture of independence and self-reliance.From October 2013 both new and existing claimants will be gradually moved onto Universal Credit and by October 2017 all claims will have been migrated over.Universal Credit will bring together Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, and, importantly, Housing Benefit.In total, that's around 12 to 13 million tax credit and benefit claims that will be transformed into eight million Universal Credit payments.A single Universal Credit payment will come with the assurance that people will be better off in work than on benefits and be a spur for many to get into employment.Reducing complexity in benefits is a simple way to help people into work. No longer will people have to fight through a maze of bureaucracy to gauge if they will be better off in work or working more hours.Helping more people into work will benefit landlords, as well as, of course, more importantly tenants.The single benefit payment once a month – instead of benefits being paid weekly or fortnightly – is a key part of Universal CreditIt will allow people to budget as they would in work and make the transition into work smoother – so stopping another hurdle people are forced to jump and another disincentive for people to get into work.Removing disincentives to work is why it is so important that the housing component forms part of Universal Credit.Universal Credit has received wide support from the social housing sector, but people must know that that letting people budget and pay their own rent is a key element of Universal Credit.Currently around 95 per cent of people in social housing on benefits have their rent paid directly to their landlords.This figure is often used to prove that tenants prefer rent deductions.Forgive me for being a little bit cynical about whose preference that is.Supporting Universal Credit means supporting direct payments.You cannot be positive and support Universal Credit and not support direct payments to tenants.The single payment of Universal Credit means that we have a single benefits system for those in and out of work.What we are delivering will erode the distance between being in and out of work or between working part-time and full-time.Currently we have a mechanism that blocks flexibility and stops people from getting into employment.What kind of system is that?We are pushing on with the reform and the changes Universal Credit will make, but without undermining social landlords and we are determined not to undermine landlords’ income streams.We will give pensioners the choice of having direct payments or not as well as ensuring vulnerable people who fall into arrears can have their rent paid to their landlords.This will pre-empt a useless process of people switching from rent payments to landlords to direct payments and back again.And this will also answer the question about why previous experiments of giving tenants greater choice failed.Our Demonstration Projects covering tenants in local authority and housing association properties will also provide the evidence we need to give greater protection for social landlords and tenants.The Demonstration Projects will be taking place from June – and I understand there are some representatives from the projects here today.The projects will test when tenants are ready to receive a direct payment and the level of support they may need to help manage their finances and budget for paying rent for the first time.Safeguards will ensure that vulnerable people can have rent deducted from benefits and paid to their landlord if needed.By looking when it is necessary to step in, we can protect social landlords and their income streams as well as the tenants themselves from falling into arrears.The Demonstration Projects will test different levels of arrears that would trigger payment of housing benefit back to the landlord.What we learn from the Demonstration Projects will develop the appropriate arrears trigger which will apply to Universal Credit.We are already seeing social landlords actively supporting people who need extra support in the preparation for them looking after their own budgeting and bills.The Demonstration Projects will also look at the financial advice that people need, working with local Credit Unions and others groups, who provide support to start budgeting, .to set up bank accounts, and to organise payments such as direct debits for the first time.This support will also encourage financial inclusion for many currently excluded from mainstream banking and likely to fall foul of doorstep lenders and payday loans.We are working on financial products such as jam jar bank accounts – that will allow people to split their bank accounts into pots just as they would with jam jars on the kitchen windowsill.Testing the thresholds now and learning lessons from the projects means we will be able to finalise our approach in early 2013.The roll-out of Universal Credit will also see priority given for households who will benefit most, such as those claiming Working Tax Credit who currently work a small number of hours a week but could work more hours.This four-year process and intelligent roll-out should further help to protect social landlords from upheaval.Local authorities are vitally important to the success of Universal Credit.We are working with the Local Government Association in England and its Scottish and Welsh counterparts on the role that councils will play with Universal Credit.Councils’ experience and knowledge of working with and supporting residents is invaluable and Universal Credit should not mean that expertise is lost.Principally we are working with the LGA to develop local authority led pilots looking at how councils may be able to develop their roles as Universal Credit is introduced.It is a core fact that local authorities’ responsibilities are changing and they now have a greater role supporting vulnerable members of the community.Councils currently have a major role to play in welfare reform and in the future this role will grow as they provide support for troubled families, develop localised council tax schemes, continue with homelessness prevention and take on parts of the social fund in a move to localism.As people on Housing Benefit move across to Universal Credit, I also expect local authorities to play a role supporting vulnerable people who need additional help as they claim this new single benefit payment.In Universal Credit we will build on the existing structure of Housing Benefit but simplify the housing element to make it easier to understand and administer.Universal Credit will primarily be accessed online, but telephone and face-to-face support will still be needed and will be available in the same way it is now.This support will help people learn how to access online services and support those who cannot log on – building on the help people already receive to get online from councils, Jobcentre Plus and housing associations.The local authority pilots will start to shape the role and make sure Universal Credit and council services are aligned to provide the right support for families.With the LGA, we have published a prospectus for councils to bid to set up pilots, prior to the roll out of Universal Credit.These will test the potential role for local authorities in supporting Universal Credit face-to-face delivery.We are expecting diverse pilots across Britain to begin this year and end by September 2013. The learning from these will inform Universal Credit planning and implementation, but not produce a “one size fits all” model for local authorities.This means councils could assist and encourage claimants to access online support independently and improving financial independence.Or councils could work with the existing public bodies – as council and Jobcentre Plus staff already work side by side supporting people in some areas.But we are also expecting councils to work with local community groups and charities or housing associations to create the right services for residents.Universal Credit will bring real change to people for the better.And social landlords will play an important role in the success of Universal Credit.But the success of Universal Credit should not only be judged on meeting timetables and milestones.The success of Universal Credit will come when the first claimants start receiving the benefit, start moving into work and start to reduce their benefit dependency.The success of Universal Credit will come as it changes people’s behaviour and their circumstances for the better.As I have said, we need a Welfare State to be a strong safety net – Universal Credit guarantees that safety net is in place but will make work pay.Working with social landlords and the housing sector will ensure the success of the Universal Credit safety net for future generations.Thank you very much None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/30-04-12.shtml Lord Freud Capita Reforming Housing Benefit Conference 2012-04-30 Department for Work and Pensions I have had a lot of involvement with the housing sector so far to make this happen and I am glad to have broad support for Universal Credit from social housing providers.
Content25 April 2012The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of State for Work and Pensions4Children's 2012 Annual Children and Families Policy ConferenceWestminster, LondonWednesday 25 April 2012[Check against delivery]Troubled familiesThanks to Anne Longfield, CEO of 4Children for her welcome.I’d like to congratulate you for bringing together so many of the people who will be delivering the Troubled Families Programme.I want to start by explaining why I think it is so important.My focus on troubled families started back in 2004 when I set up the Centre for Social Justice. I spent time in the UK’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, where I met a section of British society that had been completely left behind.Nationally, the evidence of social deprivation was clear to see:over 4 million people stuck on out of work benefits – many for a decade or morelevels of family breakdown high and risingaround a million children growing up with parents addicted to drugs or alcoholAll of this while the economy was boomingbefore the recession even started.MoneyThe problem was that too much focus was put on how much money was goingin, and not enough on what was comingoutthe other end – in other words, a focus on inputs not outputs.Just take child poverty. It seems the debate has centred around a relative income measure, so that a family with less than 60% of the median income is deemed to be poor, and those with 60% or more are not.What this means is that if you give the family just one pound more, say through increased benefit payments, you can apparently change everything – you can lift them out of poverty.Under the previous Government, this approach fuelled a huge amount of spending:£150 billion on tax credits from 2004 to 2010…… and this in the context of a total welfare bill that increased by 35% in real terms in the decade before the recession – a decade of rising employment.It just about kept the povertyfiguresmoving in the right direction, but there was little focus on what difference that extra pound was making to families’lives.In some cases, it may even have made things worse.For example, if you have a family in poverty where the parents are suffering from a drug addiction, simply giving more money to the parents may do little more than feed their addiction, leaving the dependents locked into a cycle of poverty.So while social spending was up… social breakdown was rising as well.The result: too many people left on the margins of society – the 120,000 families who last year cost the state an estimated £9 billion… some £75,000 per family.The question no one seemed to ask was why didn’t all that moneychangethe fundamentals?I believe there were three reasons.Dysfunctional governmentFirst, there was a tendency for Government to work in silos – departments looking at their own particular problem, but no one looking at the person or the family as a whole.This is the point that the Prime Minister made back in December, when he launched the Troubled Families work.He told the story of a family in the North-West who – in a single year – were subject to a huge amount of disconnected state activity.The different arms of government, carrying out endless schemes and interventions – from the police, to the ambulance service, the Council, and youth offending teams…… all of them workingonthe family administering selective help, but no one workingwiththe family to understand what the underlying problem was.Treating symptomsSecond, not enough attention was given to tackling the root causes of social breakdown.There was a tendency to think many people were beyond help, and it was easier to manage the consequences:easier to prop up on benefits than to support back into work...easier to maintain on less harmful drugs than help towards sustainable recovery…easier to lock up than rehabilitate.So governments treated the symptoms – with all the extra spending that brings with it.After years of containing social breakdown, of the £9 billion that went on troubled families last year, £8 billion of it was spent reactively – on police call outs, visits to A&E, and so on.In other words, onmanaging problems rather than taking action to solve them.Inputs not outcomesFinally, the third flaw was that social interventions were underpinned by the very simplistic idea that ‘more money equals good’ and ‘less money equals cuts…which equals bad’.So as long as politicians could show that money was going in, the results didn’t really matter.Just look at the tower blocks of the 60s and 70s – the deprived estates of today, but at the time heralded as the greatest example of Government ‘investment’ in disadvantaged communities.This is another legacy of focusing on inputs rather than outcomes.Had we stopped to ask the most important question – whether the spending was changing people’s lives – we might have realised sooner that a disconnected, reactive approach just wasn’t working.ChangeNow that we do understand both the financialandthe social cost, continuing like this is unaffordable.So we’re going to change it.Early interventionIn March we published the Social Justice strategy which is based on a belief that through the right interventions, delivered in the right way, we can help people turn their own lives around.The strategy shows the value of early intervention – tackling the causes of problems before they arise rather than waiting to pick up the pieces later.You’ll be hearing today from Kate Billingham, director of the Family Nurse Partnership – an excellent programme putting this into practice.So instead of leaving a single teenage mother struggling to cope with her newborn baby, and waiting for the health and welfare bills to add up…… we have committed to doubling the number of family nurse places by 2015, so that young mothers will receive support and advice in their child’s early years.This steers the focus and the spending away from symptoms and towards the root causes of disadvantage.Second chancesBut our strategy is not just about prevention – it is also about second chances.In 4Children’s recent ‘Give Me Strength’ campaign, 95% of the people surveyed thought that most families in crisis would be capable of turning their lives around –with some help and support.So if people’s lives go off track, we have a duty to offer a way out.And where families are facing multiple disadvantages, simply throwing money at the problem isn’t enough.Unless you solve the problems I touched on earlier – siloed government, treating symptoms, not asking what works – you are destined to repeat the failures of the past.Troubled Families ProgrammeThat is where the Troubled Families work is different.I’ll leave it to other speakers to go into the details, but I just want to focus on the motivating principles:one point of contact for families – someone who knows them and understands the issues they facea focus on root causesand a commitment to funding what works, paying at least in part by results.What the programme must achieve is life change. Only in so doing can we set people on a path to life beyond the state – sustainable and productive.That means support to get children back into school… to reduce criminal and anti-social behaviour… get people off drugs… help arrest family breakdown… and to move parents back into work.Where people can, work is the best route out of poverty and dependency.That is why provision paid for by DWP through the European Social Fund is a core strand of this work.We have £200 million to help families with multiple problems overcome their barriers to employment.But it’s not going to work if Ministers direct it from Whitehall.You are the ones who know and can identify the families in need. You make the home visits… you support them in local offices… week in, week out, you are already delivering vital services for them.Surely pooling that knowledge so all may understand who and where these families are is the first step to recovery?Reform agendaThis work will require a culture shift across local and national Government.That is why, in my Department, we are creating a dynamic welfare system that acts as a springboard not a trap.We are introducing the Universal Credit, a single payment withdrawn at a single rate, so it is always clear to people that work pays more than benefits.We are delivering the Work Programme – offering people personalised back to work support that is focused on achieving long-term, sustainable job outcomes.We are reforming disability benefits, moving from a system based on what individuals can’t do, to one that looks at what they can.And across the board, by taking a radical approach to funding social interventions…… from the payment by results model which underpins the Work Programme, through to social investment projects like those supported by the Innovation Fund…… we are getting much more private money working in pursuit of the social good.These are dynamic changes we are making.ConclusionThe message I want to leave you with today is this: our most disadvantaged families will not be helped by the same old approaches under a different name.Of course, focusing on troubled families is not new or unique to this Government.But co-ordinating the services of seven Departments, getting all of them to rally behind a single cause…… incentivising local authorities to do the right thing, in delivering support which actually has a measurable impact on people’s lives…… all of it sustained by a belief that by tackling the root causes, we can make a real difference…Now thatisdifferent to what went on before.We have set out a vision for change, which has at its heart a driving ethos.We are not just reforming welfare but transforming lives.Using interventions targeted and coordinated to restore stability and hope to those who have been left behind – trapped in a twilight world where life was what was administered to you, not what you controlled.You are part of that change.I ask you to seize this opportunity and make it happen. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/25-04-12.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Troubled families 2012-04-25 Department for Work and Pensions Thanks to Anne Longfield, CEO of 4Children for her welcome.
Content16 April 2012The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of Statefor Work and PensionsSocial Investment ConferenceMadridMonday 16 April 2012[Check against delivery]IntroductionI was here in Madrid last July to give a speech about the welfare reforms we are bringing in in the UK.My reforms are about trying to change a culture of worklessness and dependency which has been on the rise in the UK and across Europe.  I am not simply talking about unemployment as a result of the economic downturn.I am talking aboutstructuralwelfare dependency and inactivity – people stuck on out of work benefits for many years, even while growth was booming.The purpose of reform is to restore the economic balance between work and worklessness.To do this we are going to simplify the system – replacing a confusing array of benefits with a single payment, which we have called the “Universal Credit”.Having done this we can then – through this system – enable people to keep more of their money as they move into work, ensuring thatwork pays more than being on benefit.This is about changing aculture– restoring the understanding that there has to be a link between success and hard work, and restoring the belief that work is both necessary and worthwhile.Our Welfare Reform Act also contains reforms to single parent support and sickness and disability benefits, reconnecting those who have been written off back into the world of employment.In doing this we are making good progress.And now we are also set to make significant changes to our state pension system, introducing a much simpler payment that will provide a clear foundation for saving.EuropeI would – in passing – like to take this opportunity to point out that this task of reform is not being made easier by a number of rulings on social security that have emerged from Brussels in recent months.For example, the European Commission has stipulated that we have to pay benefits to migrants almost as soon as they arrive from another EU country. We believe that workers should be able to move freely in Europe – but we do not believe that inactive migrants should be able to shop around for the best benefits. At the same time, the European Court has ruled that we need to pay benefits to people for decades after they have left the UK.And on pensions, we are currently facing the prospect of EU legislation which could add hugely to the cost of providing occupational pensions.These rules seem to be imposed with little or no regard for their effects on national reform programmes or – indeed – national sovereignty.I know we will each have our own views on these issues, but I hope that both the UK and Spain can work together to ensure that the EU remains true to its original purpose, and does not extend to areas never intended to be within its reach.Stable financesWhilst on the subject of Europe, I would like to take this opportunity to compliment the new Spanish Government for what I believe are bold and necessary steps to stabilise this economy……as well as undertaking reforms to the labour market.These are steps that I believe will pay dividends in the long-term.I know our two countries have worked closely together in the past to share our experiences of reform, and I hope we can continue to grow that relationship in the future.Social reformOf course Spain is not alone in its attempts to stabilise the public finances.This is a task that we are firmly focussed on in the UK as well, and while there are – of course – difficult decisions to be made, I am convinced that we are following the right path.A sound economy is – after all – the foundation of prosperity and social harmony.However, a sound economy requires a properly structured social settlement.We cannot leave social reform until another time.That idea is not just irresponsible – it is incoherent, for without it, economic reform cannot endure.For example, if you fail to build a welfare system that makes work pay and supports people into work, you pay the price further down the line in unaffordable welfare bills.Yet I fear that this is exactly the kind of short-sighted approach has taken root in government – not just in the UK but across much of the world.In the last three decades or so most countries in the Western World have modernised their economies – freeing up markets, and moving power away from the state and handing it back to individuals.  Yet we seemed to forget about the need for accompanyingsocial reform, assuming that the renewed economy alone would do the trick of creating a more prosperous and more cohesive nation. That isn’t to say that governments didn’t spend more money on the social side of things.But there was a fundamental flaw in the way that money was spent.While plenty of cash was poured in to funding social programmes, hardly any attention was given to the result at the other end.In other words, too little attention was given to the impact that the spending was having onpeople’s lives.PovertyIn the UK this process has been driven by the common discourse around poverty, which has focussed overwhelmingly on how many people are sitting below or above the relative income poverty line.If a family has less than 60% of the median income in the UK it is said to be poor, if it has 60% or more it is not.So guess what comes next – if you have a family who sit one pound below the poverty line you can do a magical thing.Give them one pound more, say through increased benefit payments, and you can apparently change everything – you are said to have pulled them out of poverty.Simple, isn’t it?Except until you actually look at the families in question and ask whether their lives have really changed because of the extra pound a week.Too often you will find that the money has had little or no impact at all, because you haven’t tackled thereasonthat someone finds themselves on a low income in the first place.It may even make things worse.For example, if you have a family in poverty where the parents are suffering from a drug addiction, simply giving more money to the parents may do little more than feed their addiction, leaving the dependents locked into a cycle of poverty.A failure to understand their condition only leads to wasted money and damaged lives.Unsustainable approachAnd this obsession with inputs has infected whole social programmes, with an entire lobbying industry dedicated to putting pressure on government to prove how much it cares about the most vulnerable by spending more and more.The media has played its part here as well, fuelling a simplistic narrative which says that “more money equals good”, “less money equals cuts…which equals bad”.I believe that the internal contradictions of this approach made it inherently unstable, and it was destined to end in a crash.What do I mean by the internal contradictions?First, it was unaffordable.It may not have caused the financial crisis, but it put us in a terrible position when the storm hit – take the fact that the UK had the highest structural deficit in the G7 even before the crisis began.  If you just look at spending on welfare benefits you can see that it increased by a staggering 35% in real terms in the decade before the recession – a decade of rising employment.But – and this is the second key contradiction – the spending didn’t seem to be solving our society’s deep social problems.Even when huge numbers of jobs were being created – with employment up by some 3 million in the decade before the recession – we were continuing to pay for more than 4 million people to sit on out of work benefits.In fact more than half of the rise in employment under the previous Government was accounted for by foreign nationals – businesses were forced to look elsewhere because they couldn’t find what they needed at home.I understand this is an issue that may have some relevance here in Spain too, where some analyses suggest that around half of the jobs created in the lead-up to the recession were occupied by immigrants.So rather than tackling the problem of welfare dependency and worklessness at itssource– asking why those on benefits weren’t able to take advantage of the job opportunities being created – the UK Government did what government does best and just kept paying out.This brings me back to the point I made earlier – we reformed our economy and we created more jobs……but we didn’t have the society to match, so we plastered over the problem by paying people to sit on benefits while we imported labour from abroad.And this wasn’t only about welfare.We saw spending on social programmes rising almost across the board, yet the statistics on social breakdown continued to appal:levels of family breakdown were high and risingwe had one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Western Europeand around a million children were growing up in households with parents addicted to drugs or alcohol.I note that here in Spain unemployment remained stubbornly above or around 8%, even during the boom years……and that even when long term unemployment reached its lowest point, it still accounted for around 1 in 4 of all those unemployed.So my contention is that in the UK – and perhaps in other countries too – we have seen a growing underclassat the same timeas a massive growth in public spending.The question we need to ask is: “why didn’t all the money change things?”Treating symptomsThe problem is that when you have a social policy that is conditioned to focus on how much money is spent, rather than the impact it has, three things are liable to happen.First, there is a tendency to treat thesymptomsof social problems rather than the causes.But treating symptoms is hugely expensive, partly because they tend to persist over time unless a cure can be found.Funding programmes that don’t workSecond, not enough attention is given to funding programmes that actually work.Because the big publicity wins for government come from spending the money, and not necessarily fromhowit is spent, there simply isn’t enough energy devoted to establishing which programmes have the potential to really change lives.Lack of spending commitmentAnd third, there is a lack ofcommitmentin spending.If all that matters is how much money is goingin, then funds can be changed and moved at a whim.This is a problem that has hit many excellent charities down the years, as grants are given and taken away depending on the political expediencies of the time.ChangeYou might ask how we found ourselves in this destructive cycle.It wouldn’t be right to point the finger at any one government or group.This “poverty of social policy” is deeply embedded in the culture and institutions of modern policy-making across the Western world.The challenge ishow we changeit, and I want to use the rest of my time to touch on the ways we are doing this in the UK at the moment.Treating causes not symptomsTo start, we are trying to change the whole culture of government so that we steer focus and spending away from inputs and symptoms and towards outcomes and root causes.We published a new Child Poverty Strategy last year – and a Social Justice Strategy this year – which set out our commitment to expand the debate around poverty so it is not focussed on the income poverty target alone, but considers a whole range of factors in determining whether someone is poor.Payment by resultsBut we won’t be able to change our dysfunctional culture on paper – real change comes through reforming institutions.This reform is no less radical than Universal Credit – it is called the “payment by results” system.In the past governments lavished money on programmes they hoped would succeed.As a result, taxpayers carried the risk when they failed.The history of such programmes is of great hope followed by embarrassing failure.Payment by results programmes are government-funded but delivered by a range of non-government providers – drawn from the private and voluntary sectors as well as the public sector – and these providersare paid for the results they achieve.The most significant example in the UK at the moment is what we call the Work Programme.When people have been out of work and on benefits for a year – or for less time in certain cases – they are referred to an organisation in their local area that can offer intensive and tailored support to get them back to work.That provider then has two years to help the person back into employment, and it’s up to them how they do it – there’s no top-down instruction from Government.  At the start of the programme they will be paid a small amount of money for taking the person on, but the vast majority of their fee will only be paid when they find that person a job, and then……and this is the really important bit……they get the biggest payments when that personstays in workfor 6 months, a year, 18 months, and up to 2 years in some cases.It isnot enoughto just help someone into work.If they do not have “the work habit” – in other words they are not used to the workplace, or convinced that working is right for them, the risk is that they will soon fall out of employment again.That’s why the Work Programme providers are incentivised to help people stay in work until they get that habit.Payments are also higher for those groups who face the biggest barriers to work.For example, a provider can earn £4,400 for getting someone who is on unemployment benefit back into work, but they can earn almost £14,000 – or over 16,500 Euros – if they help someone who had previously been on disability benefits and keep them in work for two years.These payments are funded from the savings made when the individual comes off benefits.Importantly, the contracts that Government has in place with the Work Programme providers are for 7 years, meaning that providers can plan ahead without the fear of funding being cut off without good cause.  And because we are paying for resultswe will only pay for what works, therefore hugely reducing the risk on the taxpayer.Social investmentPayment by results works best when the timescales for success are short and the metrics relatively straightforward.But beyond payments by results there are other areas as well.In particular, we are really trying to open up the social investment market.I see this as a huge opportunity to get much more private money working in pursuit of the social good.Historically it has been assumed that people could either be “good citizens” and put their money into charitable works, but without expecting anything in return……or they could be “profit maximisers”, who invest their money in commercial ventures and have to forget about the social consequences.Social investment is a way of uniting the two – it is about saying to investors:“You can use your money to have a positive impact on society,andyou can make a return.”In some cases the return will come from supporting a social enterprise which has profitable revenue streams.However some of the most interesting recent projects have involved government money as well, with investors paying up front to fund the delivery of social programmes, and then government paying for the returns, funded by the reduced costs of social breakdown.This is the model being used in the Social Impact Bond project in Peterborough in the UK, where investors are paying charities to run rehabilitation programmes with prisoners.If reoffending falls by 7.5% then the investors will receive a 7.5% return – paid for by government out of the reduced costs.But such bonds require that the programmes have a real chance of success.They need to be proven to be effective.And that is why we have agreed to establish an independent foundation that will accredit programmes of work and provide a rigorous assessment of their likely social returns.Huge potentialThis social investment market may still be in its infancy, but I believe it has huge potential.First, it has the potential to greatly increase the amount of funding available for social programmes, by bringing in private investment moneyon top ofthat provided by government or pure philanthropy alone.Second, it brings a whole new level of discipline and rigour to this funding because people are investing their own money in expectation of a return – money that could otherwise be reaping a profit elsewhere.But third – and perhaps most importantly – social investment could be a powerful tool for building a more cohesive society.The gap between the top and bottom of society is in many cases larger than it has ever been.We have a group of skilled professionals and wealth creators at the top of society who have little or no connection to those at the bottom.We have created an underclass.Yet in so many cases what divides the two is little more than a different upbringing, or a different start in life.  I believe social investment is our best hope for tying not just the wealth but also the skills of those at the top of society back into our most disadvantaged communities. Big Society CapitalBut if we want this market to be transformative it has togrow– and grow substantially.Last week our Prime Minister launched something called Big Society Capital.This is a new fund, capitalised with £600 million from dormant bank accounts as well as from our four largest high street banks……and its sole mission is to grow a new social investment market so that it is easier for charities, social enterprises and community groups to access affordable finance.Our Chancellor also announced at the UK’s recent Budget that our Treasury will conduct a review into the financial barriers to social enterprise.Through all of this we are trying to send out a clear message: “we want to support those who want to put money into social investment”.This use of private money has the capacity to change the way we fund programmes that change lives, rather than using limited amounts of government money to gain a few media headlines.If we can build this market I believe we can bring a whole new level of rigour to charitable giving – ensuring that spending has a demonstrablepurpose……and that each pound goes towards changing lives.ConclusionOur failure to make each pound count has cost us again and again over the years.As a society we’ve become too comfortable with the idea that a certain portion of people will be out of work, on benefits, not playing a productive role.Businesses have assumed that this didn’t affect them – they could just bring in workers from abroad to do the jobs they needed.People in work didn’t think it affected them either – as long as these pockets of deprivation were out of sight and out of mind it didn’t need to be their problem.But actually we all pay – we pay in higher taxes to support people for the long-term on welfare……we pay in lower productivity, as potentially productive people sit idle……and we pay in a fundamentally divided society.  So I repeat my message from the beginning – the economy and society go hand in hand.You cannot reform one without reforming the other.And where one is broken, it tends to drag the other down too.The path to change will not be an easy one.It will require government to completely change the way it thinks about spending – rejecting the old mantra……”More spending equals good, and less spending equals bad”...…and opening up a whole new dimension – one focussed solelyon the impact that spending has.In other words, whether it actually works.But the prize for doing so could be immense.Sound public finances and a modern economy, matched by a more prosperous and cohesive society.If we get it right, it could just turn out to be the smartest decision we ever made. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/16-04-12.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Social Investment Conference, Madrid 2012-04-16 Department for Work and Pensions I was here in Madrid last July to give a speech about the welfare reforms we are bringing in in the UK.
Content18 April 2012The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MPMinister for EmploymentIt's hard work building a successful futurePolicy Exchange, LondonWednesday 18 April 2012[Check against delivery]Britain can be a world beater. You don’t have to look too far in this country to find examples of brilliant technological breakthroughs. Or dynamic entrepreneurship. Or finely honed skills. When we want to we can take on the world.And the finest gems are often hidden well away from the public eye. The small computer games designer that is changing the face of entertainment. The precision engineering firm tucked away on an industrial estate that is changing the frontiers of automotive technology.We can and should be proud of what we can do. But if Britain is to succeed in the future we can and must understand the nature of the challenge we face. And respond to it.I worry that too few people truly understand the nature of today’s world, the opportunities it presents, but also the very real risks to our future.I worry about that particularly as the Employment Minister who month by month sits in the television studios and talks about our unemployment challenge.There can be no greater priority for Government than to make sure that all of its people have the opportunity to find gainful employment.To create an environment where the labour market is flourishing, and where new generations start out in adult life with real life chances to fulfil their potential.But it won’t just happen. We live in an extraordinarily competitive world. We already know about the economic challenge that comes from China and India, but today the competition comes also from unexpected places.Today the economic news is often about the economic potential of Burma. The potential for Africa to become more of an economic powerhouse. That Brazil owns ten per cent of the national debt of the United States. It hardly seems a moment since Latin America was an economic basketcase, facing bankruptcy and depression. The world is changing at an extraordinary rate. So we face unprecedented economic challenges as well as extraordinary opportunities. And success won’t just happen. We have to work for it like never before. And that means building an understanding of the world as it is, and not how we would like it to be. And it often means a willingness to work your way up from the bottom. I’m afraid that too many people still just don’t get it. Like those who rail with outrage against the idea of a young unemployed person being offered the chance to do a month’s work experience with Airbus, British Telecom, UK Mail or Tesco. Slave Labour they call it. Well that’s just insulting to some great companies who are helping young people get a job, not to mention the young people benefiting from placements by picking up the valuable skills and experience they need to get a leg up into the world of work.They just don’t understand that in today’s world, things don’t come on a plate. That Government can’t just create opportunity for all. That people have to go the extra mile if they want to succeed.Nor do they understand that you have to create wealth, not borrow it. Then there are the officials in Brussels who sit in meetings about the need to create employment and talk about more regulation as the solution.It baffles me that at a time when we face a huge jobs challenge across Europe, that someone thinks it is sensible for the EU to be spending time legislating to ban high heeled shoes in a hairdressers. Don’t they understand that more and more red tape drives more jobs to emerging countries, and away from Europe. Creating new jobs should be absolutely at the top of the priority list for the EU and for any government in Europe. Any measure that damages employment in Europe should be set to one side. We cannot afford to do otherwise.And there’s the union leaders who demand swingeing taxes on wealth creators and unrealistic pay rises and more protection for their members.Don’t they realise that in many sectors, companies are a few business class air tickets away from relocation somewhere else where their enterprise and wealth creation is welcomed and not derided.These views cannot be allowed to succeed in this country. If they do, Britain will be left on the sidelines. We have to face up to some simple realities. Britain can only succeed if it fights against these outdated dogmas and faces up to the world as it is. The future is not about more and more regulation to provide more and more comfort and protection for our citizens. If we go down that route there will be no jobs for them to have. It is not about borrowing more and more money in the hope that the party will never end. It is about sound money and living within our means. It’s not about believing that we will win come what may. It is about working together to shape up and face the competition head on, and make sure we do win. As we are starting to do in the contact centre business. I personally think that anyone who offshores customer service is mad. We all know how frustrating it can be speaking to a call centre operator overseas who works from a set script but doesn’t get what your problem is.So it was a particular delight to visit the Contact Company in Birkenhead to find a young British entrepreneur turning the tide and bringing customer service back onshore again. Creating jobs in a deprived area. Making our task of tackling unemployment easier. And proving that we can do it.It’s upon the shoulders of our young entrepreneurs that the future of employment in this country rests. The days of mass employment in a single company location are largely over. One of the most startling and thought provoking statistics I have seen recently was about the success of Nissan in the North East. Last year they built nearly half a million cars in the UK. They did it with 5,000 workers. A brilliant commercial success.But a generation ago it would have taken tens of thousands of people to build those cars. So it’s just not realistic to believe that we can return to the world as it was. We have to unleash British entrepreneurship, and build more international success stories. I remember ARM Holdings when it was a tiddly little company in Cambridge that had just designed its first computer chip. Driven by a determined team of entrepreneurs, it wouldn’t even have shown up on the corporate radar. But through sheer determination and hard work it turned into an international giant, and one of our leading companies.That has to be our model for the future. Particularly if like me you are so passionate about seeing unemployment come down. But it won’t happen by chance. It will only happen through determination and hard work. And by driving out the things that stop our entrepreneurs from building their business. The starting point has to be to remove as many of the barriers to employment and entrepreneurship as we can. We are determined to reverse the tide of decades and deregulate. And also to slay some of the regulatory myths and abuses. We’ve made a start, but there’s still a long way to go. Both here and in Brussels.In part it’s about removing regulatory barriers altogether. For example, I strongly support the Government’s plan to extend from one year to two the threshold before someone can access an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal. Employers do not lightly get rid of staff in whom they have invested time and money. But no small firm can afford to carry someone who is not willing to do what is needed to ensure its success.In my own area, we are now embarking on a major process of reduction and simplification of health and safety regulations and codes of practice. Good health and safety is important to business. But some industries are still dealing with multiple sets of regulation, and often contradictions between them – as well as hundreds of pages of inaccessible guidance. That really has to change – and it will. Within two years we aim to have rewritten all of our hundreds of health and safety regulations and guidelines to make them simpler, easier to understand and more relevant to business. And to have cut the number of regulations in half.We are also taking steps to exempt a million self employed people from health and safety regulations altogether. But it’s not just about regulation. We also have to make sure that businesses do not do things that the law doesn’t require them to do because of regulatory myths.A few weeks ago I came across a disgraceful example of how a small firm can be abused by a consultancy misrepresenting what regulations really say. I visited a small engineering company and as part of my tour, they showed me their health and safety paperwork. It was literally eighteen inches wide on the shelf. Absolutely mad for a small business.But before you blame the regulations, it’s worth checking. So I gave copies to the HSE to look at and they told me that 90% of it was totally unnecessary for a company like this.It brought home to me just how important it is that business doesn’t just take what it is told at face value, and is ready to challenge. And we have to make sure that the right information is as simple and easy to obtain as possible. So we’re setting up through the HSE “challenge panels” to help business get quick and easy answers when they fear they are being misled. I want to slay the myths that waste the time of our entrepreneurs.Along with all of this, we have to make sure we have a ready, willing and hard working workforce. We cannot afford to go on paying for the cost of a welfare state where millions who can work do not do so. Of course, many of our citizens, particularly those who have serious health conditions, will always need ongoing support from the state. But no one else should expect to have the ability to simply sit there at someone else’s expense.Our welfare state has to be a ladder up which people climb and not a place in which they live. There is a mythology out there that all benefit claimants are scroungers. That is not right, and it is much too simplistic. My experience is that those who have been on benefits for the long term are more often than not completely lost, lacking self-confidence, with a firm belief that they cannot get back into work. But of course there are those who do not want to try, and they will get no quarter from this Government.But the truth for employers is that most of our unemployed would dearly like to work, though many are ill-equipped to do so. And I have seen many cases where, given a chance, someone whose life seemed to have fallen apart turns things round and turns into a model, dependable and hard working employee.And even those who are genuinely feckless can change. A few weeks ago I met a young man who had been through our Mandatory Work Activity programme. Unlike voluntary work experience, this is genuinely something we require people to do, or they will lose their benefits. It’s designed to "refocus" people who are perhaps not doing what is needed in their jobsearch. Not surprisingly many sign off benefits immediately when referred. The black market is alive and kicking still.But this young man had been totally transformed by the programme. He freely admitted to having been lazy and disinterested. But when he went for his placement, at a social enterprise specialising in recycling consumer goods for the developing world, he found he really enjoyed the camaraderie of the workplace. And after his month he stayed on as a volunteer, and then got a job there. Someone whose life has really been turned around and will now, I think, be a hard worker for the rest of his life.It’s a big challenge turning round a welfare culture that has lasted half a century. Our reforms will make sure that people will always be better off in work than on benefits. We are reassessing all of those on incapacity benefit to see who can return to work, even if it is in a different role to before. We have set a clear cap on the maximum amount people can receive through the benefit system. And our work programme, combined with a more flexible approach through JobCentre Plus is delivering much more personalised back to work support than before.And through measures like our work experience scheme and the Youth Contract we are doing everything we can to give our young unemployed people a first chance in the labour market.It's not just me saying what a good thing work experience is – we've got the evidence to show for it. We have just published research which shows those undertaking a work experience placement were 16 per cent more likely to be off benefits 21 weeks later than young jobseekers who don't participate. They were also more likely to be in a job at that point. That shows the scheme is making a real difference to their lives.It's time for those who have criticised work experience to take a long hard look at themselves. Work experience isn't about exploiting young people – it's about showing them what life is like in a workplace, teaching them skills which are vital to an employer but which they may otherwise be missing, and giving them a chance to shine.Just listen to some of the young people now in a permanent job with career prospects having started off with those four weeks of work experience. You don't hear them shouting that they've got a raw deal. They're grateful for the opportunity they were given.Protesting against this scheme wasn't a fight for the rights of young people – it was an attack on their prospects for the future. It's playing politics with their lives, and I won't let anyone do that.Alongside that we have massively increased the number of apprenticeships, we have introduced greater flexibility into skills provision and Michael Gove is transforming our education system. We are putting in place the building blocks for a better future.But we can’t do it ourselves. We need a dynamic, vibrant private sector if we are to get those people into jobs. And we need employers who are willing to give people a chance. A few weeks ago I prompted comment when I said that I hoped every employer would look to give an unemployed British person a chance when they recruit. Inevitably I got the British Jobs for British Workers comments and was told that wasn’t legal under European law.But that totally misses the point. It’s easy to hire someone from Eastern Europe with five years experience and who has had the get up and go to cross a continent in search for work. And many employers do so.But those who look closer to home find gems too. Very often the surly young man in a hoodie who turns up looking unwilling to work can turn into an excited and motivated employee. It’s all about the expectations that they have, and the place they come from. And employers who give them that chance find it enormously rewarding.So I stand foursquare behind my hope that British employers will put local recruits first.And of course that’s what our work experience scheme is all about. It’s often easy to find that first foot on the ladder if you are well connected. If you aren’t, it can be perilously difficult. That’s why the Chief Executive of Barnardos was right to talk about it as a lifeline for young people from deprived backgrounds.It is hard work. For everyone. Particularly for the low paid. But even those at the other end of the pay scale often work all the hours that God sends to compete in an aggressive international marketplace.There is no other way.But if we are to build a future where our young people have the career opportunities that we all want, where our weak and vulnerable get the support they need, and where we can provide the quality of services that our citizens expect, then we all have to get stuck in and make sure we succeed.Anyone who pretends otherwise, who believes there is a way of short cutting this reality, is living in dreamland. I want Britain to be at the forefront, for enterprise, for technology, for services, for jobs.We can get there. We must get there. But we must not believe that somehow, it won’t be hard work for everyone. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/18-04-12.shtml Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP It's hard work building a successful future 2012-04-18 Department for Work and Pensions It's hard work building a successful future
Content20 March 2012Lord David Freud,Minister for Welfare Reform, DWPNational Autistic Society Parliamentary ReceptionSupporting people with autism into employmentWednesday 20 March 2012[Check against delivery]When I first met with Mark Lever back in 2008, I was deeply shocked to hear that only15 percentof adults with autism were in fulltime work.I vowed then that I would do all I could to help the hundreds of thousands of adults with autism who wanted to work, but weren't being given the opportunity.It is doubly shocking when you know that the employment rate for people with autism is so much lower even than for people with disabilities overall.Especially as people with autism have so much to offer – sometimes, indeed, more than people who aren't disabled - and can be so unique in their abilities.Sadly, we know how hard it can be for many people with autism to find and stay in work.Not because they don't have the skills, the commitment, or the drive, but because many employers just don't understand the benefits of employing someone with autism.With an estimated 433,000 adults with autism in the UK, having only 15 percent in fulltime work means that there is too much potential going to waste; too many people in this country who could be more independent than they are; in short - too much wasted talent.This is a tragedy, but not only for individuals and their families.It is also a tragedy for employers, who are missing out on a large national resource of loyal and hard working staff. So the economy is also missing out.But if we are to utilise this resource, and realise its potential, the impetus must be from employers themselves.They must first realise what they are missing out on, then equip themselves to capitalise on it.This is not about the state telling employers what to do.Nor is it about meeting corporate social responsibility quotas.No, this is about the sound business case for employing people with autism.Employers need to know that it makes good business sense to employ people who are reliable, punctual and loyal; people who have good attention to detail and concentration levels; people who have excellent problem solving skills and can be analytical, resourceful and creative. What good employer wouldn't want an employee with those skills?So this is why, in May last year, I set up the Employers Roundtable.I brought together a group of employers and charities tasked with considering how more people with autism could be helped to get work.The employers involved have a proven track record of working with, and promoting the employment of, people with the disability. I asked them to look at how best to harness the untapped talents of people with autism.And I'm delighted to be here today to launch the results of their hard work – 'Untapped Talent', created with business, for business.I'm glad to say that thanks in no small part to the National Autistic Society and Prospects, an increasing number of employers do understand the benefits of employing someone with autism.And many of the employers in the room today will tell you just how beneficial it is to their business.So it is now all of our jobs to use this guide as a catalyst to encourage even more employers to change the way they think about autism.As everyone in this room knows, autism is a spectrum condition, which affects everyone differently, so no 'one size fits all' approach will work.But by giving employers simple advice on everything from the interview process through to how an office should best be laid out, we can make employers much more 'autism friendly'.This will help to overcome many of the challenges that people with autism often face in finding and staying in a job.Savvy employers such as Goldman Sachs, Norton Rose and Hao2 know that a disability confident employer is a good employer.We also know that employing people with autism can benefit the whole organisation.Not just because of the skills the employees bring to the job, but by changing the way a company thinks of itself as a whole.If you have good management processes for people with autism, you have good processes for everyone.The minor adjustments that someone with autism needs for it to be an 'autism friendly' environment - such as clear goal setting for example, or a work place which isn't too bright or too loud - can not only help the person with autism but their colleagues and their bosses as well.Small changes that can make a big difference to everyone. This is what this guide makes clear.We all know that one of the best ways to increase independence and self esteem is to have a satisfying and worthwhile job. This is central to someone's identity.We've heard today from Martin about some of the challenges people with autism face. But we've also heard about his talents and enthusiasm and how having the right support can make all the difference.Thankfully, there are people out there who are dedicated to helping people like Martin.When I visited Prospects earlier this year I was impressed by both the commitment of the staff and the determination of the people with autism themselves.The work they do together, along with employers, changes lives.The work carried out by Prospects in partnership with businesses just goes to show what can be achieved when charities and private sector employers work together.But there is undeniably a role for Government here too – both national and local.Enabling people with autism to work is cost-effective for the wider society.Independence helps avoid financial dependence on families and on the state. And improving well-being reduces the need for costly NHS and social care services. Government initiatives such as Access to Work are vital tools in helping people with disabilities into mainstream employment.Last year we spent more than ever before on Access to Work - over 100 million pounds, which helped nearly 36,000 disabled people to get or stay in employment.This despite Access to Work being described by Liz Sayce in her recent review of disability employment as 'the Government's best kept secret'.My fellow Minister, Maria Miller, announced only the other week an extra 15 million pounds for Access to Work, which, with other efficiencies, could mean an extra 8,000 disabled people being helped into employment. This could be highly valuable for people with autism.But it is about more than just money – it is about changing attitudes to employing disabled people in general, and specifically people with autism. It is now up to everyone here to ensure this message reaches a wider audience.I urge my fellow parliamentarians to speak to their local businesses, give them this guide, and encourage them to become autism friendly.We must help other employers to see what everyone here knows: the benefits of employing someone with autism.We must make it clear to employers that often by just making a few small adjustments to their business, someone with autism can make a loyal and hardworking employee.We must make it clear that there is a huge pool of untapped talent out there just waiting to show what they can achieve.We must make it clear that people with autism can work and want to work. They just need to be given the support and opportunities to make that become a reality and start adding the real value that they have to our economy. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/20-03-12.shtml Lord Freud Supporting people with autism into employment 2012-03-20 Department for Work and Pensions National Autistic Society Parliamentary Reception
Content15 March 2012The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of State for Work and PensionsNational Convention on Youth Employment, DundeeThursday 15 March 2012[Check against delivery]It is a pleasure to be here today.And it is always a pleasure to be in Scotland.There has – of course – been a lot of talk about independence recently.But what we shouldn't lose sight of in all the noise and clamour is that – while we might spend a lot of time talking about these issues in the media or the corridors of power – the UK and Scottish Governments have actually been getting on…in partnership…with delivering support to secure independence for young people.We are working to secure the independence that work brings – and freedom from the dependency that is too often the product of a broken welfare system.Yesterday we saw the latest jobs figures – and once again they paint something of a mixed picture.While unemployment remains far too high, we do continue to see some encouraging signs of stability.Employment is up by 9,000 on the quarter, with an increase of 45,000 in private sector employment outweighing a fall of 37,000 in the public sector.That brings the rise in private sector employment in the last two years to over 600,000.Unemployment is up on the quarter, though we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that…though not quite as robust…the headline level is actually slightly lower than last month.Moreover, the rise in unemployment on the quarter has to be seen in the context of falling inactivity, down another 27,000 on this quarter and, if students are excluded, now at the lowest level on record.This is a sign that our welfare reforms are beginning to feed through, with more people coming off incapacity benefits and income support and so moving into the labour market.Indeed, the number of people on out of work benefits since the election is actually down overall, by some 45,000. That's what I mean when I talk about reducing dependency, and reducing the number of people who have been written off on the margins of society.The fact is any Government can get unemployment down by putting people onto inactive benefits…but if we are serious about transforming our society we have to be focussed on getting inactivity down as well…tackling what I call the problem of the 'residual unemployed'.We are also seeing some stabilisation in the youth unemployment figures.We shouldn't forget that around a third of those described as unemployed in the headline figures are in full-time education.Once you exclude this the level is essentially flat on the quarter.I notice that there has been some talk of 100,000 young people unemployed in Scotland, but we should be slightly careful here – I think it is important that we separate out those who are in full-time education from those who are essentially NEET.When we do that we find that there are just under 70,000 young unemployed people in Scotland who aren't in full-time education.This is not good enough, and we take it very seriously, but it is important that we agree the baseline of the problem we are trying to solve before we begin to tackle it.This is the same for the UK as a whole – the headline figure is often cited as being just over 1 million unemployed young people, but once we take out those in full-time education the figure is around 731,000.It is also interesting to see where we sit in relation to the rest of Europe – the UK's employment rate remains well above the EU average…70.3% compared to 64.6%....and our unemployment rate well below – 8.4% compared to 10.1%.So let me be clear: unemployment and youth unemployment are serious problems.But I think it's important that we put the figures in some context, and show that it is possible to make some progress even in an immensely tough economic climate.And before anyone suggests that the UK-wide figures mask a much worse picture in Scotland, let's consider the facts.Unemployment is slightly higher than the UK average but – again – that has to be seen in context.Scotland actually has a higher employment rate and lower inactivity rate than the UK.That should be a wake-up call to anyone who tries to write Scotland off, stereotyping it as slower moving than other parts of the United Kingdom.In fact, what has been particularly interesting in recent years is how little the regions of the UK have diverged compared to past recessions.I do not mean to say that there aren't differences.Some areas are being hit harder than others, and we will do whatever it takes to respond to that challenge.But the regional spread of the claimant count across the UK is much narrower than it used to be.There will be a number of reasons for this.But part of it will be the active labour market support which is available to young people across the UK.Let us not forget that there is huge dynamism in the labour market – in the last 3 months alone some 900,000 people moved onto Jobseeker's Allowance, but another 900,000 or so moved off.That's true of Scotland as well – in the three months to February of this year around 80,000 people started claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, but another 81,000 flowed off.A number of these will have found jobs under their own steam – but many will have benefited hugely from the employment support that the UK and Scottish Governments, working together…in partnership with the private and voluntary sectors…are delivering every day.That includes helping young people get work experience.I know there has been a lot said about this in recent weeks, so let me take this issue head on.The Work Experience scheme is a programme I'm incredibly proud of.What do young people need before they get a job?Experience.But too many are told they can't get that experience before they've had a job.When I came into office I met young people who had done the right thing…and managed to fix up a work experience place…only to find out that they would lose their Jobseeker's Allowance if it lasted for longer than two weeks.That didn't make any sense, when employers were telling us that one of the main problems they faced when taking on young people was lack of experience.So we extended the time that someone could do a placement – while keeping benefits – to up to 8 weeks.Since then we've had more than 34,000 young people take part in the scheme.The fact is it has been immensely popular with young people…we've got people practically queuing up to get involved…and some 50% of those taking part are off benefits 13 weeks after starting their placement.I should also be clear that this is a voluntary programme – despite some of the nonsense talked in recent weeks.Meanwhile employers continue to flood into the scheme – in recent weeks more than 200 employers have expressed their interest in getting involved, including major employers like Center Parcs, Airbus and Hewlett Packard.Here in Scotland we've already seen more than 2,000 Work Experience places, and I would urge all employers here today to sign the pledge to deliver even more.You will be catching the crest of a wave – in just a few weeks time we will begin the process of expanding the scheme as we launch the new £1bn youth contract.From April we will be rolling out an extra 250,000 work experience and sector-based work academy places, meaning there will be a place for every young person who wants one before they enter the Work Programme.We will also be introducing 160,000 new wage incentives, worth up to £2,275 each, to encourage employers to take on young people from the Work Programme.This is about recognising that businesses take a risk when they employ a young person, and there are costs attached.We want to ease that cost a bit so it becomes much more straightforward to give young people a chance.And these incentives will be targeted at the private, voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors so that we create real, sustainable, jobs.We now have hundreds of employers across Britain who have pledged their support for the Youth Contract.These employers have not just committed to a Government programme – they have committed to saving our nation's youth, and we should be immensely proud of them.But Work Experience and wage incentives aren't the only components of the Youth Contract.When I was in Ayrshire last year for the launch of this conference series my speech focussed on a seemingly forgotten group – 16 and 17 year olds who had seen their employment prospects diminish dramatically over the last decade, long before the recession started.The Youth Contract gives us an opportunity to renew our support for this group, with a new £150m programme to help disengaged 16 and 17 year olds move into full-time education, apprenticeships or work with training.It will build on the work we've already done in the Work Programme, paying private and voluntary sector providers largely for the results they achieve in moving disengaged young people into positive outcomes and keeping them engaged.The details of this at the moment apply to England only, but Scotland will receive additional funding under the Barnett Agreement and we are working with Scottish colleagues to understand how the new funding will be used.This is part of a much wider positive engagement between the UK and the Scottish government at the moment.We have Skills Development Scotland advisers co-locating in Jobcentres, able to offer advice and guidance to young people as they look for work.We have Skills Development Scotland advertising their apprenticeship vacancies via the Jobcentre network.And most recently we have seen the Scottish Government, Scottish Prison Service and Jobcentre Plus working together to roll-out 'day one' access for offenders to the Work Programme.This is a relationship that is stronger by the day.I believe we are at our best when we do this together – finding opportunities, joining up support, and delivering for young people.Helping to achieve the independence that work brings and…in doing so…starting to change lives.Let that be our joint ambition in the coming months and years.To get young people engaging…to make sure they can access quality and personalised support, and…most importantly…to get them into real and sustainable work. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/15-03-12.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP National Convention on Youth Employment, Dundee 2012-03-15 Department for Work and Pensions National Convention on Youth Employment, Dundee
Content13 March 2012The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of State for Work and PensionsSocial Justice: transforming livesSocial Justice strategy launchTuesday 13 March 2012[Check against delivery]IntroductionIt gives me great pleasure to be here today to launch the Government's Social Justice Strategy.When I entered Office almost two years ago I came determined to bring change to a broken welfare system.Last week we took a huge step towards that ambition, and I am delighted that the Welfare Reform Act has now been signed into law.But for me welfare reform has always been about something much bigger than the welfare system alone – it is about social renewal.When we came into Government the Prime Minister set up the Social Justice Cabinet Committee so that we could not forget about this wider challenge.From day one the message has been clear: we cannot conduct our social policy in discrete parts, with one part of Government tinkering with the welfare system over here……another with the education system over there……a third with the criminal justice system, and so on.It has to have a fundamental vision and a driving ethos – otherwise it will be narrow, it will be reactive, and it will not work.Failure to look at the individualWhen services for the most vulnerable aren't joined up they tend to collide, each pursuing its own narrow ends and failing to see the whole person or family caught in between.This is the point the Prime Minister made recently when he spoke about the 120,000 most troubled families in this country.He told a story of a family in the North-West who – in a single year – were the subject of a huge amount of disconnected state activity.The police, the ambulance service, A&E, the council, youth offending teams, and more.Each tried to deal with the problems in their own particular area.But no one saw the whole family – there was management and maintenance of their problems, but no VISION for helping them change their lives.  VisionA coherent social policy requires this coherent vision……a driving ETHOS...…which means that whether in reform of the welfare system, the education system, the criminal justice system, addiction services, or whatever else……the work that Government does is underpinned by a fundamental set of principles.Last year our social mobility strategy set out our vision for ensuring that all people have a fair opportunity to fulfil their potential and move up the social ladder.Today, with the Social Justice strategy, we are setting out our vision for those who do not have a foot on the first rung – our vision for the most disadvantaged individuals and families.The StrategySo what is this vision, and why is it different from what has gone before?Of course, a focus on the most disadvantaged is not new or unique to this Government.But in recent years I feel that – while well-meaning – this focus has become distorted and incoherent.First, we have seen a social policy overwhelmingly focussed on moving people above the income poverty line.A laudable ambition surely?Yes, if done in a meaningful and sustainable way.But too often it has been the exact opposite, fuelled by out of work welfare transfers that marginally increase incomes, but do little to change lives.So, for example, we know that between 1998/99 and 2009/10 the likelihood of being in relative poverty declined 1.5 times faster for children living in workless families……than for children living in families where somebody worked.This approach isn't just unambitious, it has been shown to be ineffective.Some £150 billion was spent on Tax Credits between 2004 and 2010, much of which was targeted at families with children.Yet it seems highly unlikely that the previous Government's target to halve child poverty by 2010 will be hit.We will find out in a few months time when we see the figures for 2010, but predictions – including those from the IFS – suggest that they will have been missed by a wide margin.Moreover, we now know that under the previous Government income inequality rose to the highest level since records began.So the old approach is ineffective.It is also completely unsustainable.If a family is suffering from a fundamental problem – for example addiction or serious debt – simply increasing their benefit income may push them above the poverty line temporarily……but the chances are they won't remain there, because you haven't tackled the real reason they find themselves on a low income in the first place – you haven't touched the root cause.This has been called the ‘poverty plus a pound approach', doing just enough to push someone over the line.Great for the poverty statistics……but no real change for the person or their family.From maintenance to life changeThe fact is governments have spent so much time measuring how much money is being poured in to the system……simply treating the symptoms of social breakdown…...that they have hardly noticed what is coming out the other end.It has been almost like a bidding war between politicians and lobby groups – the more you spend the more successful you are seen to have been.Yet what does that spending mean for the people it's supposed to help?For every pound we spend we should be asking – how does it promote LIFE CHANGE?Yet so often the question has been: how will this pound affect the statistics?Now that's fine when what you are measuring in the statistics is real change in people's lives.But we have been measuring symptoms not causes……and what has so often resulted is the maintenance and containment of social problems.Social breakdownWe see the results of this failure everywhere we look.  Huge numbers of people maintained on out of work benefits – one million for a decade or more.Young people maintained in a culture of low expectations in schools, forced to accept that their level of attainment will be determined by their background rather than by their ability.Family breakdown managed rather than prevented, with money spent overwhelmingly on picking up the pieces of breakup rather than in preventing it.In a former life at the Centre for Social Justice we found that family breakdown was costing the Government £20bn a year, but Government was spending just 0.02% of that amount to prevent it happening.We see addicts maintained in their condition, moved onto less harmful drugs but not offered sustainable help to get clean.And we see offenders locked up and swept under the carpet rather than being worked with and rehabilitated.This has been an approach based on managing social problems – on containing them – rather than investing in changing them.That is what happens when Government policy is designed to hit a narrow and static target, based on the limited concept of income poverty alone.And it is what happens when each Government department tries to manage and contain its own challenges, but no one has a vision for the person or the family as a whole.New visionIt is that vision – for this Government – that I want to set out today.First: we need a completely new focus on how we deliver support for the most disadvantaged.This must be based on prevention throughout someone's life, intervening early to tackle the root causes of problems before they arise rather than waiting to treat the symptoms.FamilyThat starts with the family, the most important building block in a child's life.When families are strong and stable, so are children.We know that children raised by parents reporting high relationship quality and satisfaction tend to have higher levels of wellbeing, while intense conflict between parents has been shown to be detrimental to children's outcomes.And when families break down, the consequences can be severe.That means we have to get behind stable families, not shrug our shoulders when they fall apart.But in recent years Government has been sending out the message that stable families don't matter.It has cloaked neglect of the family under the veil of neutrality, failing to invest in the prevention of breakdown and introducing rules and institutions – such as the couple penalty in the tax credit system – that made it more worthwhile for couples to live apart than to stay together.Today we are sending out a clear message that stable families do matter.They matter for the most vulnerable in society……and they are a priority for this government.That's why this strategy sets out how we will ensure that families at risk and families who experience difficulties can get the help they need to stabilise and improve the quality of their relationships, and provide a stable environment for raising children……whether that be through our work on reversing the couple penalty in the welfare system……providing relationship support, acting early to help keep families together and so reducing the cost of family breakdown……or providing more money to give separated parents support to work together in the best interests of their children.And at the heart of this, it means emphasising the Government's support for marriage – we are clear in this strategy that marriage should be supported and encouraged.SchoolsBut if family is the most important building block in a child's life, school is often the second most important.Yet our schools have been failing pupils from the most disadvantaged backgrounds time and again.It's as if previous governments came to terms with the fact that some children would be disruptive or repeatedly absent from school……and grew accustomed to knowing that a proportion of children would leave school each year unable to read, write or do even quite basic sums.Yet so often these are the early warning signs for much bigger problems later in life – one survey found that some 64 per cent of young men permanently excluded from school in adolescence had gone on to commit criminal offences.This will no longer be tolerated – we've made it clear that an ‘educational underclass' is morally unacceptable to this Government.Getting young people attending and engaged with school is one of the most powerful protections we can offer against social breakdown.And this strategy brings together all the reforms underway to make this a reality, from the pupil premium for the most disadvantaged children to the work being done on attendance and alternative provision by Charlie Taylor.Welfare systemThen – once our young people leave school – they have to be met by a welfare system that works, a system that acts as a springboard to independence, not as a crutch.We have to do that through keeping the welfare system simple……through making sure that work pays more than benefits……and through ensuring that disability benefits do not trap people on the sidelines.That's what the Act we have just passed is all about.Second chance societySo prevention throughout the lifecycle is crucial.But this strategy is not just about prevention – it is also about second chances.When people's lives go off track – whether as a result of addiction, problem debt, homelessness or some other issue – we have a duty to offer a way out.This involves recognising that the causes of poverty and multiple disadvantage are about more than income alone.Income is critical, but it is frequently a symptom of some deeper and more complex problem – whether that be addiction, debt, educational failure or some other factor.Solve that problem – get someone clean……get them engaging at school…or get them into work……and you help them find a foothold in society again – you help them move, SUSTAINABLY, back towards independence.DeliveryFinally, there is the question of how we make all of this happen.How do we make the principles of social justice a reality?Yesterday I visited a project called ‘ThinkForward', being run by the Private Equity Foundation and Tomorrow's People as part of my Department's Innovation Fund.The project is getting ‘coaches' into schools and working with struggling students from the age of 14 right up to 19.These coaches offer stable support to help children through challenges at home and school, with the ultimate aim of keeping them engaged in education and on track to employment later in life.This project encapsulates the kind of change we need to see.It is turning young people's lives around……and the voluntary sector provider is getting a secure income.Yet at the same time the financial backer will reap a return from government if it achieves the results it says it will……and Government itself should see savings to the public purse from the reduced costs of social breakdown.These are the kind of principles we want to promote in everything we do.So first, that means prioritising early intervention and prevention, getting in there and tackling the root causes of disengagement before children leave school.Second, it means being innovative and locally led, with partnerships between public, private and voluntary sector,And third, it means building and growing a market for a new way of funding social interventions based on investment in social returns.Social investmentAs a society we possess great wealth, but we also have a massive disconnect between those at the top and those at the bottom.I want to find a way in which we can bring the two together – the wealth creators and our most disadvantaged individuals and families……the City with the inner city……to unlock the skills of a generation.The answer – and our answer in this strategy – is through social investment.This is about enabling investors to put their money into projects which yield BOTH a social return for the community AND a financial return for them.Next stepsBut I won't stand here today and pretend we have all the answers.This strategy explains some of the work that Government is already doing to create a more socially just society – but rather than marking the end of a process it marks the beginning of one.It sets a framework, focussed on:preventionrecovery and life change rather than maintainenceand innovative, results-focussed delivery…but it is also a call to organisations the length and breadth of the country – including those of you here today – to help us make this happen.I have always been clear that it is organisations who are working in their communities, at a local level, that are best placed to understand why people's lives go off course – and the way that they can be turned around.That includes so many of you here.You deal with people, not just processes.You work with the grain of human nature, rather than against it.You take life as you find it, not as you would wish it to be.So we need this to be the start of a conversation, building on the good work that many of you have already done……and my social justice team will be focussed on making that conversation a reality in the weeks and months ahead.Early Intervention FoundationOne thing we are already committed to is providing a much sturdier foundation for the social investment market, so that more funds can flow to the kind of organisations I've just mentioned.We are already seeing a major new source of investment funds coming on stream via Big Society Capital.But I have been told time and again that if the market is going to grow investors have to have a better understanding of the returns they can expect from social investments.That's why I am delighted that we have today announced the procurement process for the Early Intervention Foundation, a body that will be independent from Government and will use best in class techniques and analysis to provide expert advice on early intervention……as well as building the evidence base on social returns.So when I spoke before about knowing what impact each and every pound government spends has on someone's life – this is what I meant.This foundation should move us closer to that reality.It comes off the back of a recommendation from Graham Allen, so I want to take a moment to thank him for all the hard work he has done on this.He is someone who believes passionately in outcomes not inputs……and as a champion for early intervention in good economic times and bad he has put real change for the people of this country above questions of party politics, something all too rare in the modern political worldConclusionSo this should be seen as a clear signal of our intent.We are not willing to simply talk the talk – the launch of this strategy represents a change of ethos which we want to build into policy, processes, and institutions across Government.For too long we have allowed millions of people in our society to sit on the margins – in many cases we, as a society, have put them there……writing them off……managing social breakdown……but not believing that there could be a path to fundamental change.Meanwhile the disconnect between those at the top and bottom of society has grown ever larger, stretching our social fabric to near breaking point.I hope today we can start the process of stitching that fabric back together and……through that…… begin the difficult but necessary process of transforming lives. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/13-03-12.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Social Justice: transforming lives 2012-03-13 Department for Work and Pensions Social Justice: transforming lives
Content29 February 2012The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of State for Work and PensionsSocial InvestmentBroadway Property Fund launchMansion HouseWednesday 29 February 2012[Check against delivery]IntroductionIt's a pleasure to be here tonight, and a particular pleasure to be at the Mansion House. It is here that my speech really begins.Back in 1739, when the first stones in this building's foundations were being laid, a rather momentous occasion was taking place just two miles west of here at Somerset House.There, an assorted group of aristocrats, merchant bankers, artists and other 'men of standing' had gathered for a celebration.The reason?They had just been granted a Royal Charter by King George II to build the Foundling Hospital, set up to look after 'the education and maintenance of exposed and deserted young children'.But this wasn't just any old hospital – it was a hospital that helped lay the foundations for the great wave of philanthropic activity that took place during the 18th and 19th Century.Self-made men and women, led in this case by Thomas Coram, were pouring their money back into a society in which they saw overwhelming levels of social breakdown.Social breakdownThe work that Coram and his contemporaries did was entirely laudable – but I should stress that I'm not just here tonight to talk about philanthropy.Nor am I here to harp back to an imagined 'golden era'.The construction of the Foundling Hospital was both a symbol of a positive trend at the time – a rise in giving – and an overwhelmingly negative one – a rise in the level of street children and in overall levels of social breakdown.I simply seek to make a point about what this philanthropic movement represented – namely the commitment of those at the top of society to putting their wealth back in to supporting those at the bottom.I feel we may have lost our way a little since then.Coram's ambition was to change lives – the problem at the time was a lack of money.Today our problem is more a lack of ambition.We have been content to sustain people and not to change their lives, allowing social breakdown to fester and thrive in our poorest communities.Waste of potentialThis isn't just a mark on our consciences.It is also a criminal waste of potential.I've frequently said that many young people in our country who are out of work, on the dole, or in some of our toughest street gangs are harbouring a range of skills that could rival some of our top-paid professionals.They are just completely misdirected.I'm talking about the young people who are mathematical whizzes when it comes to calculating their benefit claims.I'm talking about the young people who are able to pull apart and unblock stolen mobile phones, or fix up old bikes and mopeds.And I'm talking about young people who organise and lead highly complex gangs and drugs cartels.These kids aren't stupid.They have just never had the opportunities that many of us were able to take for granted.It all started badly for too many of them – dysfunctional families……underperforming schools……intimidating street gangs……and then too often into the arms of a welfare system that acts as a crutch, rather than a springboard for change.Unlocking human capitalMeanwhile, at the top end of society, we find some of our most successful and well rewarded professionals pouring – rightly – their skills into wealth creation……but too often they are detached from what is going on at the bottom.In many cases……although not far away in miles from some of our most serious social problems……they do not have to see them, or do not believe they could be part of the solution for change.The task seems too great, the gap between top and bottom too wide.So the obvious question is: how do we bring these two groups together, using one set of skills to unlock the other?Social investmentThe answer to this challenge, I believe, lies with social investment, which is why we're here tonight.Social investment could be the tool for unlocking human capital at both ends of society, without being forced to rely on the generosity of a few wealthy individuals.I want to see a process by which the wealth creators in our society can be tied back into projects which yield BOTH a social return for the community AND a financial return for them.Why is this different from charity?Because you get the rigour and discipline that comes from someone risking their money on an investment……money that could otherwise be reaping a return elsewhere.If our top businessmen and women are putting their cash and the cash of their companies into these investments you can guarantee they will be keeping an eagle eye on them, bringing their expertise and asking all the right questions.That makes then whole process both more effective, and more sustainable.When you give money charitably it is an act of selfless giving.You give money – wonderfully – because you think it is right.But when you invest, this is an act of hard-headed calculation.And once this area is opened up there's no reason it shouldn't become a mass market – there's no reason that people shouldn't be investing their savings in social investment ISAs or pension funds with a social return element.Growing marketSo what chance this new golden age?The Social investment market is still in its infancy.It is worth around £190m today, a number that pales in comparison with the £3.6 billion annual outlay on philanthropic grant funding.But the market also has serious potential.Ronald Cohen, known to many as the father of venture capital – has commented that"enterprise and impact investing…look like the wave of the future."Indeed, in his view:"Impact [social investment] capital is the new venture capital".The challenge is how we get to that position from where we are now.GovernmentIn recent months I have made a number of calls to the market to get involved in this agenda……and that's why I congratulate Broadway for launching their Property Fund today.But Government has to get the financial and regulatory conditions right, and we're very much in listening mode.One of the things we've heard from a number of organisations is that before they can invest substantial funds in social returns they need to have a better understanding of what those returns might be – and how certain they are to accrue.A number in particular have supported the idea of an Early Intervention Foundation, which would provide expert advice on early intervention as well as building the evidence base on social returns.I recently made a speech where I promised I would provide more details on this Foundation shortly – we are about to do just that.There are also a number of innovative projects going on across Government – from payment by results through the Work Programme……through to full-blown social investment projects like the Peterborough Social Impact Bond……my Department's Innovation Fund……and the Cabinet Office's local authority pilots.  At the same time, we are seeing a major new source of investment funds coming on stream via Big Society Capital.There are already some really interesting projects here, including the setting up of the world's first 'Social Stock Exchange' for social enterprises, which will be located right here in London.ConclusionTo me it feels like we're at a tipping point with this agenda.There is good work going on everywhere we look……but it's now a question of how we piece it together and build a crescendo.Shortly we will be publishing a new Social Justice strategy, setting out our ambition to use new and innovative delivery mechanisms……including social investment……to change the lives of our most disadvantaged individuals and families.Our ambition is for the UK be a world leader in this field.I want to build a new legacy for this nation, not just as a country of great givers……but as a country of savvy social investors…This is – I believe – the best way we can start the tough but necessary process of reconnecting the top and bottom of society……by bringing together the city with the inner city, and……through that……helping mend our social fabric. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/29-02-12.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Social Investment 2012-02-29 Department for Work and Pensions Social Investment
Content22 February 2012Maria Miller MPMinister for Disabled PeopleHate crime speechDisability Rights UK / ODI Hate Crime GuidanceDWP Caxton House, LondonWednesday 22 February 2012[Check against delivery]IntroductionHate crime in all its forms is intolerable.It perpetuates segregation and creates fear.It has no place in our society.Whether it is verbal abuse from children on street corners.Mental persecution by those who are meant to provide care.Or physical attacks carried out by callous bullies.We will not tolerate it.Today we launch guidance to help disabled people, their representative organisations and the non-disabled population deal with hate crime.It helps people recognise when it is happening.And to understand what they can do about it.  We know that disability hate crime is enormously under-reported – just 1,569 cases were reported in 2010, yet some organisations estimate half of all disabled people have experienced hate crime at some point in their lives.Just yesterday the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign released results of a survey of 400 young disabled people which found the majority are failing to report hate crime as they fear it won’t be taken seriously – even though reported hate crimes have increased by 20 per cent in 2009-10 - there is clearly still much more to do.This Government made a commitment in the Coalition Agreement to promote better recording of disability hate crime.The first step was to improve the way police forces collect and record data on disability hate crime.To ensure the information was centrally collated so we had accurate information on the depth of the problem. The next step is to encourage disabled people to report crimes –so the data gives us the full picture.This guidance is very much a part of that next step.We are also developing a new cross government hate crime action plan that will capture the breadth of current and emerging issues across all forms of hate crime, including that fuelled by hatred towards disabled people. We expect to publish the new action plan shortly.We know that there is a real lack of understanding about what constitutes disability hate crime.And that the current system for reporting these crimes has not been good enough.It hasn’t always been accessible.Disabled people have been understandably concerned that there would be reprisals if they took reported this criminal activity.This guidance helps deal with some of these fears.It includes advice for disabled people to enable them to recognise hate crime and provides reassurance that these crimes are taken seriously.There is also guidance for non-disabled people providing information on what constitutes hate crime and what they can do if they witness disability hate crime.Finally, there is guidance for disabled people’s organisations, providing information on how to set up third party reporting sites and to support people to take action if they have been a victim of hate crime.This last aspect is crucial – disabled people’s organisations can provide a safe environment for people to report hate crime in cases where many would not have previously considered going to the police.Today’s publication deliberately has three distinct sections to provide tailored support to different groups to help tackle hate crime as it occurs.But it is also very deliberately launched today as a single package of guidance.Disability hate crime is about singling someone out – it’s about segregation.The way we combat it is by standing together, disabled people, non-disabled people and their organisations to say – “this is not acceptable” – and the guidance we are launching today does just that, drawing those groups together.It includes practical suggestions about where to go for support if you experience, or witness, disability hate crime.I have seen first hand how positive, practical action and people coming together can make a real difference to reporting and ultimately tackling hate crime against disabled people.The Blackpool Centre for Independent Living’s Disability First project is a scheme which encourages disabled people to report acts of disability hate crime and supports them to take their report to the local police force.When I visited I met those working in partnership with local police forces. The project has taken 36 reports of disability hate incidents in Blackpool in three months – 12 of which have been reported to the police as a crime.This compares to the 55 reports of disability hate crime across the entire Lancashire constabulary for the whole of last year.And it is practical and emotional support that disabled people need when dealing with hate crime.This is why this guidance is so important because it informs people when they should ask for help and where they can go.It provides a much more solid foundation for the reporting and ultimately successful prosecution of disability hate crime.Much of this work is about changing attitudes.You may find it shocking that public perceptions research revealed that one in six people still feel discomfort and awkwardness around disabled people.For many people this awkwardness stems from not knowing many disabled people at work or socially.This segregation the real barrier to equal participation in society.We have come a long way since the introduction of the Disabled Person’s Act 40 years ago. It was the first piece of legislation, not just in the UK but in the world, to recognise the rights of disabled people.Although we can use such legislation to change behaviours, changing attitudes is difficult and takes place over a long period of time.Living and working with disabled people plays a major role in promoting positive attitudes and this is why the participation of disabled people in public life is so important.We know that living and working together, non-disabled people and disabled people in everyday life and at work in mainstream jobs - the same as everyone else - plays a major role in promoting positive attitudes. That is why I asked Liz Sayce to look at how we can use the protected budget for disability employment services to get thousands more disabled people into mainstream employment.  We are currently looking at all of Liz's  recommendations.There are things we can do to improve disabled people’s participation in education, employment, leisure and social activities.The role of society should be to bring people together, not to segregate. To inspire people, whether disabled or not, to be part of a cohesive society.Government is responsible for setting the public agenda and has an important role to play in driving change.I know there has been a lot said about negative media reporting of disabled people, particularly those claiming benefits.I want to make it clear that we do not condone and do not encourage that kind of reporting.This Government knows that it’s the current welfare system itself which is at fault and has trapped many people into a spiral of welfare dependency.That is why we are making such a radical overhaul of the benefits system to restore integrity.But this is a dual approach, On the one hand welfare reform will deliver a more sophisticated, responsive, accurate benefit system that people genuinely feel supports those in need.This will eradicate some of the negativity currently filling some of our newspaper pages.On the other hand we are currently working on a new disability strategy which will move this debate on to the positive action we can take to improve disabled people’s participation.The really important thing about this document is that it will be the result of real co-production.We are not only consulting, we’re working with disabled people in discussions about what a clear strategy for equality for disabled people should look like.Of course – real co-production means we don’t always agree – that is the reality of this approach – disabled people are not a homogenous group, they do not all share the same barriers to accessibility, or the same views on how to overcome them.But we’ve had a lot of thoughtful contributions and we are slowly establishing a consensus – but it takes time.We are hoping to publish in the Spring and my expectation is that we will develop a strategy that is as practical and as grounded in disabled people’s lives as the guidance published today.And by combining our efforts we will really make a difference to disabled people’s lives.http://www.radar.org.uk/people-living-with-health-conditions-disability/disability-hate-crime/ None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/22-02-12.shtml Maria Miller MP Hate crime speech 2012-02-22 Department for Work and Pensions Hate crime speech
Content24 January 2012The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MPMinister for EmploymentGovernment perspectives on employmentLGA Conference, Transport House, LondonTuesday 24 January 2012[Check against delivery]This morning I am here to talk to you about the Government’s perspective on employment.And as the Government Minister who goes on television each month to present the latest employment figures, I am perhaps more focused on the detail behind the headlines than most.Last week’s unemployment figures demonstrate the challenging economic climate we currently face.Unemployment remains high and dealing with it continues to be a priority for the coming year.But beyond the headlines the figures show that there is still a lot of movement in the labour market.This month’s figures also show a small rise in employment.The numbers of unemployed people have increased in part because people who were previously not looking for work – particularly women and students – have decided to try to get a job.And the numbers claiming unemployment benefits has broadly flattened out, despite welfare reforms adding to the numbers claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.The figures also show that there are opportunities available for those looking for work. 300,000 people stopped claiming out of work benefits last month, and Jobcentre Plus took nearly 350,000 new vacancies.Indeed over the course of the last year something like six million people have started a new job.There are 10,000 new vacancies advertised through Jobcentre Plus every working day. This is estimated to be around half of all potential vacancies in the UK.Even in difficult times there are vacancies and opportunities available for unemployed people.And many people get themselves back into work quite quickly.More than half of unemployed people leave benefits within three months.But there are some people who find it much harder to get back into work and are unemployed for much longer periods.And the longer someone is out of work the more difficult it can be for them to find another job. Their skills and experience become less relevant to the jobs market, their confidence may suffer and they may become indoctrinated by the welfare system and alienated from the world of work.There are one million people of working age who have been claiming benefits for 10 years or more.And 1.84 million children living in homes which are currently workless.Of those 300,000 children live in homes where no one has ever worked.And what is really sad is the way an attitude that being out of work is acceptable can pass down through generations, so entire families expect nothing more than a life on welfare.Almost unbelievably inner London has the highest proportion of children in workless households – inner London – an area in which Jobcentre Plus takes an average of 15,000 new vacancies a month.It is clear to me that, even in these difficult times, the supply of job vacancies is not the problem.We must help people gain the skills, experience and motivation they need to get back into work.And this support must be tailored to meet the needs of the individual, of employers and the local labour market to have the best chance of success.To deliver this support we have created the Work Programme and contracted the best of the private, voluntary and public sector to deliver it.This Programme is bigger than any previous employment programme and it will serve an unprecedented range of people, some of whom will need more help finding and keeping a job than others.Organisations delivering the Work Programme are therefore paid variable amounts which are dependent upon the perceived complexity of getting an individual into work.So, the more difficult it is to get someone into the work the more we will pay for that support.Maximum payments for supporting people into sustained employment will range from around £4,000 for typical jobseekers to almost £14,000 for the hardest to help, reflecting the differing levels of support required.This in itself is a unique approach for Government but what is really revolutionary is that we have not dictated the terms of this support.The Work Programme is being delivered on an almost entirely payment by results basis.How the providers get those results is broadly up to them.But they receive a significant part of their fee only when they get someone into work and the rest of the payment when they keep them there.In just over 12 months we have completely redefined employment support to focus on sustainable results.And in doing so we have designed a contracting Framework that is deliberately flexible enough to bring in other forms of social intervention to support people in to work. This means other parts of central and local government can use the Framework to deliver support in a much more holistic and comprehensive way.We have built something that can go much further than tackling unemployment, and we are now looking at developing a sophisticated system of social interventions based around the payment by results model, with the Work Programme at its core.The Prime Minister has made it clear that he is committed to extending payment by results to increase accountability and transparency as part of wider public service reform.At the same time we are pushing power out from central Government and down to Town Halls.The Localism Act gives local councils more power over the services they provide.It frees local councils to make their own decisions about the services they deliver and shape their services around the needs of the people they serve.On another level we are also giving Jobcentre Plus managers and advisers more discretion to tailor the services they provide to the needs of the jobseeker.Jobcentre Plus staff understand far better than those of us in Whitehall what someone needs to help them get into work.We have improved the service by encouraging our own staff to focus on results and giving them much more choice and flexibility in the services they provide.We are also encouraging them to forge partnerships with local government officials, employment support providers, health and charitable organisations to deliver effective, holistic support.And these partnerships make a real difference to successfully helping unemployed people back into sustainable employment.I have visited virtually all of the Work Programme prime providers now to see how they are getting on.And it is those that are forging links with the local government services, with Jobcentre Plus, with locally based charitable organisations, community organisations and crucially employers that appear to be performing the best.It is those providers who have developed the strongest networks that are delivering more for their clients.Because they are able to draw upon a much richer reserve to help people overcome their barriers to work – whether those barriers are a lack of skills and experience or something else – an addiction, or a criminal record.We are already using the Work Programme Framework to develop similar partnerships to provide support from some of the most troubled families.There are a small but significant number of families – around 120,000 – who are truly struggling and contribute a disproportionate amount to Britain’s social problems.These families often have multiple problems and are well known to Local Authorities as they are already being supported in different ways by a host of local services.Turning the lives of these families around and enabling them to fulfil their potential is a priority and would bring real social benefits.Using European Social Fund money we are investing £200million in drawing together that support to deliver real change for troubled families and help them get back in to work.The ultimate aim is to break the intergenerational cycle of worklessness and get families working.But a similar non-prescriptive, payment by results model to the Work Programme will mean providers have the resources and the freedom to really work holistically with these families, bringing together a comprehensive package of support that rewards progress towards work as well as starting in a job.Local Authorities have played a key role in getting this service up and running.I know you have been working extremely hard with officials at the Department for Work and Pensions and with the providers to get this provision in place.And you will continue to play a critical role in making sure we see a strong flow of family referrals to make this provision a reality.It is written into the contracts that families must be referred by their Local Authority and that suppliers must work with local services to deliver support.I know that this work is already well underway; contracts went live earlier this month, the first families have been referred and the first action plans are being developed right now.But this is just the beginning.We are already looking at a number of other options, including using this approach to provide services to tackle drug and alcohol addiction and rehabilitate ex-offenders.Ultimately, this comes down to a more sophisticated appreciation of public service delivery.And a growing understanding that social change cannot be achieved simply through ever increasing spending, we have to be smarter than that.Payment by results can help us deliver better public services by providing a real opportunity to shape services around individual need and in doing so really change people’s lives for the better. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2012/24-01-12.shtml Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP Government perspectives on employment 2012-01-24 Department for Work and Pensions Government perspectives on employment
Content15 December 2011 The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Social Market Foundation Conference Thursday 15 December 2011 [Check against delivery] Risk and reward: can social impact bonds breathe new life into public services?IntroductionIt’s good to see so many people here this morning.It can be easy to lose sight of why this issue is so important, but sometimes you have moments that give you a sense of perspective.I was recently handed a report by a charity who work with extremely vulnerable children.The report contained a number of difficult images and stories, but some of the most powerful were sculptures and scenes created by the children who the charity worked with.One of the scenes was produced by ten young people whose parents were substance abusers, and the caption below the photo read as follows:“The house of children whose parents are addicted to crack-cocaine. Dad has passed out on the mattress in his own vomit, mum is crouched over a table, preparing her fix. What you don’t see is the child hidden in the corner crying.”This is how these children chose to represent their home lives. The Centre for Social JusticeSome of you might be thinking: ‘That’s terrible, but it must be a pretty rare case. It’s probably not as rare as you think.When I was at the Centre for Social Justice we found that some 350,000 children had drug addicted parents, and one million had parents who were addicted to alcohol.And this isn’t just about addiction.We found that, even during a period of growth, we had:·    Some 4.5 million people on out of work benefits, many for ten years or more·    High levels of family breakdown, particularly affecting our poorest communities·    And a staggering level of personal debt, one of the highest in Western Europe, with too many condemned to the fear of violence from loan sharks on a daily basisPerhaps most important of all, we found that poverty was about more than income alone.Of course income is an important factor, but it is not the whole story.Take the scene of the drug addicted mother and father that I described before – would the child’s life really have been changed if its parents had been given a couple of extra pounds a week in benefits or tax credits?But help the parents get clean from their addiction……support them to stay together and work at their relationship……and work with them to write a CV and find a job – and that’s when you really start to make a difference.So while income is important, we should be clear that the source of income can have very different effects.Income through benefits maintains people on a low income, whereas income gained through work is transformational. What is critical is that we tackle the ‘pathways to poverty’:Family breakdownEducational failureDebtAddictionAnd worklessness linked to welfare dependencyWe have to get in there early – investing money up front – to close these pathways off.Social InvestmentNow I am the first to accept that people should be wary of politicians talking about ‘investment’, when too often what they actually mean is more spending.But we are trying to build an agenda that is a little bit different – an agenda that is about real investment, asking investors to put their money forward in pursuit of the social good while reaping a return at the same time.These returns are potentially huge – Graham Allen’s report on early intervention cited statistics showing that it costs:Around £59,000 a year on average for a youth offender to be placed in a young offender’s instituteOr hundreds of thousands of pounds to support an individual for a lifetime on benefits.But it’s not enough to know how much this is costing Government at the moment.We need to know which interventions – if made early and up front – could change the course of someone’s life so that they do not become the concern of the State for many years to come.And we need to know what rate of return we can expect from these investments, allowing us to apply a price to social intervention and create an investment vehicle, such as a social impact bond.Washington State InstituteThis isn’t just a pipe dream – there are organisations doing this already.Earlier this year we held a seminar with Steve Aos from the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, and the work they are doing there is fascinating.They’ve shown that it is possible to determine a social return on investment, monetise it, and say that, for some given intervention, you get £X return for every £1 invested. This enables them to send out a clear message that these are quantifiable and hard savings, and they have been using this approach in Washington State for over 25 years now.There is similar work being done at the Dartington Social Research Unit, led by Michael Little.It’s time that UK governments caught up, and this is exactly the kind of approach we are looking at now.Work underwayBut while there is work to do in building the evidence base for social investment, I’m pleased to say we are leading the way in building innovative funding mechanisms.There are two things here.First, through the Work Programme we have created a new payment by results regime, levering private investment up front and paying when outcomes are achieved.This model operates well when success can be measured over the relative short-term.For interventions that show results over the slightly longer-term we are building social investment vehicles, including social impact bonds.Many of you will be aware of the reoffending Social Impact Bond in Peterborough – the first of its kind anywhere in the world.We are also in the middle of procuring for the Innovation Fund, which will enable investors to back innovative projects which help disadvantaged young people.This is about getting in there before people have left school, targeting kids from the age of 14 and up and tackling the root causes of disengagement from education and employment.And the Cabinet Office is currently leading innovative pilot projects with four local authorities, looking at how social investment can be used to help turn around the lives of some of the most troubled families.Need to build a marketBut these are still just first steps – the question is ‘what next’?How can we encourage social investment on a big enough scale to achieve real life change?And I don’t just mean how can we get businesses to do this as an afterthought, or as part of their corporate social responsibility agenda – important though that is.I mean how can we ensure that social investment becomes – as Sir Ronald Cohen has predicted it will –‘the new venture capital’.If we get this right, it could mean a change to the whole way that Government and the private sector work together to solve social problems.Government could benefit from more capital up front to invest in savings to the public purse.The private sector could get new opportunities to see returns on their investment.And for society at large…….for some of our most disadvantaged communities……potentially for those children I spoke about at the start……it could offer a real chance to change lives, potentially on a massive scale. It could offer a chance to re-engage the top and bottom of society once more.Financial sectorYou don’t need to look far to see that there are concerns in our society about some parts of the financial sector.Without doubt there has been a dislocation between our wealth creators and those who have been left behind, and this cannot be good for society.But I believe that this market offers a new opportunity……a chance to start afresh……and a vehicle for the wealth creators to feed that wealth back into the community.This isn’t about transferring social ‘burdens’ from the public sector to the private sector.It’s about sparking off a dynamic change in our poorest areas.Get someone in to work in an area where worklessness is endemic and you have created a role model.You have improved the prospects for a local business.Or help someone to start their own business, and you have enabled them to start creating employment prospects for others.This in turn helps to create more stable families, building a more positive environment for children to grow up in.This is how a small intervention can spark off a chain of events that revives whole communities.Building the evidence baseBut this isn’t just a call to investors – there is more for Government to do as well.Investors have told us that they need more assurance about the measurement of – and evidence base for – social interventions before they are prepared to risk substantial funds.The Innovation Fund is important here.One of the reasons we have built the Fund is to test the extent to which it generates savings and delivers a wider social return on investment, and we will be applying these lessons to other projects in the future.Work is also close to completion on ‘Big Society Capital’ – a major new source of social investment – and this is something the Chief Secretary will touch on in more detail later.But we know that there is still more that could be done……and myself and a number of my colleagues have been clear that we support the principle behind the proposed Early Intervention Foundation, which would provide expert advice on early intervention as well as building the evidence base on social returns.We will be able to provide more details on this shortly.ConclusionSo my message to you today is this:Government is committed to this agenda.We are behind it, and we are sticking to it.And where there is more work needed to build the evidence base, we will deliver it.But now we need you to come with us.For those who haven’t done so already – make that first move into the market.For those who already have, help us to grow it in the future.We are on the edge of something exciting – now help us make it a reality. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/15-12-11.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Risk and reward: can social impact bonds breathe new life into public services? 2011-12-15 Department for Work and Pensions  Social Market Foundation Conference
Content6 December 2011Lord David FreudMinister for Welfare ReformThe Welfare RevolutionCapita Welfare Reform Conference[Check against delivery]My session this morning is on the welfare revolution.And it really is a revolution. There is an awful lot going on at the moment.The Work Programme is up and running, helping long term unemployed people find sustainable work.The Sickness Absence Review was published a couple of weeks ago and we are working hard on the Government’s response.Disabled people’s benefits are being reformed to make them fairer, more accurate and easier to tailor to individual need.But today, I don’t want to talk about any of that.Today, I want to focus on what’s at the heart of the welfare revolution – the Universal Credit – which we plan to introduce from October 2013.This is a new income replacement benefit that will support people both in and out of work.It will replace the complex array of benefits currently paid to people with little or no income with just one payment.It will be simpler to claim, easier to understand and administer and more effective and responsive than its predecessors.We are working on a real time information system that will mean we are able to find out how much people are earning and readjust their Universal Credit payment accordingly. This is better for people whose earnings fluctuate and will help to reduce fraud.Most importantly of all people will know what they are entitled to.We will withdraw Universal Credit at a steady rate as people start to earn more money.This means if someone takes a job or increases the hours they work they will be able to work out exactly how it will affect their benefits – and see for themselves that they will be better off in work.Today’s welfare system is a complicated mixture of benefits that have been added together, piled one on the other in a piecemeal way, as successive governments have sought to address different needs.It hasn’t been improved so much as extended and stretched beyond any relevance to its original intention.And what we’ve ended up with is unintended consequences, rules so complex that the civil servants administering them struggle to understand them and people trapped in welfare dependency are unable to find a way out of the system and get back on their feet.This is not what Beveridge intended.The introduction of Universal Credit will remove the rules and regulations that prevent people from getting back into work quickly.It will take the welfare state back to first principles.We want a welfare system that provides financial support for those unable to work – that goes without saying.But for those who can work we want a system that encourages a return to employment as quickly as possible.That’s how welfare support should work.But today’s system barely works at all.Let me take you through some of the vagaries of the current system.The current Jobseeker’s Allowance system means you need to work 16 hours or more to come off benefit and see a real increase in your income.However, for those remaining on benefit and working less than 16 hours, anything they earn over £5 if they are a single person, slightly more if they are a lone parent or disabled, will result in their benefit being reduced pound for pound.This means someone over 25 can’t work for even one full hour per week at minimum wage without seeing an instantaneous fall in benefits.If someone does find work for more than 16 hours per week but it is low paid they may be entitled to tax credits.But they’d need to end their benefit claim and submit a new claim for tax credits.The benefits system and the tax credit system don’t interact with each other.So people trying to leave benefits find their benefit income stops instantly but there can be a long wait before tax credit payments start.This gap in household income can be catastrophic for family finances.It encourages people either to retreat back into the benefits system or worse, never try to leave.Universal Credit deals with this issue.The tax credit and benefit systems are brought together so there’s no need to move between different systems.When someone does take a job the Universal Credit payment is tapered off at a steady rate so there’s no sudden loss of benefits.There’s no catastrophic drop of income.And there’s no 16 hour cliff edge, the Universal Credit will relate to the actual amount someone earns not disappear at an arbitrary number of hours.The 16 hour rule has also had an impact on childcare support.Under the old rules working parents could not claim help with registered childcare unless they worked more than 16 hours per week.For lone parents in particular this made it particularly difficult to start to move into work.Universal Credit deals with this issue.We want to remove these barriers so parents can begin a gradual return to work.Therefore, under Universal Credit, support for the costs of childcare will be available to all lone parents and couples, where both members are in work, regardless of the number of hours they work.It will mean that for the first time around 80,000 extra families will be eligible to receive support through childcare.Similarly, the rigidity of the present system makes any form of flexible working, whilst reliant on state support virtually impossible.The current system is too clunky and slow to respond to changes in hours and incomes.This means unemployed people have been unable to take work unless the employer can guarantee a minimum number of hours.This rules out large numbers of agency jobs or casual work. It has made our unemployed population less flexible than the migrant workers who are filling those vacancies.It is part of the reason why the number of people on out of work benefits remains around the five million mark.Universal Credit deals with this issue.Payments will be based on real time earnings.So, people can work varying hours and still be confident of a minimum level of income.The current system infantilises people.It takes budgeting powers away from people by paying their rent and some of their bills for them.Benefits are paid weekly or fortnightly, whilst most employees receive a monthly salary.Benefits are paid to individuals where as most families manage their budget as a household.This means the whole experience of claiming benefits has become completely removed from the experience of receiving a wage.This encourages dependency because people literally do not know how they will cope without the support of the state.Under Universal Credit the default position will be a single, monthly, household payment, wherever possible.This means benefit claimants will have to manage their own finances – their full finances - so when they do find work it’s easier to leave the safety of the welfare system.We will provide budgeting support for those who need it. This is a real opportunity to really change people’s lives by giving them the tools they need to take control of their finances.That’s what the welfare revolution is all about – that’s the final goal - to bring an end to long-term benefit dependency and begin a cultural transformation. Now I do have one more thing I want to talk to you about today – Support for Mortgage Interest payments.These are payments made towards the interest on benefit claimants’ eligible home loans.We think these payments should only be short term, to help people out when they fall upon hard times, so they don’t lose their homes.The current system of SMI payments does not encourage people to get on top of their own finances.It is also not sustainable. Even with today’s low interest rates it costs government £400million a year.We want to recover some of the SMI money so we can reinvest it in helping more people.For new claimants we are looking at options for recouping that money either when a house is sold or by levying a charge on the property for long term claims.Today we have published a call for evidence seeking views on a number of options for retrieving some of these funds. We are also reviewing other aspects of our help for home owners.The call for evidence closes in February next year and we are keen to hear your views.All I have done today is mention a few small areas where our welfare reforms are going to change things for the better.And these examples are replicated again and again as we bring coherence to a system that has been inadequate for too long.But these reforms aren’t about designing a nice, sensible system.They are about people.They are about freeing people to get back into work.Our welfare reforms are about transforming lives.And that’s why they are worthy of the term welfare revolution. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/06-12-11.shtml Lord Freud The Welfare Revolution 2011-12-06 Department for Work and Pensions The Welfare Revolution
Content2 December 2011The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of State for Work and PensionsFamilies and young people in troubled neighbourhoodsLondon School EconomicsThursday 1 December 2011[Check against delivery]IntroductionI'd like to thank Anne Power for inviting me to speak to you tonight.I first met Anne in my office in the House of Commons back in 2008.It was there that she told me about the work she was doing up at Trafford Hall with the National Communities Resource Centre.I immediately took the liberty of inviting myself up there to see what it was all about – and I was impressed by what I saw.The book – Family FuturesAnd it's a pleasure to be here tonight to talk about Anne and her team's research.It was while the study was being carried out that I entered the debate about the most disadvantaged areas of our society.Back in 2004 I set up a think tank called the Centre for Social Justice.The idea was to assess the poverty landscape in the UK......and to reassess how we as a society were responding to it.We travelled around the country taking evidence from voluntary organisations and community groups.And we put the facts down in our key reports, which laid bare the extent of the social challenge. We had:More than 4 million people on out of work benefits, many for 10 years or moreLevels of family breakdown that were high and growing; andOne of the highest levels of personal debt in Western EuropeThis isn't to say there is no hope in our most disadvantaged areas.Family Futuresmakes it clear that even on our most deprived estates there are large numbers of families who work hard, care about their childrens' education and play a huge role in their local communities, with some real progress being made.But we cannot escape some of the basic facts that the study reveals:The disproportionate incidence of poor health in our poorest neighbourhoodsThe repeated complaint about a lack of things for young people to do, often leading to youth misbehaviour, a lack of respect for others and crimeAnd the constant challenge of low skills and persistent unemployment, often passed down through generations.Take the issue of crime.While those taking part in the study saw some progress on crime, they were clear that the challenges they continued to face had a disproportionately big impact on their lives.Listen to the following from Alan in West City, a neighbourhood in Inner City London:"Living here on a day-to-day basis you're trying to build a community on our little estate of 85 homes and all we get is people moved here who the council are getting off their list, whether they're coming out of prison, or drug users, or mental health issues. They get dumped on the estate with next to no support and cause a nightmare for everybody else. You only need one crack house for everybody's lives to be a nightmare. You only need one nuisance neighbour who just doesn't give a regard for anybody else, whether it's loud music at night or whatever."As Alan indicates the majority of those living on the estate were law-abiding families who played by the rules.But it only takes a couple of families to go off the rails to make everyone else's lives a misery – seemingly minor or localised cases of crime and anti-social behaviour can have multiple negative effects in these areas.GangsTake street gangs, an issue that the Government has been looking at carefully in recent months.Gangs may only be in a minority in their community, but they have a disproportionately large effect on the lives of those around them.They are a product of social breakdown, but they in turn further that process of breakdown by creating no-go areas that make impossible the very things that could help deprived neighbourhoods to rejuvenate – stable families, strong businesses, and community action.AsFamily Futuresfinds, parents were clearly worried by the sense that their streets could be taken over by guns and gangs – an incredibly destructive environment in which to bring up a young child.Economic backdropBut perhaps the biggest challenge of all comes from the fact that these social problems persisted even during a period of unprecedented growth.The UK economy created a lot of jobs in the period leading up to the recession – with employment levels up by some 2 million – yet huge numbers of those on benefits were unable to take advantage.Businesses looked elsewhere, bringing in what they said were keener and more willing workers from abroad, with nearly half of the rise in employment accounted for by foreign nationals.Of course things are even tougher now.Resources are incredibly tight.And we have a real challenge in the labour market.But at the same time we see on our TV screens every day the consequences for countries that fail to get to grips with their debts and deficits.We shouldn't forget that Italy had lower borrowing costs than Britain back in April of last year.They are now around three times higher.We cannot get caught up in that same debt spiral – breaking it is absolutely critical.But this isn't all about the economy.August's riots were a reminder – if any were needed – that those suffocating social problems I spoke about before are still alive and well.Family FuturesSo this brings me toFamily Futures, and the lessons it can teach us about how we respond to the kinds of challenges faced by families in troubled neighbourhoods.Let me start with the question of poverty.ReadingFamily Futuresreminded me of an issue we found time and again at the Centre for Social Justice – namely that poverty is about more than income alone.The whole debate around poverty in the UK is constructed around the relative income measure – set at 60 per cent of median income.If you sit below the line, you are said to be poor.If you sit above it, you are not.But we must remember that levels of family income are just an approximate – and by no means perfect – measure of family well-being.And what do we know about the things that really improve well-being?It's the kind of issues mentioned inFamily Futures:Better healthLower crime and lower fear of crimeWorkA strong sense of communityThis isn't to say that money isn't important.Of course it is.I'm not going to stand here and say that those interviewed forFamily Futureswouldn't have wanted, or needed, higher incomes.But I do believe that increased income and increased wellbeing do not always follow the same track.Take a family headed by a drug addict or someone with a gambling addiction – increase the parent's income and the chances are they will spend the money on furthering their habit, not on their children.According to the relative income poverty figures they might be above the line, but by any reasonable measure of long-term life chances they would be stuck firmly below.Or take a family where no one has ever worked.Increase their benefit income – while taking no other proactive action – and you push the family further into dependency, only increasing the chance that their child will follow that same path as an adult.So while income is important we should be clear that the source of that income can have very different effects.Income through benefits maintains people on a low income, whereas income gained through work can transform lives.Of course for some people, such as those with severe disabilities, income from the welfare system will always play a vital role, and rightly so.But money can never be the whole story, as it ignores so many other indicators of well-being.Child Poverty – perverse incentivesThis is an important conclusion – but we need to know what it means in practice.My concern is that while we know what direction of travel is needed, we may be destined to repeat the failures of the past if we are not prepared to think much harder about the poverty challenge.The public debate on poverty is still overwhelmingly focussed on the narrow relative income measure.And this focus drives a number of perverse incentives in the way that governments have approached policy.First, there is an incentive to move people who are just below the line to just above it, as this can prove the simplest and cheapest way to hit the poverty targets.We find this borne out in some of the figures, which suggest that something like half of parental exits from poverty are to just above the income line.This has been called the ‘poverty plus a pound' approach – doing enough to keep the poverty figures moving in the right direction, but without really changing anyone's lives.Meanwhile those at the very bottom risk being left behind, too far from the line for anyone to bother trying to lift them out.Second, there is an incentive for Governments to focus on lifting income through higher welfare payments, particularly through those aimed at children.This is helpful in the public presentation of Government policy, because forecasts of future poverty trends rely mainly on changes in the tax and benefit systems.But as I've already explained this approach is unlikely to make a real difference to outcomes.  And again we find this perverse incentive borne out in the figures – from 1998 to 2009/10 the likelihood of being in relative poverty declined 1.5 times faster for children living in workless families than for children living in families where somebody worked.This is hugely expensive approach – and it looks set to have failed.Though some progress has been made on poverty the last Government were set to miss their targets by a wide margin, having already missed their interim targets.Let's have a more forward-thinking debate about how we can do more to promote a life chances approach, and one not so narrowly focussed on income alone.Joseph Rowntree FoundationIt's interesting to see that the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have sparked off this debate with their report today.Though we might not agree with everything they have to say, I think there are a couple of quite important points here:First, they have argued that the focus on poverty has been too centred on the child alone, to the detriment of other groups in society.You cannot somehow pull a child apart from its family.A child's wellbeing is fundamentally linked to the wellbeing of its family, and nor can we ignore the plight of working age poverty.Second, they warn against the risk of focussing too much on the social security system to lift people out of povertyI think the social security system can be a critical tool – and I will touch on the Universal Credit in more detail in a moment.But I agree with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation that simply pulling people out of poverty with increased welfare payments is a dangerous and ineffective strategy.Life chancesSo we need a change in the terms of the debate.Government can – and does – do plenty of things that are likely to impact on poverty levels in the future through their effect on life chances.But these are too often the kind of dynamic changes that it is much more difficult to measure.Take the Fairness Premium, worth about £7.2bn, which the Government has introduced to support the poorest in the early years and at every stage of their education.This is a huge investment by Government in changing children's lives, with the potential to completely alter a child's future.With the right support a child who was destined for a lifetime on benefits could be put on an entirely different track, one which sees them move into fulfilling and sustainable work.In doing so they may well move out of poverty.But because we can't predict the effect on income in the future this is not given credit as a poverty-fighting measure.Or take relationship support, to which the Government has committed in the coming years.It may be that this investment has a huge impact on a number of children's lives, helping their families stay strong and stable and so providing a safe and loving environment in which to grow up.But forecasting how this will impact on a child's income in the future is extremely difficult.We find the same thing with Health Visitors, where we're upping the numbers by around 4,200.Health visitors have been found to play an incredibly important role in helping families to cope and provide a stable environment for young children.Yet, once again, we don't do enough to assess the impact of this investment on a family's life in the long run.So I believe that we must look more closely at how we are measuring the impact of these interventions, and continue to push a debate about these wider measures of poverty.Social investment and early interventionWe've kicked off a process here already.Frank Field's work on life chances......Graham Allen's reports on Early Intervention......the small but significant growth of the social investment market......all this work is starting to change the way we look at the issue of poverty and life change.We want to build a body of knowledge about what works and what doesn't.This could provide the incentive for private investors to put their money into this agenda, and in doing so releasing more money into life change.Also a side effect of this, but nonetheless a powerful social driver, will be the way such investment can re-engage the top of society with those at the bottom, reviving that sense of shared community which has been missing for too long.RiotsAnd I think this speaks to the experience of the riots as well.First, the need to re-engage the top and bottom of society, ending the feeling of disenfranchisement in many of our neighbourhoods.But also – in getting to grips with a culture of dependency – we need to end the feeling of entitlement that also seemed to drive some of what we saw back in August.By focussing on income levels rather than life chances we have created pockets of our society where too many know only of money which is given, rather than earned, and so were too easily prepared to go out and take on the night of the riots.Tax CreditsBut if we are to understand which policies actually change lives, and will actually start to turn this culture around, we have to understand the issue that we're dealing with.That's why studies likeFamily Futuresare so valuable – they provide an opportunity to hear testimony from people in troubled neighbourhoods about what really matters to them.I just wanted to touch on two areas briefly:First, the experience of those in the study who were claiming tax credits.The introduction of tax credits was based on a sound principle.Yet the way they were designed meant these incentives were too often perverse or incomprehensible.AsFamily Futuresmakes clear the dominant problem for families was having to rely on a badly organised system that created confusion and uncertainty.One person was so put off they weren't willing to even make a claim:"Even if I'm entitled I don't want the hassle, I just put the form in the bin".Others wanted to move into work, but felt paralysed by the complexity of the system:"I want to work but I don't know how the benefit system works... Before they award Working Families Tax Credit, you have to deal with accountants, it's really confusing. I want to work but I'm worried I'll be in a worse situation".Universal CreditIt is clear that this was a government project with sound principles, but one not built around the people it aimed to help.So our aim is to build a system that replicates the positive points of tax credits, but one that is:Simpler to understandFits around the hours that people want to workAnd doesn't create such significant perceived risks from moving into workThe system we're building is the Universal Credit, a simpler payment that is withdrawn at a clear and constant rate as people move into work.Key to this is something called the Real Time Information system, meaning we'll receive information directly from employers about what people are earning and translate that into an accurate and up-to-date payment.Small and local changes are importantSo I believe the Universal Credit will start to make a difference to some of the issues which come out so strongly inFamily Futures.But this book also presents something of a challenge to Government.For its findings suggest that the changes that make a real difference to people's lives aren't just the big projects – they are also the seemingly little ones, whether it beFixing broken street lightsMaking repairs to the community parkOr fixing that broken pavement slab that stops parents pushing their pram down the streetThis comes out clearly in the later chapters of the book, which describe how residents worried about the one-off nature of big regeneration programmes and favoured more low-level, responsive investments and more gradual improvements.Broken windowsOf course there is a lot of talk about big capital projects at the moment – and rightly so.But let us not assume that only big can be beautiful.Let me take you back to New York in the mid-1990s, where Mayor Rudi Guiliani had just appointed a new Police Commissioner – Bill Bratton.Bratton's approach was a bit different.Together with Guiliani he pioneered work on the ‘Broken Windows Theory', the idea that what starts as low level degradation – faulty street lights, littering, broken windows – is the beginning of a continuum to much more serious anti-social behaviour and crime.If people in the area get the sense that others don't care enough about the local environment, then the chances are that no one will care at all.We hear this kind of testimony from the parents in Family Futures:"It gets me down seeing so many derelict buildings and uncared for things...The block getting emptier and crying out to be vandalised".And one mother felt strongly about something apparently as small as a McDonalds' carton."Before this estate was built, it was all old houses, terraces. But people were spotless, they'd come out and scrub the whole, you know, a whole bucket of water would go down the front path and down onto the pavement. They didn't have a lot of money but they were veryclean...You didn't see rubbish on the street. Perhaps it's because there wasn't Mcdonald's about at that point! I think people need to be a little bit more caring about their environment, wherever it is, you know...It doesn't mean to say they can throw a McDonald's carton or leave their rubbish behind".On the other hand if you get in there early – and pick up that McDonald's carton or fix that window before it can impact on people's behaviour – then you can potentially have a huge impact on the local environment.We talk a lot about early intervention when it comes to our youngest children – but perhaps we should be saying more about early intervention for our communities too.LocalismBut – as with early intervention for children – this is an agenda that is best when driven at a local level.That's why the localism agenda is so important.It's why we're trying to push power out – not just to local authorities but also to voluntary and community organisations.We've tried to harness this local expertise in the Work Programme, where hundreds of voluntary and community sector organisations will be delivering intensive help to get people back to work.And we're also working to turn round the lives of some of the countries most troubled families, again working with local authorities and the voluntary sector to drive this from a local level.These are organisations that see people for who they are, not just as numbers on a spreadsheet or as a box to be ticked but as human beings.ConclusionSo let me just finish by repeating some of the key principles that I think need to underpin real change for families in troubled neighbourhoods.First, we need a new debate on poverty, based around life change rather than maintenance on benefits.And second, we need to understand what really matters to people – how Government can design programmes of support that fit their aspirations and work with the grain of their lives – in short, humanising government, and making small that which is too big.Whether it be simplifying the welfare system or making the small changes to the local area that make a really big difference, we owe it to those in our poorest communities to do better.This is the challenge of our generation. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/02-12-11.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP London School of Economics - Families and young people in troubled neighbourhoods' 2011-12-02 Department for Work and Pensions Families and young people in troubled neighbourhoods
Content25 November 2011Lord David FreudMinister for Welfare ReformNew Savoy Partnership ConferenceMental health and employment[Check against delivery]Employment, work, the job we do, is central to our lives.It offers more than just income, it provides structure, an opportunity to learn, to build friendships and relationships, it can provide a sense of self, of fulfilment and indeed of achievement.It is bluntly, absolutely central to participating in the modern world, certainly the modern Western world.Our understanding of how employment and health impact on each other has evolved, and has evolved relatively recently.It used to be that when someone fell ill it was felt to be the job of the state, employers, health services, to protect that person from work.If they are signed off sick they should only go back to work when they were fully recovered.But actually what we now know is that condemning people to inactivity can actually worsen their health and hinder their recovery.There is a growing body of evidence that helping people back into work on a managed basis can be very supportive to managing their sickness whether it’s mental or physical. So, employment can be part of the recovery process.In the mental health area we are still looking at what really works, the data is still pretty sparse.But there is beginning to be an understanding that using employment as part of the recovery process can be of real value.Clearly the implications of this changing attitude to work and health means that how we configure services and what we do to help people is going to change.And I think personally change quite substantially in the years ahead,Employment support has become quite a reasonable part of the talking therapies offered by the health services.The NHS has made employment one of its healthcare objectives, making a return to work an integral part of recovery from illness.Getting someone not only out of bed, but actually back in to the work place is now being seen as one of the functions of the health service.We are beginning, but only just beginning, to knit together the provision we have in the welfare to work part of the state and the health part of the state.Getting this join to work is becoming increasingly important part of our welfare reforms.If we look at the figures, around 40 per cent of people are claiming incapacity benefits because of a mental health condition.That data does not give the full picture because we tend to only look at one factor – the top line factor – as we know there is an awful lot of co-morbidity when people are in this position so mental health issues are probably a bigger element than that 40 per cent suggests.There are also some shocking figures to show that by the time you have been off work and in the arms of the welfare state for any length of time the number of people with mental health problems goes up.So that is obviously something of absolute key concern for myself and my Ministerial colleagues at the Department for Work and Pensions.And as we reform the welfare system, and as you know we have embarked now on the most massive reform agenda that the welfare state has seen since its invention.As we embark on that process we are determined to get this join between health and welfare to work.I’m aware that I am with an audience who may not know absolutely every aspect of the welfare system as it is or as it’s meant to be.There is a core state offer from Jobcentre Plus, which is basically when you first come out of work that’s where you go to and most people frankly navigate their own way back into work.The people who find it more difficult and have been out of work longer we are putting into this new service called the Work Programme which is delivered by contractors and consortia.And those consortia are made up of private sector, voluntary sector and indeed the public sector.For the first time Work Programme providers will be paid partly out of the benefit savings they help to realise when they support claimants into sustained employment.Once on the Work Programme a participant stays on it for two years. This gives providers time to invest in addressing claimants’ long term challenges.Providers will be paid primarily for supporting claimants into employment and helping them stay there for longer than ever before, with higher payments for supporting the hardest to help.We have said we want that person back in work and back in work on a sustained basis.If you do that we will pay you and we don’t mind how you get that outcome. Get that person into work and maintain them in work – that is what we pay forSo, that process, as you can imagine, means we are seeing a lot of innovation because providers are tailoring the product to what people need.And you can see the philosophy here that people have different requirements so the pricing mechanism forces the providers to deliver a tailored individualised service.Work Programme providers are free to design support based on individual and local need. Coupled with the incentives in the differential pricing mechanism, we expect the outcome to be a personalised service for participants.Three main types of payment is available for the provider. The first is a small amount of seed funding to assist with start up costs. It reduces in the first three years to zero in year four.If you are a provider, by getting someone into a job you will receive a job start payment. But more importantly you get money each month a participant stays in work, for a period of up to two years. This is designed to encourage providers both to find jobs that are appropriate for their claimants in the long term and to continue to support them once in work.It does not need to be the same job just stay in the world of work.It’s a much more flexible process.Clearly, if there are a lot of people with mental health problems claiming benefits and those providers want to make money – then they have to start to understand what works in getting people with mental health problems back into work – it’s got to happen.When we commissioned providers in the contracting process we made sure they had a rich supply chain which they were going to use – lots of different experiences and capabilities and specialisms and that was one of the main criteria by which we awarded contracts.For example, Paul Farmer’s organisation Mind is sub-contracted to a number of Work Programme providers to deliver specialist support as is Lord Adebowale’s organisation, Turning Point.I know there are concerns about the flow of referrals.We have made a considerable effort to improve recent referral rates.A key part of driving up referrals is to make sure the prime providers understand the kind of support that is available, what works, what it costs, and they need to start pricing it in.Clearly, if a mental health provider can boost a Work Programme provider’s performance it will be in that provider’s interests to use those services.We are investing a lot of money in this. We know some people need more help to get into work than others so we will pay providers more when they help those who are furthest from the labour market – up to £13,700 for someone who has been on incapacity benefits for some time.That is, as you are all aware, an order of magnitude beyond anything that any state, anywhere in the world has been prepared to pay to help people back into the workplace.In this process mental health providers may need to reconfigure their services to provide packages of support which are commercially viable, aimed at these providers and designed to deliver different levels of help.To accelerate the process of understanding this and to encourage shared understanding I held a roundtable in July this year, bringing together the Work Programme providers and mental health organisations.There was pretty rapid agreement that there was something to do here between both parties.An informal working group developed out of it and it is currently working to share knowledge and experience and develop a resource directory for Work Programme providers and mental health organisations to draw upon. I think that was published yesterday.That group is chaired by your very own Jeremy Clarke.Indeed I can see some of the Work Programme providers, who sit on the working group, in the audience today.Jeremy may have mentioned earlier in this conference that you have agreed a consensus statement setting out the shared understanding that will form the basis of this group’s work. I cannot emphasise enough how important this work is potentially. We are developing a bank of evidence demonstrating what works; it will mean providers will have the confidence to pull in the mental health teams to be part of the support for these individuals.For Work Programme providers it is about getting the information about how and when to bring in specialist services and where they will have the impact when they are pricing out someone’s journey back to work.The other thing as we develop this, I think it will be part of the process of removing stigma associated with mental health issues.One of the things we know is that very often the things people need to help them into the workplace are not very costly or very complicated, because small changes can make big differences.What I would like to see out of this is a common system of measurement so mental health providers can clearly demonstrate how the support they offer can improve someone’s health and contributed to their return to work.I was very interested in the (PHQ9 and GAD7) measurements that Jeremy recently described to me which are currently being used to assess mental health.I am not going to pre-judge what the industry comes out with but clearly there is some basis upon which we needs and prescribe suitable treatment and I wonder if something like this could build.I know this is a completely different way of thinking about mental health services but it is one I firmly believe has got potential to really make us think hard about the very best ways we can support people.As you look at Government services more generally it is the way that Government services are increasingly going to develop.I think what I am saying is that this is really important because payment by results works.For the simple reason that if you have a payment by results model which says get someone help next week and it works, then they will get help next week.You don’t have that system you end up with a rations system where you might get help for someone in 14 weeks and the whole process is not effective.That is why this is a methodology which is about making sure what is done applies to the individual.There are a lot of building blocks around to support this work.The national Occupational Health Advice services have proven to be a really valuable resource for small and medium-sized businesses dealing with employee health problems at work, including mental ill health.Because of that value we are pleased to be able to continue funding these services.Earlier this week independent reviewers Dame Carol Black, National Director for Health and Work and David Frost, formerly of the British Chambers of Commerce, published their review of managing sickness absence.One of the things highlighted by the review was the importance of early intervention.I am hoping we can develop much better and earlier intervention for people at risk of falling out of work.Clearly it is much better to intervene early than to wait months, maybe years before starting effective intervention.The review recommended that we start providing independent support after four weeks of receiving sick pay.This is an independent report and it shows that people can now wait up to 28 weeks without any effective supportMy job is to cut in at an early stage to get that supportClearly, this is an independent report it sets a lot of challenges for Government.But I have been tasked with making sure that we do deliver a system for getting on top of sickness absence.We are considering their recommendations carefully but I think in years to come this could become a key element of intervention and support by the state and industry to help people manage their health and remain in work.We have specialist disability employment programmes including Work Choice, which provide support for those disabled people who face the most complex barriers to getting and keeping a job.Support is also available through the Government’s Access to Work programme, which is designed to meet the extra costs of overcoming the barriers disabled people face in getting and keeping jobs.The shocking fact is that at the moment fewer than two per cent of people using Access to Work are people with mental health issues, despite the fact that poor mental health is the single largest reason people are signed off work.One of the things I am keen to change is to make sure that money is pushed much more towards the mental health area.As a first step, we are in the process of letting specialist contracts designed to encourage take up of Access to Work by people with mental health issues.One of the first things we are doing is letting specialist contracts designed to encourage take up of Access to Work by people with mental health issues.Going forward, we are currently considering the responses arising from an independent review of employment services for people with disabilities – the Sayce Review.Many people came forward with ideas around how Access to Work could work better. We hope to be able to announce our plans for this and other employment support services soon.I am currently taking the Welfare Reform Bill through the House of Lords.The essential heart of that Bill is the creation of a new benefit, Universal Credit, which sweeps away many of the existing income based benefits into one.Why are we doing this, what are the attractions of it?Firstly it is simple. Rather than a multitude of different benefits, delivered by different organisations, with different criteria with different overlapping complexities – that all goes and we will have one application form for one streamlined benefit.Secondly, it is designed in a way to mean work will pay.The structure of it means if you earn extra money, you’ll have extra money in your pocket – amazingly that is not the position today.One application form for one streamlined benefit.It will be predictable. We will withdraw your benefit money as you earn more on a consistent basis at a clear and consistent rate.We’ve infantilised people, we’ve frozen them, we’ve made it impossible for them to plan their lives because they don’t know how the state benefit system will interact with them if they change their lives.The other thing we are doing is creating a real time link between what people are earning and what we will pay them under Universal Credit. So, what that means is that there is immediacy about the system. In the month when you don’t earn very much money because there is some problem the Universal Credit goes up, that month to match the shortfall.So, for many of the people with fluctuating conditions, the fear of a benefits system that is so rigid will go away. You won’t have to report your earnings each month because that information will already be there.The fear so many people have that they may have another episode of mental ill health, be unable to work, and then the devastating effect that will have on their family’s finances and themselves. That is going to be very significantly reduced.For those claiming Employment and Support Allowance we are working with Mind and others to ensure the assessments we have in place are suitably nuanced and therefore able to accurately assess the needs and abilities of people with mental health conditions.As I said at the start, we are gaining a much deeper understanding of the interaction between employment and health.We are learning from each other.This is great – it’s much more collaborative between employment and mental health services have been in the past.But the thinking has remained quite separate.We don’t want to be in a position where we are just adding services on here and there to what we already do.The challenge we have is to actually combine the services between health and employment so we are working together not putting bits and pieces on our own product.So what we are doing is very radical, it has lots of implications, it will change the way we do things in a lot of industries, in a lot of areas.I think in this area the impact will be wholly beneficial and incredibly valuable and useful.And I think that will be true for a long time coming. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/25-11-11.shtml Lord Freud Mental health and employment 2011-11-25 Department for Work and Pensions New Savoy Partnership Conference
Content22 November 2011Maria Miller MPMinister for Disabled PeopleDisability Rights UK launchDisability Rights UK ConferenceTuesday 22 November 2011[Check against delivery]Thank you for inviting me here today at your launch.I have no doubt thatDisability Rights UKwill make a massive difference to improving the lives of disabled people in Britain.And I would like to congratulate Liz Sayce on her appointment as Chief Executive. It is well deserved.Radar has been at forefront of disability rights movement for nearly a century.The National Centre for Independent Living has helped give disabled people more choice and control over own lives.Disability Alliance has also worked hard to relieve poverty and improve the living standards of disabled people.Everybody in this room knows how much you have done for disabled people.And I want to thank all three organisations for all that you have achieved.I now believe as Disability Rights UK, you will be more powerful together, speaking with one voice.This is a really important development and we should celebrate it.In the workshops today you will have heard more details about how you and other organisations are already helping to shape Government policy.But how do we get even more input from disabled people in the decision making process?Well, we have developed the Access to Elected Office strategy. This will provide training, development and funding to help more disabled people become MPs, councillors and other elected posts.And RADAR also has the Disability Dialogue scheme, to encourage disabled constituents and local disability organisations to engage in the democratic process.I recently attended a reception hosted by RADAR to see how the scheme supports disabled people to feel more confident about meeting their MPs. And to give MPs of all parties increased confidence to communicate with and represent their disabled constituents effectively.At every level we want to see individual disabled people driving change.And because this is so important, we are investing an extra £3 million to help disabled people’s user led organisations grow and develop.These grassroots organisations have first hand experience of what disabled people really need.And stronger, more robust organisations will give disabled people more influence.Richard Watts from the Essex Coalition is helping get this project off the ground as joint National Lead with Independent Living and Office for Disability Issues [ODI].In addition we have appointed 12 ambassadors representing all areas of England. Part of their role is to share expertise and best practice.We are working to develop a pool of volunteer experts who can help with skills the organisations may lack, for example in human resources, business planning and financial management.I want every disabled person to have access to a disabled people’s user led organisation.Because this is the kind of support individual disabled people need to deliver real independence so they can make their own choices, have full control over their lives and achieve their full potential.Another way we are asking for disabled people to get involved, is on the disability strategy.Working with ODI, we will provide a framework for discussion centred on three key principles:realising aspirationsindividual control, and changing attitudes and behaviours.We will shortly publish a discussion paper so disabled people can give us their views and shape the future strategy.And as I previously mentioned, you are already leading the way in putting disabled people at the forefront of the decision making process.You have helped secure a more just and equal society for disabled people in the past.And with the formation ofDisability Rights UKI know you will continue to do the same in the future. And I wish you every success. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/22-11-11.shtml Maria Miller MP Disability Rights UK launch 2011-11-22 Department for Work and Pensions Disability Rights UK launch
Content3 November 2011The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MPMinister for EmploymentDeregulating to support businessTrade Association Best Practice ExchangeThursday 3 November 2011[Check against delivery]I think it’s very appropriate to have a BIS [Department for Business, Innovation & Skills] speaker and a DWP speaker side by side because what we are trying to do is join up Government in a way that has often not happened.John Hayes, the Skills Minister and I work enormously closely together, Mark Prisk the Small Business Minister and I work very closely together.We have a shared objective, from their point of view to get business growing and developing, from my point of view to get business growing and developing and creating jobs.Since I am the person who does the monthly unemployment figures for the Government you will understand that I am much happier when business is doing well than doing badly.The truth is when faced with uncertain markets many businesses understandably go in to “survival mode” – just doing the bare minimum to weather the storm.But often it is those businesses which seek to do more than just survive that manage the best.Those companies that continue to improve and experiment and innovate are often best placed to take advantage of those opportunities that do come along.So, what I think is great about this event today is that by coming together to share best practice, to learn from each other on behalf of your members to continue to improve despite, or maybe in response to, the difficult economic climate.I hope you will do your bit in helping that process of growth and improvement happen.But we are, facing some challenging economic times.We are not part of the Eurozone but we are feeling the chill winds of the crisis in the Eurozone.We are not immune, though we are not members.It reminds us how closely global markets are entwined and how important it is to secure growth and maintain a stable UK economy.That is why first and foremost we remain focused upon reducing the deficit, but also alongside that work we will do everything we can to stimulate the economy, and provide support to get people into employment.The main challenge we face continues to be that one of growth.One of the most important lessons the economic events of the last few years has taught us is that growth has to be based upon innovation and enterprise.Without that we cannot build the wealth we need for the future.That process has to be led by the private sector.So what we have to do is support the private sector to do what it does best, innovate, to create jobs and ultimately increase wealth.We’ve made a start.The headline rate of corporation tax is coming down to the lowest level among the major economies.We’re targeting financial support towards manufacturing, infrastructure investment, and research and development through the regional growth fund.We’ve revived and modernised enterprise zones to encourage new investment in parts of those parts of the country where the private sector is too weak.We are making real practical changes that are reducing the burden on business and stimulating the economy.We have set ourselves a challenge.To reduce the overall burden of regulation rather than increase it.For new regulations we have a one in, one out policy.And we are scrutinising existing regulations with the aim of reducing and simplifying as much as we possibly can.The Red Tape Challenge, which asks people to report bad regulation, has already looked at 400 regulations in retail and hospitality – over half of those will be simplified or scrapped all together.Now my bit encompasses one of the most high profile areas of regulation, health and safety, and I am absolutely committed to the challenge of reducing regulation in this area.I think good health and safety is vital to good business. It is not something you can ignore.In a world where so much depends on brand and reputation, serious injuries and worse in the workplace can do huge damage to a company’s reputation.Britain has the best record in Europe on real health and safety. Something I don’t think our European partners always realise. It’s a record we should be proud of and should aim to retain.But we also have one of the worst records in Europe for pointless health and safety red tape. That’s a record we should aim to lose as quickly as possible.Last year Lord Young recommended a series of changes that will ease the burden on business – ranging from simplified guidelines for retailers to a new system of accreditation for health and safety consultants that will outlaw cowboy advisers. I absolutely echo the previous point about seeking advice, we do want to make sure though, where we can, that the advice provided is quality advice and not provided by people with no qualifications.We are also changing the justice system to deter trivial legal cases.We’ve already implemented most of Lord Young’s recommendations that apply to business.Many more changes are going to be coming through in new legislation in the next session of Parliament so that we can put into practice the recommendations he made to us.But we are not stopping there.Later this month Professor Ragnar Löfstedt, who is head of risk management at Kings College London, is going to make a further set of recommendations to us aimed particularly at the regulatory regime as it affects business.What we want to do is to reduce the risk of trivial legal action, we want to create a more consistent system for businesses – so you aren’t told one thing in one town and another thing in another.It is going to be, I think, a comprehensive set of recommendations. My aim is to press ahead with changes as quickly as possible.We are also doing something a little different because when Professor Löfstedt publishes his report here, he and I will then head off to Brussels where we are going to do a presentation of his recommendations to the European Parliament with a view to starting the debate that is going to take place in the EU over the next few years about the future of health and safety legislation.What we want to do is rein back to a position where health and safety is based on science and not assumption, where risk is dealt with where it is genuine but we don’t end up imposing unnecessary and costly regulations on business.There is no point protecting someone when that job disappears and goes to another part of the worldGood health and safety is important. Unnecessary red tape that costs jobs absolutely must not happen, especially in the current climate.My philosophy on health and safety is very simple.We should be tough on employers who risk death or serious injury. But we should leave the rest to get on with their work with as little interference as possible.My aim is to build our regulatory system so it does just that.It is all about reducing the cost to business, whilst continuing to keep people safe and supporting good practice.Ultimately we need a deregulation agenda that delivers growth and means jobs.You mentioned briefly the pensions issue. One of the things I want to say is that we have worked hard to find a better balance with the introduction of the new system of pensions in 2012.It is right and proper we should ensure that we do not have people entering retirement with no provision at all for their income after they have retired, dependent entirely upon the state and basically means tested pensions.At the same time we have recognised some of the pressures that change puts on small business and we have modified and developed the proposals so they are a more realistic package and a better balance between the need to get people to provide for their retirement and the need to reflect the pressures on small business.The second big challenge that we face that is covered by my responsibilities is over that whole issue of employment and the natural desire on all of our parts to keep unemployment as low as possible.We have to ensure that as we deliver growth we have a strong, skilled, enthusiastic work force ready to take up jobs as they become available.Getting the unemployed back to work cannot be a philanthropic exercise for business.It has got to be something which is a win-win situation.We have businesses which are growing and are still expanding and recruiting people, we have got to make sure that the people who are there for them to recruit are ready and motivated and willing to enter the workplace and get the job done.And there’s a role for your members in helping us in our strategy to deliver that situation.We want to make sure that the skills people have are relevant to the jobs you need them to do.We want to work with Trade Associations and your members to deliver relevant training and experience.In particular, with young people facing big challenges to help them to take a step into the workplace but in a way that is helpful to business and is not a burden on small business.We recently launched a number of sector-based work academies across England.The new academies offer a combination of training, short training modules, work experience and a guaranteed job interview for up to 50,000 people over the next two years.Sector-based work academies will respond to local labour market demand, focusing on industries where jobs are available such as construction, contact centres, hospitality, logistics, and retail.We are asking employers to support sector-based work academies by offering work experience placements and, where appropriate, guaranteed job interviews to participants.We’ve also extended the amount of time young people claiming benefits can fill a work experience placement without it affecting their benefits. It is now eight weeks – it was previously less than a month.We had this daft situation that somebody who found a good work experience placement whilst on benefits couldn’t do it.What that means is young people can get a proper shot at showing what they are capable of doing in a working environment and employers have a real opportunity to see what they can do.So, part one of that strategy to try to ensure we get the unemployed back in to work, but we do it in a way that is helpful to your members, is to create a situation where there’s almost a test period for those young people.What we know is that if young people do a period of work experience, either in combination with a training module through sector based work academies, or through our work experience scheme which simply places people for up to eight weeks in a work experience placement, we know they have a greater propensity to get a job at the end of it.But what we also know is that eight weeks is a period which gives a potential employer an opportunity to really look at someone and say are they the right person for my organisation.So if we can deliver, through Jobcentre Plus, a short list of three or four people to fill a work experience opportunity, your members can pick one, give them that trial period. It’s a win-win because even if the job isn’t there that young person is getting the experience and if the job is there it makes the recruitment a whole lot easier and cheaper.I think also it breaks down the barriers that sometimes exists for young people where there is a reluctance to take on someone with no experience but when you have tried them and got a sense of what they can do there’s a greater willingness to take them on.And then of course, taking them on we have created a large number of new apprenticeships so there is a real opportunity for young people who have been through that process of work experience or a combination of work experience and training and then to move on with employers into a long term apprenticeship.Alongside that for the longer term unemployed is the Work Programme.The Work Programme offers a further great opportunity for small business. It is all about helping the long term unemployed into work. It is not about dealing with a group of people who are feckless and don’t want to work. If you sit down and talk in groups with those who are now on the Work Programme they are motivated people whose lives have gone wrong, who want to get back into work.What we have done is, we have put together, what we believe the biggest welfare to work programme this country has ever seen.Almost certainly the biggest payment by results scheme in the world.It’s designed to make a lasting difference to those long term unemployed.The way it works is this, effectively: teams of specialist organisations all over the country providing personalised back to work support at their own expense.They are only paid when they succeed, not just in getting someone back to work, but in helping them stay there for as long as 26 monthsIt’s still early days, but what we are finding is that more and more employers are turning to the Work Programme to recruit new staff.  The reality is recruitment is a grind, especially if you are a small business.You have to spend the money on advertising.Sometimes you get too many CVs, sometimes you get none at all.You’ve got the slog of sifting them, and hoping you’ve picked the right one.What the Work Programme does is offers small and medium size business that service for free.The providers will sift the potential candidates that they are working with, hundreds of people, potentially thousands, and pick out a small number who are potentially right for your business.They will deliver that small selection to you to choose from.And when you take someone on, Work Programme providers will want to work with you and the recruit, to make sure they can stay at work – so if there are problems there is someone at the end of the phone line with the expertise to come in and help sort those problems out.I think, for many small businesses that’s a much better way to recruit.We think there is an opportunity to encourage your members up and down the country to get to know your local Work Programme providers, we can provide all the contacts for you, build ties, build relationships with people who will get to know the businesses well and will be able to help short cut, delivering a fast track, simple recruitment process which will save time and money and deliver the right people for the organisation, that I hope is a  real added value dimension to what we are doing for small businesses.Ladies and gentlemen, the challenge we face is very clear, it is all about growth, through enterprise.And we have a real commitment, within the DWP, with BIS, within the Treasury right across Government to making sure we help you grow your businesses and deliver what we need in terms of economic and employment growth.We can restore economic stability, create jobs, build up our position as a leading world economy.We all have work to do to get there, trade associations, employers, Government, working together.I think today’s Best Practice Exchange demonstrates a keenness to develop, to learn from each other, to innovate and grow.I think UK business has been stifled for too long. But some of the things I have talked about today are all about how we are now working hard to remove the collar of red tape that holds back businesses, that costs money that makes us less competitive.Ultimately we all have a part to play in delivering that change. It is a complicated jigsaw puzzle; a number of different pieces need to put into this jigsaw if we are going to deliver what must become a real enterprise focused environment in the UK.But my commitment to you is that all of us in Government, officials, politicians alike, recognise the need for this to happen, recognise that the success of your members is crucial to all of our success for the future.We are determined to build that jigsaw as quickly as possible to create an environment were working together can see sustainable growth, in employment and economic activity and to see your businesses and your members go from success to success.Thank you. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/03-11-11.shtml Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP Deregulating to support business 2011-11-03 Department for Work and Pensions Deregulating to support business
Content31 October 2011The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of State for Work and PensionsKinship and Family in an Ageing societyMichael Young Memorial LectureMonday 31 October 2011[Check against delivery]IntroductionIt’s a pleasure to be here tonight to celebrate the life and work of Michael Young.Lord Young was a visionary of our time.His approach to public service reform was a lesson to us all.A lesson that we achieve far less from sitting in ivory towers drawing scientific conclusions on public policy……and far more from actually listening to ordinary people, understanding their problems, and proposing practical solutions.I’m also very grateful to the Young Foundation and Grandparents Plus for arranging for me to be here tonight, and I congratulate them on reaching their 5th and 10th anniversaries respectively.Both organisations are building an honourable legacy for Lord Young.7 billionth personI’d like to begin this evening by considering a remarkable fact.Today, the United Nations announced the birth of the world’s 7 billionth person.What is notable is that the world’s 6 billionth person – Adnan Mevic of Sarajevo, Bosnia – has only just celebrated histwelfth birthday.So that’s an extra one billion people in the world, within a space of just over a decade.Compare that to the fact that it took 250,000 years to reach 1 billion people in around 1800, and over a century more to reach 2 billion in 1927.The huge population growth we’ve seen in recent decades has given rise to some incredibly young societies.Take Zambia, where half of the population are under the age of 16.But there is another side to this story.For while countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have been getting progressively younger, societies in the West have been ageing at a tremendous rate.Ageing populationIn the last century or so the UK has seen a surge in the retired population relative to those in work.So back in 1926 – when the State Pension age was first set – we had some nine people of working age for every pensioner.Today, that ratio is just 3:1, and it will be moving closer to 2:1 by the second half of this century.  Sitting behind this shift are declining fertility rates and huge improvements in medical science, pushing life expectancy inexorably upwards.Take the fact that a baby boy born today has a one in four chance of making it to 100.The chance of a baby girl making it to 100 is one in three.Young versus old societiesIn the press coverage of the UN’s Population Report there have been a number of contrasts drawn between these younger and older societies.When discussing the younger societies, the talk was a “demographic dividend” – a chance for high investment and growth on the back of a young workforce, as long as the right conditions can be fostered.But when focus turned to the ageing societies the “dividend” became a “liability”, with foreboding descriptions of “disproportionately more old people depending upon a smaller generation behind them”.This was followed by statistics about how many “dependents” western societies would have in relation to the number of working-age adults.Ageing challengeNow I am the first to accept that we face a demographic challenge.Age-related spending currently accounts for some 12 per cent of GDP, and is projected to grow by around 5 per cent of GDP by 2060.And I’m certainly concerned for the next generation – a generation that will have to foot the bill for a crippling national debt, at the same time as helping to pay for their parents retirementandtrying to save for their own.But if we continue to use the language of “dependency” to talk about older people in our society then we will get nowhere.As Michael Young recognised, we miss the point when we arbitrarily cut the life-cycle into standard segments, with:“People turned into numbers and the galaxy of differences between individuals deliberately ignored.”We have to look at how we can change things so that older people areno longerseen as a liability, but are more and more involved in society……changing the attitudes that push them to the sidelines……and recognising the vital roles they must play in the future.Working longerSo we need to change our attitude to ageing.Someone of 60 or 65 can no longer be lazily considered as “past it” – such attitudes are patronising and just plain wrong.When I arrived in the Department, British business could still force someone to retire at 65 even if they didn’t want to.This process was called the Default Retirement Age.It led to lazy business practices and a failure to find out how best to use the talent and experience of an older workforce.As Young eloquently put it, this provision meant that:“When the clock strikes sixty-five, the   magic wand of the State turns not coachmen into mice but men intoold men…[with] no transition. When the wand is waved millions of people have at once to obey”.Well I am enormously proud that this Coalition Government acted on Young’s admonition and finally consigned the Default Retirement Age to the dustbin of historical discrimination.But that is only the start.We need businesses to stop thinking of old people as having a “sell by date”, and to look more closely at the skills and experience they bring with them.At my Department we’ve been working with employers and employer organisations through the Age Positive initiative, challenging outdated assumptions about older people.There certainly seems to be a trend in the right direction – the past decade has seen the age at which people leave the labour market increase.And this is likely to continue, especially once you factor in the changes we’re making to the State Pension age – changes that are difficult but necessary, given how much life expectancy has changed since the State Pension age was first set.But to keep all of these changes on track, we have to challenge the damaging claim that older workers block employment opportunities for young people.This is a fallacy, based on the idea that there is a fixed amount of work available in the economy.In actual fact, evidence from both the UK and abroad suggests that this is far from the case, and that having more people in work is likely toincreasethe availability of jobs through the effect it has on growth.Work-sharingNonetheless, I wonder if there is more society could do to match the work of younger and older people.For example could UK businesses look more intelligently at sharing work between older people……who may be looking to do fewer hours...…and the young, who are keen to start getting some experience?I understand that Germany has some experience with intergenerational mentoring, where older people work with young school leavers to help them find their way into employment. I leave this to the social innovators out there – the Michael Youngs of today – to think about some more.Older people caringBut this isn’t all about work.Far from simply being members of the labour force, the role that older people can – and in many cases do – play in wider society, is enormous.Whether it be volunteering, providing social care, or looking after grandchildren, we all gain hugely from the time and commitment that many older people give.We ignore this at our peril.Though the vast majority of older people give their time willingly……and indeed get great pleasure out of doing so……we should not forget that many of the jobs they undertake would otherwise fall on the state.This is family doing what family does best – quietly, with great commitment, carrying out its duties.But I’ve long believed that the state has become ambivalent about the importance of family structure.Not just decent parenting but also the role of the extended family.In an increasingly atomised society, and in a context of growing family breakdown, it is all the more important that we continue to support, celebrate and hold together these wider relationships.Without them society would simply collapse.So far from older people being “dependents” supported by the rest of us, it is worth reminding ourselves of the extent to which society is dependent onthem.The economic backdropAs a country we face an immense economic challenge at the moment.Sorting out our huge budget deficit and paying off our enormous debt is a priority if we are to restore growth at a sustainable level.But we also need to recognise that this isn’t all just about economics.It is also about how families can support each other so that they can take advantage of any work opportunities in the future.Where possible we’ve tried to design our reforms so that they make this kind of support and caring easier and encourage it where it matters most.Grandparent Credits and ChildcareThis is something my colleagues at the Department for Health and the Department for Education have been working on carefully, from investing money in short breaks for carers to improving GP awareness of carer issues.And at my Department one of the first changes we made on coming into Government was the introduction of “Grandparents Credits”, meaning that those below State Pension age can start building up credits for a State Pension if they are caring for young children rather than working.This is about recognising thehugelyvaluable contribution this kind of caring makes to many children’s lives.I also believe we’ve managed to strike an important balance with Childcare Support through the benefits system.When we introduce the Universal Credit we’ll be saying – for the first time – that working parents can get help with their childcare costs even when they are working fewer than 16 hours a week.This is about saying that it should pay to go back to work no matter how many hours you do – and I hope it has the potential to ease childcare responsibilities for the extended family as well as for parents.Kinship care and conditionalityAnother issue that I know has been raised is the conditionality regime in the benefits system.Kinship carers accessing the benefit system under the new system will fall under the same conditionality rules as biological parents.But, crucially, there is the flexibility available for the Jobcentre to take their particular circumstances into account.We want kinship carers to be looked at on a case by case basis.And the Jobcentre absolutely has the power – indeed the responsibility – tonotimpose full-time work search and availability requirements on carers of younger children.There arespecific safeguardson this in the Welfare Reform Bill.Even where work-related requirements do apply, advisers will have broad discretion to limit these, taking account of an individual’s caring responsibilities.So I hope this strikes the right balance.But I’m always willing to listen on this kind of thing – and we’re currently talking to kinship care organisations to understand their priorities.I’ve specifically asked my colleague Lord Freud to look at the kinship carer issue……as we have been approached by a number of people on this.Not just about GovernmentBut none of this is just about what Government can do.As I think Michael Young would have agreed, most of the best ideas in the world come from outside Government.I understand Lord Young pioneered a venture called LinkAge, bringing together older people without grandchildren, and young people without grandparents.My own colleague Lord Freud has been personally involved for a number of years now with a very similar project known as Grandmentors – something he helped to set up.And the organisation I founded – the Centre for Social Justice – recently gave an award to a project in Liverpool called “Growing Old Together” which takes young people into care homes and sheltered housing schemes to spend time with the residents and build relationships with them.This brings me back to the point about atomisation – projects like these can help reconnect the stretched relationships we find in an increasingly mobile and fluid society.But remember that these important projects have been driven largely from outside Government.Out there, in our local communities……and amongst our social innovators……are where the real change will happen.The change we need if we’re to move from viewing our older people as dependents, to seeing them as one of the lynchpins of our society.Ageing WellI’m pleased to say this is something my Department have started to understand.  When we came in to Government we launched the Ageing Well programme, which is about driving better services for older people at a local level.Although this programme was already being considered when we entered Government, we were insistent that it needed to be reconfigured so that it drew much more from local knowledge and expertise.The Young Foundation has been playing a critical role in this project, and I thank them for their continued hard work.Age Action AllianceIn addition to this we recently helped launch the Age Action Alliance……an ever-growing partnership of public, private and civil society organisations……which is taking forward a preventative, community based approach to improving the quality of life of the worst off older people.This hardly involves central Government at all.We provide a small secretariat, but that is really just facilitating the work of over one hundred organisations whoknow what works– including a number of those represented here tonight.ConclusionSo these are some of the areas that we – and society at large – are working on.But what is more important is that we recognise what each of these different projectsmeans.A rejection of the idea of older people as dependents, or a burden……and an acceptance that we will need to change our institutions to ensure this overarching narrative becomes a reality.We need to redesign our retirement system so that older people are encouraged to work longer – and are able to do so if they want to.We need to think hard about the way we recognise and reward caring, so that we don’t lose the invaluable support from friends and family that currently exists.And we need to work more closely with local groups to redesign projects, products and services so that they are better suited to an older society – and one which is increasingly active.   Lord Young once wrote about the UK as a society that has:      “enjoyed a demographic revolution, even if it has not yet enjoyed it as much as [it]    could”.With the right changes……and a firm commitment……perhaps we can fulfil Lord Young’s vision……and start to enjoy our older society that little bit more.In fact, maybe now is the time to say that this is the age of the older society. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/31-10-11.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Kinship and Family in an Ageing society – Michael Young Memorial Lecture 2011-10-31 Department for Work and Pensions Kinship and Family in an Ageing society
Content27 October 2011Maria Miller MPMinister for Disabled PeopleCo-production: working with disabled people from the outsetSurreyCoalition AGMThursday 27 October 2011[Check against delivery]I’d really like to take this opportunity to thank absolutely everybody in this room for the work that they do to support disabled people throughout Surrey.It’s absolutely excellent to see this organisation thriving.It is the Government’s priority to make sure we support disabled people throughout the country to make their own choices and have control over their own lives so that they can reach their full potential.The sort of control that, I think in Surrey, you clearly have, through the support you get from the Surrey CoalitionWe aim to do this by working with disabled people to co-produce policy and make sure that we work together to design the programmes that we hope will support disabled people to reach that potential.I know the Surrey Coalition has been involved in this work, as well as providing important on-the-ground support to disabled people.Your work makes a huge difference to disabled people’s lives every single day.And that should be celebrated and I hope part of your AGM is about celebrating that.Because user led organisations, like the Surrey Coalition are a key part of the co-production of policy.The UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People stipulates specifically that Government must consider how new policies affect disabled people.The best way to do that, I think, is to ensure disabled people are involved at the start of the process.Now Government is getting a bit better at doing this but I’m sure we could do a lot better.We need to really take our lead from organisations like you by making sure disabled people are involved in developing policies and services right from the start.User led organisations like you are really important in that process.I want to make sure that up and down the country disabled people have the same opportunities as the disabled people in Surrey do.And have access to strong and robust user led organisations like you clearly have here, in this part of the world.That’s why we have decided that, although we’ve got lots of pressures on our money at the moment, we will take £3 million and invest in developing user led organisations.Richard Watts from the Essex Coalition, which you may know, has been selected to join us as joint National Lead to get this project off the ground.And he will work in partnership with the Office for Disability Issues, which many of you might know is part of the Government’s support for disabled people.In addition we have appointed 12 ambassadors broadly representing every bit of England to support him in this work – including three in the South East.We have already agreed some really clear actions as a result of this.We have a pot of money which we are using to help user led organisations to get up to speed and to be really active.We have already agreed payments from a facilitation fund that is part of the project.This includes money for an interactive smart board for a group called Voice for All in Chorley. So this group, which is made up of people with learning disabilities, can take greater control over their communications and be less reliant on other people.The facilitation fund has also agreed to provide funding for mentor support for young people with learning disabilities who run a radio show for people with learning disabilities in Oxfordshire.It’s really important for organisations to get this support but also for established organisations, like you, to be able to share your knowledge and expertise so we can have a really strong national network of user led organisations, for everyone to benefit from.I know here in Surrey you already work very closely with the local authority. That’s something I’d like to see more of in other parts of the country. It is good practice and I think that’s the sort of thing that this project will help to spread.I would also like to commend the Surrey Coalition for your involvement in the South East Network of Disabled People’s Organisations. I know you were a founding member and you are really at the forefront of so much of this work.And whilst we are offering congratulations I would also like to congratulate Nick Danagher on his new role as Policy and Development Officer for the South East Network.It is strong networks like yours that will enable user led organisations to both support disabled people and help everybody better influence policy.For our part, what we have to do as a Government is be very clear about the direction we are going in.I have to say to you I think we have got a very clear direction – it’s about making sure that we have support for individual need.So individual disabled people get the support they need, to be able to do the best that they can and to be able to participate in the way they want to participate.To provide support that enables disabled people to exercise choice and control over their own lives.To provide support that delivers true independence.Our Government reforms will ensure appropriate support is available for all disabled people – whether in work or out of work.In fact, in many cases, disabled people facing the most difficult barriers will actually be better off under the new systems we are putting forward.For those who are able to work, we are going to provide a lot of support to help them access mainstream employment.Disabled people who need intensive or indeed ongoing support will be helped into work through Work Choice, which many of you will already be aware of.This provides consistent, quality support based on an individual’s needs. We estimate this approach could help an average of 9,000 disabled people into work each year.The vast majority of people will be helped by the Work Programme. I know that is one of the things that you will be talking about a bit later on today.I know there are some specific questions and I hope that I can just take a minute now to answer some of those but if I don’t answer all of them then you can ask me questions at the end too.In their proposals for the Work Programme, the organisations which put the bids in to deliver it were encouraged to work with local partners to make sure that they reflected the specific needs of the areas they planned to work in, and to take into account things going on already, including local strategies, existing services.And when we looked at the Work Programme bids, we looked at how the providers had planned to work with disabled people and also disabled people’s organisations.So, the evaluation of the bids, also took into account how far the people who were putting forward these bids, the providers, had reflected what was going on in the local community by working with local partners, but importantly also third sector organisations.Here in Surrey, the Work Programme includes the Disability Works Consortium which represents eight of the largest, most experienced disability support organisations in the area.This is in addition to a range of organisations like Action for Blind People, the Richmond Fellowship, and Mencap.Now it is still early days, the Work Programme has only been going for about three months. It is headed up by another local Surrey MP, Chris Grayling, who knows this area very well indeed.What I know he is doing is making sure we work hard with the providers of the Work Programme to ensure that we have a flow of harder to help claimants coming through to make sure we really reflect the needs of the community.He has also put in place something called the Merlin Standard, which will really keep a close eye on making sure that there’s fair treatment of those sub-contractors, many of whom will be third sector organisations, to make sure that we have a healthy development of good supply chains, including charitable organisations.But we can’t tell providers who they should contract with, and that’s an important point.The Work Programme is all about those main providers getting support right and we think they are best placed to do that.But we will keep a close eye on what is happening on the ground.If organisations want to be part of this contracting process then it’s really important to get to know the prime providers, and show that they can offer really specialist, effective support.I think the sort of investment I was talking about with regards to the user led organisations will help in that process.I encourage all of you to be trying to sell your services so people know how great the work is that you already do in your community.The contracting arrangements for the Work Programme are very flexible.I think there will be opportunities for more organisations to get involved in the Work Programme as it beds in and as requirements develop.But you really need to show that your services are great for disabled people in this area and the best ones that the Work Programme providers can offer.The Work Programme incentivises providers to help people who face the biggest challenges to getting into work by paying more to work with people who need more help to get into work – up to £14,000 in some cases.The payment is spread out so providers can only earn the maximum fee if an individual stays in work for up to two years.This means that for providers it is the hardest to help who can actually be the most attractive to help and that very much includes those disabled people, who perhaps have the biggest challenges to getting into work.In addition, the payment structure means the focus is on sustainable employment, long term work, it isn’t just about getting people into work, it’s about keeping them there.One of my colleagues, who is also a South East MP, recently said to me that he felt the Work Programme was “the best chance we have of breaking the cycle of long term unemployment for disabled people” – and I think he is right.And I’m pleased you will be hearing from your local Work Programme providers today.I think a major strength of the Work Programme is its flexibility. And the fact it can really tailor support around an individual’s needs.I want to make sure we deliver the same tailored support for disabled people across the whole of the welfare spectrum.It is one of the reasons why we are reforming Disability Living Allowance [DLA] and replacing it with Personal Independence Payments [PIP].We know from the DLA consultation that at the moment DLA actually doesn’t always get through to the people who need it the most.Too many people are not getting the support they need because the assessment for DLA is very rigid.Many of you will know and perhaps even campaigned to get DLA to support people who are blind.It took a change in the law to get DLA to support blind people with the higher rate mobility component.That complication and rigidity is something we need to change.The current DLA system has been in place for almost 20 years and has not kept pace with the way our views of disability have changed over that time.We are working very closely with disability groups to make sure the assessment for Personal Independence Payments delivers a more accurate picture of the additional costs someone faces as a result of their impairment.And we are building in regular reassessments, in an appropriate way, so we can pick up any changes in someone’s conditions.At the moment I am concerned that people’s conditions can get better or indeed deteriorate and we have no way of knowing.We estimate there are around £600 million going out in overpayments but actually even more importantly we think around £190 million is not getting through to people whose conditions have deteriorated.I know that a lot of people in this room will be concerned about changes to DLA and the new PIP assessments. I know that and it’s one of the reasons I am here today to listen to any concerns you have.We have had an extensive consultation and that is continuing and I hope that Surrey Coalition can continue to give us the benefit of your experience as we press on with this reform.I know you also have some concerns around the Work Capability Assessment for Employment and Support Allowance.We have been working on trying to improve the Work Capability Assessment, again something Chris Grayling has been working on, alongside Professor Harrington.ESA is a very different benefit to PIP, which is not related to work, paid for very different reasons and the assessments will not be the same.But I am keeping a very close eye on it, especially the work of Professor Harrington, as I think I can learn a lot from the work that he is doing to ensure the PIP will deliver a fairer, simpler non-means tested, non-taxable benefit that will really help disabled people both in and out of work.I understand there is a huge amount of change taking place at the moment.And I am absolutely determined to make sure disabled people continue to be fully involved in the changes we are making.We will shortly be publishing an update on the progress this country is making towards achieving the goals set out in the UN Convention on the rights of disabled people.I am going to use this work as the platform for the next major piece of work which I hope everyone in this room will be able to be involved in and that’s the development of a new disability strategy.If we take the UN Convention as a starting point I think we can, working together, formulate a clear strategy for disabled people.With that in mind we are going to be publishing a discussion paper in December to start that process.I want to hear from as many disabled people as possible about how they think the strategy should be framed with a view to developing a strategy by spring 2012.What you won’t get from me is something which is a final document; you won’t get from me something that has already been prescribed.What we are going to do is co-produce it from the start.Disabled people will absolutely be in the driving seat. The strategy will be shaped by your aspirations, your ambitions and your experience.But we are going to try to give a framework for discussion around three themes: individual control, realising aspirations and importantly, I think, changing attitudes.These are the three things that I’ve had raised with me time and time again.It doesn’t matter which disability group I meet, it doesn’t matter who I talk to, people’s concerns really fall under these three headings.We want to provide a strategy which is going to help everybody throughout Government to provide better services for disabled people and we need your help to do so.We want to provide the sort of tailored benefits and services so those who need help get the right level of support.We want to create a benefits system that encourages disabled people to fully participate in society, rather than locking them out of it, which is all too often the case at the moment.We want to support disabled people to make their own choices, have full control over their own lives and above all reach their full potential in life. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/27-10-11.shtml Maria Miller MP Co-production: working with disabled people from the outset 2011-10-27 Department for Work and Pensions Co-production: working with disabled people from the outset
Content20 October 2011Maria Miller MPMinister for Disabled PeopleEquality for Disabled PeopleDisability Capital ConferenceThursday 20 October 2011[Check against delivery]It’s important to recognise the practical work the Mayor is doing to support disabled people in London to live more independently.The Government wants to support disabled people to make their own choices, to have full control over their own lives and to reach their full potential.In part this is about taking practical measures, like those the Mayor has mentioned, to remove the physical barriers to independent living.This could involve making some basic adaptations so disabled people can live in their own homes, making transport facilities more accessible and ensuring public buildings are accessible to everyone, including disabled people.There is, of course, a requirement, in law, for organisations to anticipate necessary reasonable adjustments for disabled people to access their services.This not only encourages service providers to proactively consider how to make their businesses more accessible – it also provides disabled people with the right to challenge if the legal requirement is not met.But changes to legislation and improvements to physical accessibility can only go so far.We have not yet seen these changes translate into complete equality and independence for disabled people in their everyday lives.The Mayor and I know for disabled people to enjoy truly independent lives we must transform attitudes and support aspirations, as well as transforming buildings and buses.Too often it is societal barriers rather than the person’s impairment that prevents disabled people living independently.Findings on public perceptions of disabled people, published by the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) earlier this year, revealed that out dated attitudes about disability still exist.Worse yet, we know very well that prejudice exists. ODI’s findings showed that eight in ten people believe there is prejudice in society towards disabled people.This prejudice may not be expressed openly. Although we know from some of the dreadful hate crime cases we have encountered over the last few months that too often it is and in the most awful terms.Thankfully it is a minority who behave this way. But ODI’s research shows that prejudice about disabled people exists within many more people.Three quarters of people believe disabled people need caring for.This “benevolent prejudice” is perhaps the most prevalent. There are still many, well-meaning people, who believe disabled people need to be looked after, protected from the world, and supported in a way which means they are detached from mainstream society.It must be addressed because whilst well-meaning, it is harmful, holding disabled people back and preventing them from realising their full potential.This is particularly clear in education.We know that the aspirations of young disabled people are the same as those of young non-disabled people.But too often these aspirations go unfulfilled.The ODI findings discovered four in ten people admitted they thought disabled people could not be as productive as non-disabled people.We have a responsibility to support disabled young people to overcome the lack of expectation that surrounds them.The role of society should be to inspire young people, whether disabled or not, to achieve their full potential in life.I want to make sure that at every stage of their lives disabled people are encouraged and supported to make the most of the opportunities that are available to them.One of the things I am particularly interested in is developing a really clear route for disabled people through the education system and into work.In education – we know that the experience of disabled young people at school and beyond has an enormous impact on their ability to fulfil their potential.In the right environment, aspirations are encouraged and young disabled people will flourish.I want to ensure we create more of the “right kind of environments”.The Department for Education has recently consulted on how to support young disabled people at school and beyond to achieve their ambitions.The Special Educational Needs and Disability Green Paper set out far reaching changes to improve the support that young disabled people get from birth to adulthood.Proposals include a single assessment process andcombined education, health and care plan from birth to 25 years old.For the first time people with special educational needswill have one plan that follows them through from birthto adulthood.This is a really radical idea that many people have been talking about for a long time.Early intervention is of course key. A child’s early experiences can have such a powerful impact on their lives we cannot leave this to chance.We must ensure young disabled people are getting the right messages about what they are capable of from a young age. And for many disabled people, the short answer to that is anything they put their minds to.Following a recommendation from the Sayce Review, I have formed a new cross-government ministerial group on employment.One of the issues this group will be considering is how we can ensure young disabled people have the support they need to identify their path in life, achieve in education and move on into work and be the best they can be.But our philosophy is not just about making sure disabled people are able to do well at school, or even about smoothing the route into employment.It is about ensuring disabled people are able to fully take part in life – that means forming friendships and relationships, being spontaneous with friends, enjoying the freedoms many of us take for granted.And that means we have to really transform attitudes.The public perceptions research revealed that one in six people still feel discomfort and embarrassment around disabled people. This is a real barrier to equal participation in society.Changing such attitudes is difficult and takes place over a long period of time.But we have some real opportunities coming up to challenge out-dated perceptions of disabled people – as well as celebrating our sporting heroes, and inspiring new ones.London 2012 is the first Games to bring together the Olympics and the Paralympics.More than 100, 000 people applied for 1.14 million Paralympic Games tickets.Sixteen sports were oversubscribed in at least one price category, including athletics, swimming, and track cycling. Tickets for these events will be balloted.Having some sessions already oversubscribed a year before the Games, has never been seen before in the history of the Paralympic Games. To have such interest and hunger in the Games really is unprecedented.The Government wishes to build on the inspirational power of the Games by using this opportunity to encourage more disabled people to take part in sport and become involved in their communities and to challenge the perception of disabled people in society.The Paralympic Games will enjoy more UK airtime than ever before thanks to Channel 4 and BBC Radio, and overseas the Games will be broadcast in more territories than previous years. These Games will show disabled athletes performing at their best.And it’s not just the mainstream media and sporting worlds that have a role to play in changing attitudes towards disabled people.Government is responsible for setting the public agenda and has an important role to play in driving change.But it would be entirely wrong for Ministers alone to be at the forefront of this change – disabled people must lead change by telling us what they want, and of course, wider society has an integral role to play.Government departments are increasingly involving disabled people in developing government policies and services.We wantmoredisabled people to be involved in taking the decisions that affectalldisabled people.The Government is serious about this involvement. We want to ensure it is meaningful and representative and that disabled people have the tools they need to influence and engage in the right way.That is why we are investing £3 million in User Led Organisations (ULO) – groups that are run by disabled people, for disabled people.These organisations have a unique insight and are a powerful voice for the disabled people they represent both locally and nationally – as well as providing important support to disabled people.We want to secure their continued role by supporting them to develop their skills and build their experience.We want every disabled person to have access to a good ULO in their area so we will work with disabled people to improve coverage across the UK.We also want to see more disabled people in positions of influence.Direct, meaningful contact with disabled people plays a major role in promoting positive attitudes and this is why the participation of disabled people in public life and at work is so important.We want to support disabled people to become MPs, councillors, other elected officials. To put them at the heart of the decision making process.We recently asked disabled people what would make the biggest difference to them if they were to run for elected office.On the basis of their answers we have developed the Access to Elected Office strategy which includes practical measures such as training and development and funding to provide additional support with disability related costs.The change we want will be hard won.You cannot change attitudes overnight.But we have a very clear sense of what we are trying to achieve.Working alongside disabled people we want to create a completely accessible world – in every sense of the word.One in which disabled people have the adaptations they need to live in their own homes, are able to spontaneously go out with friends without having to make complicated travel arrangements and check accessibility as a matter of course.One in which society’s attitudes and expectations do not prevent disabled people from participating fully in every aspect of life.A world in which disabled people are able to live truly independent lives, achieve their aspirations, fulfil their potential and be the very best they can be. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/20-10-11.shtml Maria Miller MP Equality for Disabled People 2011-10-20 Department for Work and Pensions Equality for Disabled People
Content12 October 2011The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of State for Work and PensionsBritish Venture Capital AssociationWednesday 12 October 2011[Check against delivery]IntroductionIt is a pleasure to be here tonight.I know the economy is on everyone’s minds at the moment.No more so than in this audience.Today’s jobs figures are a sobering reminder of the challenge we face.But before we discuss where the economy is going, I’d like to reflect on where we have come from. Boom and bustIn the decade to 2008 we saw an uninterrupted period of growth, with employment levels up by over 2 million.Boom and bust had been eradicated – or so we were told…Of course we all know what happened when the bubble burst.But we cannot say that the warning signs weren’t there.Personal debt had boomed in the years leading up to the recession.The Centre for Social Justice warned that levels of personal debt were unsustainable in a report published that same year.Not long after, Northern Rock went to the wall.And it wasn’t just the banks that were overstretched – it was Governments too.In fact, the UK had the highest structural deficit of any country in the G7beforethe recession started.Deficit reductionWe were in 2010 that our priority was dealing with this damaging deficit.And this was a plan that got widespread support – from the OECD, to the IMF, to the CBI.It also received the support of the Credit Ratings Agencies, with Standard and Poors taking the UK’s Triple A rating off negative watch.This last step was crucial, and I think we underestimate it at our peril.While countries across Europe are facing soaring interest rates we have managed to maintain rates comparable to Germany’s, thanks to our consistency in holding the course.If we deviated from our plan – let’s say we spent just a few billion pounds more – we would face the serious risk of this extra spending being wiped out by billions of pounds more in higher interest costs for families, businesses, and taxpayers.You simply cannot borrow your way out of a debt crisis.No complacencyBut this does not mean we can be complacent – by any means.Today’s jobs figures serve as a sobering reminder that while we can protect our own interest rates, we cannot so easily protect against the international economic crisis.We are riding out a storm at the moment, but it is important that we stay the course.And it is also important that we do everything we can to stimulate growth.That doesn’t mean breaking our deficit reduction targets.It means reducing regulation, freeing up the economy, and getting money moving around the system once more.So we’re cutting taxes for businesses, reducing corporation tax to the lowest rate in the G7 by 2014. We’re increasing capital spending on roads and railways, even at a time of deficit reduction.And we’ve struck a deal with the big high street lenders to increase lending to small businesses by 15 per cent this year.We have also agreed to the Bank of England undertaking another round of Quantitative Easing……and, as the Chancellor confirmed last week, we are looking at whether there is more we can do to get money directly to businesses in the form of Credit Easing.Private equity and venture capital has an important role to play in this growth story.I understand that, just last year, private equity and venture capital between them invested some £1.75 billion in high technology companies in the UK.That’s real money, in the real economy, pushing the technological frontier and promoting growth.PensionsBut, for me, there is another side to the growth story.In my role at the Department for Work and Pensions I’m responsible for two of the groups that really matter here: workers and pensioners.Take pensioners: a significant chunk of our economy is devoted to retirement spending, and so it can have a huge impact.Our first priority was to secure the position of today’s pensioners.But we also knew that we needed to reform for the future.We had a pension system that was increasingly unfunded, and the trend was only set to get worse as life expectancy increased, year on year.So we were clear that if we were not going to fall back into a debt crisis of a different kind – with the resultant effects on growth – we would need to get the house back in order.For me this is about asking what kind of society we want for the next generation.We were heading for one marked by a triple whammy, with our children footing the bill for a crippling national debt at the same time as helping to pay for their parents’ retirementandhaving to save for their own.That’s why we are taking the tough decision to ask people to work longer before they receive their State Pension.And it’s why we are encouraging people to do more to save for their own retirement though automatic enrolment into pension schemes.Some people have claimed that automatic enrolment is wrong-headed because it will be a drag on growth.I reject that entirely.Analysis suggests that automatic enrolment will actually have a positive impact on the economy.Pension contributions are not somehow lost to the economy.They are invested in gilts, corporate bonds and equities, supporting increased investment and economic growth.Social breakdownSo what about the other side I mentioned – the country’s workers?Britain still has some of the best workers in the world.But we are increasingly a society divided, because we also have a whole group of people who are cut adrift from the labour market – even from the rest of society itself.August’s riots forced us – as a society – to take a good hard look at ourselves, and to ask why we had allowed such explosive social problems to become ghettoised.For these problems have been with us for some time, and were not simply a product of the recession.More than 4 million on out of work benefits.One of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Western Europe.Over a million children growing up in households with parents addicted to drugs or alcohol.These were problems that the Centre for Social Justice reported on at back in 2007 – in other words,before the recession started, during a period of unprecedented growth.This breakdown destroyed our ability to compete in the global market.The cost of maintaining that many people on benefits was a drag on economic growth and a factor in the growth of the deficit.And it is now well documented that during this period almost half of the rise in employment was accounted for by foreign nationals.So potential workers were paid to be idle, rather than being skilled up and supported into employment, while businesses imported workers from abroad to do the available jobs.Yet much of the money being earned here was being sent back home, so the British economy wasn’t seeing the benefits.Equally tragic was the human cost – people in communities up and down our country unable to fulfil their potential.GangsThis unfulfilled potential takes its most potent form in the street gangs that terrorize many of our poorest neighbourhoods.In many ways these gangs act to fill a vacuum left by other figures of authority.Frequently from broken families, gang members seem to be searching for that structure and consistency they are failing to find at home.Many never make it to the age of 25, yet some of these are really bright kids, just born into the wrong circumstances.Dealing with Britain’s violent gang culture is vital because the simple truth is that that where gangs rule, decent people cannot live, businesses cannot invest, and communities cannot grow.What we need is a way out for those who’ll take it and the toughest enforcement against those who refuse.  And, crucially, we have to prevent them joining these gangs in the first place.Broken welfare systemThe first step here is getting to grips with our broken welfare system.The system is complex, contradictory and incoherent.It takes people’s benefits away at incredible rates as they move into work, meaning work is frequently not worthwhile.It treats people more as statistics than human beings – as a box to be ticked or a process to be completed.And it is racked by fraud and error – some £5 billion lost annually because of the immense complexity of the system.ReformSo first, we are simplifying things with the Universal Credit, a single integrated payment which will replace an array of benefits and tax credits.It will be clear, it will be consistent and – most importantly – it will make work pay.That’s the first vital step for people who have been out of work for a long time.Second, and equally important, we have introduced the Work Programme, a package of support run by the private and voluntary sectors which providestailoredhelp to get people back into work.Crucially, we will only pay for what works.And we will continue to pay these organisations as they keep peoplein work.Third, we know how important experience of work is for young people who are trying to get their foot in the door.That’s why we have funded an extra 100,000 Work Experience places over the next two years.And it’s why we’ve committed to an extra 250,000 apprenticeships over the coming years.Making work pay, skilling people up, building their experience of work – that’s how we can start to rebuild our labour force and keep people off welfare.The challengeAll of this is vital, but we cannot do it alone.We have had a great response from businesses to our Get Britain Working campaign. But I want to know if there is more that the financial sector can do.I want to know if there are areas where you could get involved that you wouldn’t normally look, or where you are currently underrepresented.The tragedy is that there are plenty of bright kids out there whose start in life means that they will never end up somewhere like this.I’ve met many of these young people – and let me tell you, when working with numbers and figures there are some who could leave people in this room standing.But it’s hard for them to get that first break – take the fact that less than a quarter of all employers in England have given a young person their first job after education.So I have a challenge for you tonight – a direct challenge to the financial sector to get involved in three areas where we are working with young people.First, through work experience, giving our young people a chance to get a taste of the world of work.I understand that few work experience placements are currently available in the financial services sector, and I want to know if there is more that can be done.Second,through apprenticeships, working with my Department and BIS to look at placements which bring young people in, help them learn the trade, and set them up for the future.This is about giving our brightest young people a shot, even if they haven’t gone through the traditional university route.It’s about letting them prove to you that they can work hard and better themselves.Andthird, we need the financial sector getting involved in the early intervention work that Graham Allen has been driving.Graham’s reports for Government have shown the incredible impact that intervening early in a young person’s life can have.He has also shown that where we can turn a young person’s life around, the savings to the public purse are potentially huge.Take the fact that it costs around £59,000 a year on average for a young offender to be placed in a young offender’s institute, or hundreds of thousands of pounds to support an individual for a lifetime on benefitsThe tricky bit is getting the money there up front so that we can reap these savings.And that’s where social investment comes in.The idea here is that Government encourages private investors to back projects…...whether it be helping young people back in to work, rehabilitating offenders, or helping a drug addict into recovery……by investing in ‘Social Impact Bonds’.These investors are then rewarded with some of the savings to the public purse further down the line – but only if their investments work.It is still early days, and this is still a fledgling market.But I think it is a powerful opportunity.Sir Ronald Cohen – who will be familiar to many of you as one of the father’s of venture capital – is clear about the possibilities here, stating that:“Social enterprise and impact investing, in short, look like the wave of the future.”Indeed, in his view: “Impact [social investment] capital is the new venture capital”.We are already seeing successful projects getting underway……from the reoffending social impact bond in Peterborough……to my own Department’s ‘Innovation Fund’, which is currently going through its procurement process.Yes, Government still has more work to do to provide a clearer direction to the market.But we also need investors to be willing to take the risk and start getting involved.Repeat the challengeSo let me repeat: these are the three areas – work experience, apprenticeships, and early intervention – where I ask you to think about reconnecting yourself to some of the most troubled parts of our society.These are places full of young people who – with the right help, and the right support – could aspire to be where you are tonight.My challenge to all of you is this: don’t just be a successful business – for all the benefits that that brings to our country, and it really does.We need you to also be thinking about how you can put something back into your local community to change people’s lives.ConclusionSo let me bring this back to where I started – the state of the economy, where we have come from and where we are going.Getting the deficit in down is crucial, and so is the plan for growth.But we cannot assume that these issues are separate from the social side of things – from welfare, from pensions, from family breakdown, from drug addiction, or from gangs.Whether it be the cost of paying 4 or 5 million people to sit on out of work benefits while bringing in workers from abroad……or the cost of putting the same young people over and over again through the criminal justice system……the social side is absolutely crucial to the economy.It is a terrible waste of resources to have people sat on the margins of society, unable to engage with the system.Ignoring this has been the mistake that too many Governments have made in the past.But August showed us was that containment is not an option anymore.For the riots provided a moment of clarity for us all, a reminder that a strong economy requires a strong social settlement.Our task is to achieve this rebalancing of society,Restoring our economy must go hand in hand with restoring society.I believe that this is the challenge of our generation.Together, I hope we can rise to that challenge. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/12-10-11.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP British Venture Capital Association 2011-10-12 Department for Work and Pensions British Venture Capital Association
Content11 October 2011Maria Miller MPMinister for Disabled PeopleThe Wider Welfare AgendaDeaf Council, Sense and Vision 2020 Conference on Welfare ReformTuesday 11 October 2011[Check against delivery]It’s a pleasure to be here to speak to you today.In particular I want to say thank you to the many groups represented here for the amazing work you do supporting people with sensory impairments and ensuring that deaf issues are kept at the fore of our agenda.I know many of you have fed into the consultation on DLA reform and a number of you have kept us informed by preparing briefing notes for MPs and the Lords on the Welfare Reform Bill.I welcome your ongoing engagement to ensure we deliver the best possible support for people with sensory impairments.To be clear from the start, our priority is to change attitudes towards disabled people and people with sensory impairments.The aspirations of young disabled people are the same as young non-disabled people.But too often the expectations of the people around them, families, teachers, support workers, society as a whole, are too low. It is our role to support these young people to overcome the lack of aspiration that surrounds them.The role of society should be to inspire young people, that includes young disabled people and people with sensory impairments, to achieve their full potential in life.There is no better argument for reform than this.Early intervention will of course be key, and one of the main reasons I have formed a new cross-government ministerial group to ensure young disabled people and people with sensory impairments have the support they need to identify their path in life, achieve in education and move on into work and be the best they can be.Because at the moment working age people with a sensory impairment are around twice as likely to be out of work as non-disabled people.*Having a job doesn’t just improve our financial income; it can also improve well-being, friendships and a sense of purpose and our mental health.To enable deaf people and disabled people to achieve their full potential we must deliver effective support from the earliest stage.We must encourage positive attitudes towards deaf people and disabled people.And we must challenge prejudice and change perceptions.The welfare system is an important part of that but as we all it is not the only part.I want more for deaf people and disabled people than a life of welfare dependency and I’m sure everyone will agree with me on that.Welfare reform is just one aspect of the improvements we are making to provision for disabled people.The impact of these changes must be taken alongside the wider reforms we are making.This includes the changes we are making to educational support, the work we are doing with employers and broader activities designed to collectively transform aspirations, attitudes and achievements.EducationWe know that the experience of deaf people and disabled young people at school and beyond has an enormous impact on their ability to fulfil their potential.In the right environment, and with the right aspirations and the right encouragement, young disabled people flourish.But the situation is, at best, patchy.Deaf and hearing impaired people are as likely as non-deaf people to have a degree level qualification.However, blind and visually impaired people are only around half as likely to hold a degree level qualification as non-disabled people.This is not because of a lack of ability.It is because the system fails them. We want to support people with sensory impairments to achieve their full educational potential.The Department for Education has recently consulted on how to support young disabled people better.The Special Educational Needs Green Paper set out far reaching proposals to improve support for young disabled people and people with sensory impairments from birth to adulthood.It made clear our ambition to develop a programme of action so that disabled people and people with sensory impairments have access to a comprehensive range of support through education and into work.Proposals included a single assessment process and combined education, health and care plan for under 25s who have got more severe or complex needs.The Green Paper set out a range of measures to increase support for children with sensory impairments.This included providing a greater role for the voluntary and community sector.The National Deaf Children’s Society, the National Sensory Impairment Partnership and the Royal National Institute of Blind People have all recently successfully bid for a Voluntary and Community Sector Grant to provide services for children with sensory impairments, an improvement which is long overdue.There will be a further pot of funding available to enable voluntary sector organisations to help us put in to practice the reforms outlined in the Green Paper.Supporting disabled people and people with sensory impairments to excel in education is a really important part of the Government’s reform.EmploymentAchieving good qualifications is often the first step towards gaining good employment and building a career.But we know too many deaf people and disabled people are simply not translating those qualifications into jobs.One of the things I am particularly interested in is developing a really clear route for disabled people and people with sensory impairments through the education system and into work.Education reform will ensure that support is consistent and effective throughout school, college and university.Reforming employment support will ensure that this doesn’t break down when someone leaves the education system and moves into work, which unfortunately at the moment can too often be the case.This is a really important issue for Government. As I have mentioned we have established an inter-ministerial group, bringing together Ministers from a number of different departments to discuss how we can improve that further.We are looking at what is already working well as well as where we can make improvements.One of the most successful programmes of support for disabled people and people with sensory impairments at work is Access to Work.We are spending more money on Access to Work than ever before.The latest figures show nearly 36,000 people are supported by Access to Work.Almost a third of the people supported by Access to Work have a sensory impairment.Last year, around 5,300 deaf and hearing impaired people were supported by Access to Work, which provided communication support, specialist equipment and support workers.And a further 5,290 blind and visually impaired people accessed support, including workplace adaptations, special aids and equipment, and help with travel to work.In a recent review of employment support Liz Sayce, Chief Executive of Radar, found there was overwhelming support for Access to Work.The review examined how the numbers of people using Access to Work could be doubled by releasing funding from reforms to Remploy and Residential Training Colleges.We agree that Access to Work has the potential to help more people and to be delivered more effectively.We are currently consulting on these proposals. If you haven’t already done so I’d urge you to contribute before the consultation ends next Monday.The Sayce Review crucially found that we could support an additional 35,000 people if the existing funding for specialist employment programmes was better targeted.The budget for employment support for disabled people and people with sensory impairments has been protected, at a time when other budgets are being squeezed and this is an important Government commitment.But we must make sure that money is spent effectively.We have to deliver support that is shaped around the needs of the individual.Too often disabled people do not have their individual needs met.Access to Work is valued because the support it provides is built around the needs of the individual person and their individual workplace. However, there is still room for improvement.We need to carry that personalisation of support into other areas, and we are:Work Choice and the new Work Programme will deliver tailored help for unemployed people with sensory impairments, supporting them to find sustainable work.The new Personal Independence Payment, which will replace DLA, will be based around the person and on a more accurate and consistent assessment of need, determining who will benefit most from support.Or indeed the new combined health, education and care plan for those with more complex needs, will provide consistent support for the under 25s, shaped around the individual. But real personalisation means listening to deaf people and disabled people and involving them in the decision making processes and involving them in the policies that affect them.Government is serious about this involvement we want to ensure it is meaningful and representative.That is why we are putting our money where our mouth is and investing £3 million in User Led Organisations (ULO) – groups that are run by disabled people, for disabled people.These organisations have a unique and powerful insight for the deaf people and disabled people.We want to secure their continued involvement by developing their skills and building their experience. And ensuring there is good coverage across the country, too often it is a post code lottery as to whether there is a good ULO representing disabled people in their area.We also want to see more blind, deaf and disabled people in positions of influence.We want to support deaf people and disabled people to access elected office, to become MPs, councillors, other elected officials. To put them at the heart of the decision making process.Our Access to elected office strategy includes practical measures and funding to deliver that support.Taken together our reforms will bring social change, breaking down those barriers to inclusion too many people with sensory impairments still face today, and continue to challenge those prejudices.They will provide consistent, comprehensive support to enable deaf people and disabled people to fulfil their educational ambitions.They will provide personalised support to find work and tailored adjustments to enable people to do their job.They will deliver independence, transform attitudes and increase aspiration.Practical, personalised support is the most effective way to enable people with sensory impairments to live independent lives.The current system does not deliver this support; it is not effective and fails to support disabled people properly.Let me remind you again – disabled people are more than twice as likely to be out of work as non-disabled people.The current system is in urgent need of reform.The wider agenda here is not one of welfare. It’s one of aspiration, achievement and changing attitudes.We can transform support for people with sensory impairments so that they have greater independence and autonomy.And with that we can support the aspirations of blind people, deaf people and disabled people.We can transform attitudes and we can support anyone with an impairment to fully achieve their potential in life.This is absolutely at the heart of the welfare reform agenda.* Working age here refers to men aged 16-64 and women aged 16-59. We have published research about this:Employment rates and qualifications by sensory impairments for disabled people(61KB) Employment rate by sensory impairment(24KB) Degree qualified or not qualified by sensory impairment (22KB) None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/11-10-11.shtml Maria Miller MP The Wider Welfare Agenda 2011-10-11 Department for Work and Pensions The Wider Welfare Agenda
Content6 October 2011Lord David FreudMinister for Welfare ReformHealth and wellbeingGovnet Health and Wellbeing ConferenceThursday 6 October 2011[Check against delivery]Not so long ago employers were frightened of ill health.Good employers were concerned that being in work would cause some harm.Responsible employers acted to protect people, keeping them off work until they were fully recovered.But perversely they may have been doing more harm than good.We now understand that work is not necessarily bad for you.People with physical or mental health conditions do not need to be protected from work and sometimes maintaining some form of working life can aid recovery.This understanding was first put forward by Aaron Antonovsky.It was expanded upon by Waddell and Burton.And helpfully formed an evidence base upon which I developed my welfare reform report.Work provides more than just an income. Employment can also give people a sense of purpose, some structure to their lives. It can also be an important part of people’s social lives.Quite simply good work is good for you.In Government we are beginning to measure employment as one of the positive results we can expect from treatment for people with long-term physical or mental health problems.In business, organisations are beginning to see work as part of the solution and change the way they manage sickness absence as a result.Some of the firms doing this best, organisations like BT, Royal Mail and Boots are seeing dramatic reductions in the number of days lost to sickness absence and the number of people out of work on long term sick.With this new approach forming the basis of our understanding, I want to outline for you today the action the Government is taking to support people at work.Firstly, I want to talk about how we are helping unemployed people, including those with long-term health conditions, into sustainable work.And secondly, I will outline our efforts to support people who become ill whilst working to maintain contact with the workplace.Starting with those who are out of work.There are five million people claiming the key out of work benefits.Just over half of those are claiming Incapacity Benefit or its successor Employment and Support Allowance.Of those 43 per cent are claiming because of some form of mental health condition or behavioural disorder.Many of these people could be accommodated in the workplace.But they have been signed off sick for so long, become so indoctrinated in the benefits regime that now their barriers to work are substantial.We do not believe that it is acceptable to write people off to a lifetime on benefits because they have a health condition or impairment.Unlike old-style inactive incapacity benefits, the Employment and Support Allowance recognises the importance of work and is specifically designed to help people move towards employment.This support is not just available to new claimants.We have put in place a practical process of assessment and migration.Those found able to work will move on to a more active benefits regime so they can start preparing for work.One and a half million people will go through this process.Crucially, the assessment looks at what someone is able to do – focusing on capability rather than incapacity.It’s not perfect but we prepared to make improvements.We will continue to make improvements to ensure the assessment delivers an accurate evaluation of ability.For example, we recently amended the rules so people waiting or in-between certain chemotherapy treatments will be exempt from seeking work.People who are found able to work will receive specialist employment support provided through Work Choice or the new Work Programme.We have contracted the best of the private and voluntary sector to provide this support.The Work Programme has a unique payment structure which means providers will be paid almost entirely by results.And those payments will vary according to the level of support needed – with the hardest to help attracting the highest fees.For those at the really tough end of the scale this could be almost £14,000 per person.However, the bulk of these payments will only be made when providers successfully get someone into sustainable employment.This means for some claimants, providers will only receive full payment of their fee after the claimant has been in employment for more than two years.The black box nature of the Work Programmemeans providers are completely free to design the support they offer in order to maximise success. However, we will rigorously hold their performance to account.What we will find, as the Work Programme progresses, is that providers will not only support claimants into employment but, in order to secure the larger fees, will continue to deliver support for some time after people start work.For the hardest to help, which includes many of those with long term health conditions, this support is likely to include help with condition management.I believe this will lead to providers developing new ways to support people with health conditions at work.With 43 per cent of incapacity benefits claimants citing a mental health condition or behavioural disorder as the reason they cannot work, finding effective ways to support this group must be a priority for Work Programme providers.They need to understand which forms of support are effective and at what cost.So, earlier this year I organised a seminar for Work Programme providers and mental health specialists.On the back of this session, some of them have formed a group to identify the interventions which support sustained employment for people with mental health problems.Waddell and Burton’s evidence demonstrated that more than 90 per cent of people with common health problems can be helped back to work by simple healthcare and workplace management measures - so we’re not talking here about complex interventions.There are almost entirely untouched pools of very talented people that have so far been locked out of the labour market by our inability to find ways to properly support them at work.Ultimately this affects the bottom line for employers. They miss out on good people because process or prejudice stops people with long term health conditions from being successfully hired.The best way to engender change is to show employers what they are missing out on.Over the summer I established an employer-led working group to increase the employment rate of people with autism.Working with Research Autism, the National Autistic Society and companies with experience of having autistic employees, we are developing ways to raise awareness of the benefits of hiring an autistic person.But our approach is not just about getting people into work, it’s about keeping them there.So, I’d like to move on to the work the Government is doing to support people who become ill to keep in touch with the workplace.Sickness absence is a major issue for Government and employers.It costs the economy £10 billion per year.There are 140 million days lost to sickness absence per year.Over a quarter of which are as a result of long term absence.Too many of these people fall out of the labour market all together and are caught by the safety net of the benefits system.But I think more could be done before the point at which people become the responsibility of the state.By the time someone starts to claim benefits they may have been out of work for many months.In that time their skills decline, they lose confidence and it becomes harder to get them back into employment.We are finding, through the Fit for Work Service, that working with employers, health professionals and employment specialists we can transform people’s lives with a few small practical changes.Employers are obviously key; we need to ensure they have the right attitudes, processes and working practices in place to support people with health conditions at work.I asked Dame Carol Black, the National Director of Health and Work, whom you shall be hearing from later, and David Frost, the former Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce to look at the sickness absence system.They are finding that there is a real variation in the nature and levels of occupational sick pay arrangements over and above the minimum required.Meanwhile the costs of sickness absence are distributed between employers, the state and employees in an arbitrary way which doesn't necessarily create the right incentives for an early return to work.The gap between an individual becoming ill and receiving support is too long and the process is not coherent.Employers are concerned that they are not receiving the right kind of advice on how to help employees who are long-term sick.But when the right advice is provided and employers are able to draw upon the support of specialist clinicians it makes a real difference to the rehabilitation of patients, speeding up recovery times.This evidence has obvious interest for Work Programme providers as they seek to support people with health conditions in to work.Given how crucial it is to have the right support and advice in place my biggest concern is that we are not using the services of the support industry effectively.Services like occupational health and clinical specialities like physiotherapy and occupational therapy are under used.And I am not convinced that as our understanding of the interaction between health and employment develops we have the support in place to act upon the knowledge gained.My prediction is that demand for support services will rapidly increase over the next few years.We need a larger, more integrated pool of professionals to meet that demand, it is only then that we will be ready to tackle the strategic challenges of the future. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/06-10-11.shtml Lord Freud Health and wellbeing 2011-10-06 Department for Work and Pensions Health and wellbeing
Content26 September 2011Lord David FreudMinister for Welfare ReformWelfare reform and flexible workingTop Employers for Working Families 2011 Benchmark and Awards CeremonyMonday 26 September 2011[Check against delivery]The Government made a commitment to promote family friendly working practices.We recognise that more flexibility at work is better for people, for families and for business.Of course, I don’t need to tell the people in this room about the benefits of flexible working.But the labour market is on the cusp of a major change.One that will be an opportunity for employers to draw upon a new pool of talent, freed up to take up flexible working.And the challenge for employers will be to make the most of this new potential.Today, I wish to outline for you how the Government’s reforms to the benefit system are going to radically alter the UK’s work force.Our reforms will free up more people to work flexibly, expand potential talent pools and reduce benefit dependency.Let me start by briefly outlining how the current system works.Existing rules don’t just prevent people from working flexibly but actually prevent people from working altogether.We currently have two separate systems to support people with little or no income.Firstly the welfare system.Benefits in this country are enormously complex, with people receiving different amounts of money from different parts of the system, paid separately and often to different timescales.Secondly, the tax credit system.Entitlement to tax credits is based on a different set of criteria and level of payments is dependent on age, number of hours worked and other circumstances, such as the number of children someone has.These two systems are operated completely independently, by two separate Government departments and there is little to smooth transition between them.This has led to a gaps opening up between those who rely on state benefits and the working majority.For example, benefits are paid weekly or fortnightly, whilst most employees receive a monthly salary.This may sound like a small issue but when you are trying to shift from managing a weekly budget to a monthly one it can become another barrier and a real problem.The way we currently support people makes it more difficult to leave benefits and get a job or increase your hours and become more self-sufficient.In fact it’s not just difficult, it’s a real risk.The current system does not respond quickly to change.If someone does find work for more than 16 hours per week but low paid they need to end their benefit claim and potentially submit a new claim for tax credits, depending on their circumstances.In fact under the current system any change of circumstances has to be notified to numerous authorities and benefits must be recalculated each time.Under the new Universal Credit people will simply claim benefit and we will get the information we need about their earnings, real time from HMRC, and adjust their benefit payment accordingly.They won’t need to contact us at all.Under the current system each change of circumstance is processed separately, to different timescales.This can lead to gaps in household income, making the shift into work a real struggle.The risk is if it doesn’t work out and people have to leave work and reclaim benefits they have to restart a claim, often leaving people reliant on crisis loans whilst their claim is processed.In this environment less permanent employment isn’t attractive.Equally part-time jobs of just a few hours a week fall into the trap of not being enough to qualify for tax credits, but too much in terms of benefit entitlement.Neither system is particularly flexible and neither does a particularly good job of supporting people to work variable hours or short term jobs.Let me give you a couple of examples.The current Jobseeker’s Allowance system means you need to work 16 hours or more to come off benefit and see a real increase in your income.However, for those remaining on benefit and working less than 16 hours, anything they earn over £5 if they are a single person, slightly more if they are a lone parent or disabled, will result in their benefit being reduced pound for pound.This means someone over 25 can’t work for even one full hour per week at minimum wage without seeing an instantaneous fall in benefits.Different benefits contain different cliff edges – arbitrary points at which the level of earnings or hours tips the balance resulting in total loss of income.This makes it more difficult for people to calculate what their income would be if they took a job.  For some there is little incentive to work – and the economic and social cost of dependency deepens.For example, a lone parent dinner lady was offered four more hours of work a week. Yet it took the Jobcentre Plus Adviser three quarters of an hour to work out if it was viable using the earnings calculator.Of course, it’s entirely right that the more people earn the less they should receive in benefits.But the current system is clunky and slow, it does not respond well to change.This makes it particularly risky for disabled people who want to work, particularly those with fluctuating health conditions.Who would expect a rational person to abandon a carefully and painfully constructed benefit package and go to work when they might fear that their condition will come back two months later and they would have to start a benefit claim all over again.The inflexibility and uncertainty of the current system makes people too afraid to take part-time or temporary work for fear of ending up worse off.This situation isn’t just bad for people, locked into set hours or indeed out of work altogether.It is also bad for businesses, forcing people to be inflexible, and shrinking the potential recruitment pool.Employers face stretching part time jobs to 16 hours to enable them to recruit people claiming tax credits.This approach locks both employer and employee into a 16 hour contract which may not meet the needs of either.The only criterion satisfied is the arbitrary one set by the benefits system.This situation embodies the current problem with welfare in the UK.The only thing adequately served by the current system is the system itself.Unemployed people don’t get the support they need to move into work.Those in work are limited in what they can do by the support they rely on.Employers are restricted by a rigid set of rules which stifle flexibility.Between 1997 and 2010 the numbers on out of work benefits has remained stubbornly high (between four and six million).Yet during the same period over half of all growth in employment was accounted for by foreign nationals.The simple truth is migrant workers can be more flexible than people worried about losing their benefits.This Government’s welfare reforms will change the system for the better.I am currently taking the Welfare Reform Bill through the House of Lords.This Bill will sweep away existing complexity, it will remove the cliff edges and fixed points of entitlement and deliver a new single income replacement payment, Universal Credit.Key to the development of Universal Credit is that work should pay.Universal Credit will replace both benefits and tax credits for people of working age.It bridges the gulf that has opened up between unemployment and work and delivers a benefits system that is flexible and responsive.By removing the fixed points at which people gain and lose their entitlement to benefit and replacing different deduction ratesUniversal Credit will deliver a simpler more effective system of welfare payments.As part of these reforms we are developing a system which will allow us to access real time tax and benefits information.This will mean we can deliver a much more reactive system of support based on actual earnings, making the transition between benefits and work much easier.There has been some coverage in this morning’s papers about the development of these systems.Universal Credit is running to time and to budget.There has not been and is not any question about the DWP's ability to deliver the required programmes that will support Universal Credit when it starts in 2013.Clearly getting the IT to support the development of Universal Credit right is an absolute priority for the Government.There are essentially two systems involved in delivering Universal Credit.The first is run by HMRC and will monitor the level of earnings flow and will allow the correct PAYE to be charged. It will also allow us to assess the correct level of Universal Credit to be paid.The second system, DWP is developing. It is a single interface for making a Universal Credit claim, which will incorporate a rule engine and allow us to make the correct payment based on real time current earnings of the individuals involved.The new system will work like this, welfare payments will be reduced at a steady rate so the more people earn the less they will need to rely on benefits.The real time system will allow us to adjust benefit payments against real time earnings information.So people will be able to work 20 hours one week, 25 the next, 30 the next, if that’s all they are able to do and the benefit payment will simply be adjusted to make up any short fall.Of course we will expect people to work enough to support themselves to leave benefits altogether.But what the new system will do is give low earners the freedom to arrange their working pattern in a way that suits them best.These changes will be particularly valuable for people with fluctuating health conditions allowing them to work more when well enough and less when their condition deteriorates.The benefits system will fit around them rather than the other way around.For particular groups, such as people with children and disabled people we will allow them to keep more of the money they earn before applying the taper.The Universal Credit payment then tapers off as earnings rise, delivering a more stable system and allowing for a gradual move to full time work.This will provide people claiming benefits and those on low incomes with some certainty around what they are entitled to and how much they will receive.It means families can budget on the basis of a guaranteed minimum income.It will deliver predictability to a system that for too long has been ruled by inconsistency.Most families budget as a household rather than as individuals so payments will be made per household to replicate the experience of receiving a wage.This does mean we will take into account the full amount brought into the home by second earners and will not apply a second earner disregard.The majority of existing or potential second earners do not see their work incentives affected by the Universal Credit.The blunt truth is we cannot afford to introduce a second earner disregard at the moment.In the longer term we may look at this again, if we can afford to do so.The key point is that Universal Credit increases the options open to families to strike the right work-life balance for their own circumstances.This is the fairest way to ensure support is given to those who need it most.These changes combined with more effective back to work support through the Government’s flagship employment scheme – the Work Programme – will help people claiming benefits into work.We want to make sure that a life on benefits does not become the most attractive choice for people who are able to work.It is an illness in society for people to see others not trying when they could.It breeds a sense of unfairness.People question why they are working so hard to support themselves and their families and then have this additional burden placed upon them.For the people who have given up trying their sense of self worth, their very identity is undermined.We see that most clearly in the rising levels of mental health problems among people who are dependent solely on benefits.Our aim is to dramatically push back the level of dependency.We want to see people in full time sustainable, flexible, work.But we realise part-time, temporary jobs can be part of that journey back into work.One of the implications of Universal Credit is that we will have to introduce a much more flexible conditionality regime.Our expectations of how much work people take on will have to be driven by personal circumstances in a very different way to the way the 16 hour rule operates.We don’t want people to be able to use the benefit system to top up their income because they choose to work part time, so there will be conditions to claiming benefits that restrict that choice.But we do want to provide a safety net for those who can only work part time for genuine reasons, or who are working part time as a means to move closer to full time work.It is much better for people to do some form of work, however small, than fall out of the labour market completely.This is something I have asked Jobcentre Plus to look at further, and advisers are now promoting “mini-jobs” as a valuable way to gain experience and begin to get back in touch with the labour market.The changes we are making to the welfare system and the support we are putting in place to help people into work will come together to radically change the labour market.People claiming benefits will, for the first time, be free to work flexibly.Ultimately this will create a more active, more engaged group of people looking for work.So, as I said at the start, the challenge for employers is to be flexible enough to get the most from this newly liberated work force.   None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/26-09-11.shtml Lord Freud Welfare reform and flexible working 2011-09-26 Department for Work and Pensions Welfare reform and flexible working
Content14 September 2011The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of State for Work and PensionsRobert Owen InstituteWednesday 14 September 2011[Check against delivery]IntroductionIt’s a pleasure to be with you this evening.And I’d like to extend my thanks to the Robert Owen Institute for inviting me to be here tonight.Robert Owen was ahead of his time in believing that a person’s character was informed by the effect of their environment."Any general character, from the best to the worst, from the most ignorant to the most enlightened, may be given to any community…by the application of proper means"How we achieve a rebalancing of our society by application of those means is the topic of my lecture tonight.Last month’s riots were a wake-up call.But while I was appalled by what took place on the streets of some of England’s major cities, I cannot say I was entirely surprised.For I believe we have seen Britain’s social fabric fraying for some time.Social breakdownBefore the recession started we had more than 4 million people sat on out of work benefits – many of whom had been receiving them for ten years or more.We had one of the highest levels of unsecured personal debt in Western Europe, and the highest teenage pregnancy rates.At the same time we had over a million children growing up in households with parents who were addicted to drugs and alcohol.And when it came to violent crime we found ourselves to be amongst the leaders in Europe.Yet this was during a period when the economy was growing – with employment up by more than 2 million in the decade to 2008.What had become clear and was starkly illustrated in the Centre for Social Justice’s two reports – "Breakdown Britain" and "Breakthrough Britain" – was that one section of society had become semi-detached from the rest.As social mobility ground to a halt, the part of society on the lowest incomes became static.Too many find that if they are born into such communities they are likely to remain in the same condition as their parents.With income inequality the worst for a generation, high levels of benefit dependency, broken families, crime, debt and drugs became the norm for whole communities.The problem was that we were treating symptoms, not causes.And by failing to deal with these issues we were storing problems up further down the line.For many years, while people were aware that there were problems in poor communities they remained largely unaware of the true nature of life on some of our estates.In a sense, we had ghettoised many of these problems, keeping them out of sight of the middle class majority.Occasionally some terrible event would make it on to our front pages……the names of Rhys Jones, Damilola Taylor, Charlene Ellis and Letitia Shakespeare are tragically well known to many of us.But because they were small in number, people were able to turn away from the problems faced in certain parts of the country.But last month the inner city finally came to call, and the country was horrified by what it saw.And while it is of course a good thing that there were no riots in Scotland, I’m firmly of the view that is an issue we face in the UK as a whole.While they might manifest themselves differently, the same deep-rooted problems exist on both sides of the border, and as a passionate supporter of the United Kingdom I want us to work together to solve them.Whether in Manchester or Glasgow, London or Edinburgh, Birmingham or Aberdeen……I believe we’re stronger when we tackle these issues together.Damaging cultureThe riots were a wake-up call, and a reminder of the wider problem that we all face.The scenes of our young people ransacking local businesses……sometimes proudly displaying their acquisitions on the internet…….spoke to a damaging culture which I believe has been on the rise in recent years across the UK as a whole.I touched on this problem in a recent speech, some time before the riots took place.There I spoke about a culture of recklessness and irresponsibility, a culture of "live now, pay later."I felt that we had seen it in the staggering growth in both public and private debt, with little regard for who would pick up the bill, and in the unwillingness to undertake fundamental reforms of our welfare system to secure our children’s future.Last month we saw this culture crystallized into its crudest form – not so much "live now, pay later" as "take now, pay never, and damn the consequences."This is what the Prime Minister meant when he said that the riots were about behaviour and values.GangsThe riots also played a role in heightening awareness of gangs in the public consciousness.In terms of numbers gangs made up a minority of those actually taking part in the violence, yet their role was significant.First, the riots showed us that in too many inner city areas, gangs dominate – if not in numbers then in the power they have over their local community.Speaking to my borough commander in Waltham Forest there seems to be good evidence to suggest that the gangs were coordinating locations and some of the social media networks during the riots.And, separate to the riots themselves, we know that gangs can have a disproportionately negative impact on their local area, bringing with them violence and drug abuse and pulling others around them into their destructive cycle.Those who join the gangs are the product more often of broken families and dysfunctional upbringing.In turn, they further that process of breakdown by creating no-go areas that make impossible the very things that could help deprived neighbourhoods to rejuvenate.As products of and creators of social breakdown, their role is hugely influential.I know this is of relevance in Scotland, particularly areas like East Glasgow where a high concentration of gangs are known to operate in highly deprived neighbourhoods.But gangs are not just a cause of social breakdown – they are also an important symptom.In many ways they act to fill a vacuum left by other figures of authority – particularly the family unit.What these young people fail to find at home they search for on the streets instead.As Disraeli said:"Man is made to adore and to obey: but if you will not command him, if you give him nothing to worship, he will fashion his own divinities, and find a chieftain in his own   passions."For too many these "divinities" are the gang leaders, and their presence speaks to the absence of something fundamental from our young people’s lives – stability, security and moral guidance.As the excellent work in Strathclyde shows us our first response must be to deal with the violent and criminal activity of the gangs – but that will only take us so far.Yes, we will be tough on the gangs.Of course, where you have gangs leaders who repeatedly commit and foment violence they must be warned of the consequences.Then the police must deal with them for even the most minor misdemeanours.But this is only part of the bargain.If we are to believe, as Robert Owen did, that people are shaped by their environment, then there is a great deal more we need to do.Because at the moment we are caught in a vicious cycle.Gangs are shaped by the destructive environment in which their members are brought up, and they in turn breed destruction in their local communities, destabilising families and increasing the chance that future generations will find themselves involved in gang violence.A criminal response alone fails to deal with the root causes of this merry-go-round.Again, Robert Owen was right where he explained that:"instead of punishing crimes after they have permitted the      human character to be formed so as to commit them…"…we have to instead reach in and break the cycle – and we have opportunities to do it all the way along the chain.In other words, we have to give people a way out.As the good projects have shown, being tough on gangs is just one part of the challenge.Intervening to peel people off from the gangs, and preventing them joining in the first place, is the real task we face.Early interventionOf course, as Robert Owen would have agreed, the earlier we get in there the better.The evidence on the importance of early intervention is overwhelming.I came together with Graham Allen in 2008 to write a book which established some of the key evidence on this.In Graham’s subsequent reports for the Government the evidence on early intervention has become incontrovertible.He cites one piece of research which shows that those boys assessed by nurses at the age of 3 as being "at risk" had two and a half times as many criminal convictions by age 21 as those not deemed to be at risk.Speaking of the understanding that the character of a child could be moulded from such an early age, Owen asked whether:"Possessing, then, the knowledge of a power so important…which would gradually remove the evils which now chiefly afflict mankind, shall we permit it to remain dormant and useless, and suffer the plagues of society perpetually to exist and increase?His was a clear warning that if we fail to get in there early enough to stop young people falling out of the system, then we risk failing altogether.While much of this area is devolved it remains a common challenge for all nations of the UK.I know that Graham’s work drew on Scottish examples, such as the rapid reaction model in the Highland region which has been running for the last decade.The goal in the region has been to get things right for children the first time they are identified as being at risk, so that they don’t appear again later.And I know that the Finance Committee of the Scottish Parliament backed this principle recently, calling on a shift away from reacting to crises and towards a greater focus on prevention and early intervention.So this agenda isn’t just cross-party, it crosses Governments.Evidence suggests that one of the best ways to improve life chances for young children is to link families to trusted local networks and individuals – whether it be family nurse partnerships, health visitors, or something similar.But much of the responsibility here falls to local authorities.We know many local authorities already understand the importance of this agenda, and we will increasingly be looking to them to provide the leadership to make sure early intervention initiatives are prioritised.We need to keep hammering home the message that early intervention offers the best hope for today’s children.SchoolsThe next step is to think about how we can provide support at the next level – at school age – to stop young people falling off the rails and into the hands of the gangs.First, we need to keep them off the streets and in our schools, engaged in education and learning key life skills.The Government is committed to raising the participation age in England, with measures to ensure that all young people continue in education or training until they are 18.And I know the Scottish Government is guaranteeing education, training or an apprenticeship to all 16-19 year olds.But the fact is at the moment some young people do drop out, and for those who do, employment rates have deteriorated substantially in the last decade or so.Back in 2000 around six in every ten 16-17 year olds who were not in full time education were in work.That figure is now down to around 4 in ten.A similar trend holds true in Scotland, where around seven in ten were working in 2000, a rate which has fallen to around four in ten now.And this is by no means just a product of the recession – in fact, by 2008 the level had already fallen to 5 in 10, so it has been on a steady downward trend over the course of the last ten years.By the time this group comes into the Jobcentre at 18 they have already suffered a wage scar that leaves them behind their peers in the jobs market.So we need to do everything we can to support young people who are at risk of disengaging, intervening early to stop them weighing heavily on the benefit system in the future.Innovation FundAnd that’s what our Innovation Fund is all about.We’re providing £30 million over the next three years to fund organisations that are able to work with disadvantaged young people to turn their lives around.And the remit of the fund extends to those aged 14 and 15, helping us get in there even earlier to prevent people falling out of structured training and education, and putting them on track for work in the future.Key here is the role of social investment.The idea of the Innovation Fund is to unlock private finance in the pursuit of the social good, getting investors to do something positive for their community while seeing a return on their investment at the same time.As Graham Allen identified in his second report, social investment could be the key to solving some of our most entrenched social problems, many of which require a significant down payment up front to yield huge savings further down the line.The Innovation Fund is just the start, but I hope it will be a stepping stone to a smarter approach to social breakdown in the future.Universal Credit and Work ProgrammeOnce our young people have left school we then need to make sure they are met by a welfare system that works.First, it has to be a welfare system which makes work pay, which is why we’re introducing the Universal Credit – a new, simpler payment which will be withdrawn at a clear and consistent rate as people move into work.In the current system some people lose up to 96 pence in every pound earned through benefit withdrawal.Would any of us here work at 96% tax rates, especially if we could earn a living without any effort at all?Just ask yourself – why should we expect behaviours from others that we wouldn’t expect from ourselves?The Universal Credit is designed to change this, reducing the maximum withdrawal rate and simplifying the way benefits are withdrawn as people move into work to reduce the risks associated with taking a job.Second, we have to work with people to help them find employment.Too often people who need help have faced bureaucratic and impersonal regimes, motivated more by the number of boxes ticked than the numbers helped into work.I hope we’re going to change all this with the Work Programme, a package of support we’re putting around people which is designed around them, for them and with them, and will be delivered by some of the best organisations in the private and voluntary sectors.But this is going to be tough.We are going to be dealing with people who have come from families where no-one has ever worked – generation upon generation.They may be breaking the mould, and that won’t be easy to do.It’s important that we stay with them and support them as they take that step, and we know that many Work Programme providers will be looking to mentor people once they’ve moved into work to help keep them there – we’ve designed our payments structure to encourage this kind of proactive support.Work experience and apprenticeshipsAnd of course we know that one of the biggest challenges young people face in finding work is a lack of relevant experience.That’s why we’re providing funding for 100,000 work experience places over the next two years.These placements will be for up to 8 weeks, but we’ll provide funding for another month where it’s linked to an offer of an apprenticeship or a job.And we’ve put in place funding for 250,000 extra apprenticeships over the coming years, with 40,000 targeted specifically at young people on Jobseekers Allowance.I know that the Scottish Government has also committed to creating some 25,000 apprenticeships a year.So all the way along the life cycle you have these key interventions that pick people up and stop them falling off track – from early intervention with parents, to keeping kids on track in school, to providing a fair and supportive welfare system, combined with positive work experience, that encourages and helps people into work.  It’s part of a sewn up process – not so much cradle to grave as cradle to stability, cradle to a productive member of society.FamilyBut all this brings me to one of the most important issue of all, and that is the role of the family.I described earlier how gangs have acted to fill the spaces left by broken families, and how family breakdown has led to a sort of moral vacuum in some areas of society.While the Government should be there to support people when they face difficulties, we can achieve so much more by providing the support that families need to grow and sustain, giving young people a stable and secure environment to grow up in.This isn’t about Government interfering in families.But it is about saying that we have to create a level playing field, reversing some of the biases against families we’ve seen in recent years, as well as making sure that support is available if and when families want to use it.It is clear that people respond to incentives and disincentives – and currently in the UK there is a damaging financial discouragement to couple formation, despite its stable outcomes for children.That’s why I intend for our welfare reforms to make an impact on the couple penalty where it matters most – amongst families on the lowest incomes.Alongside that the Prime Minister has made it clear that we will, in this Parliament, as and when possible and after other considerations, recognise marriage in the tax system.And we’ve already made some £30 million available for relationship support over the coming years.But there is further we can go, and that is something the Prime Minister himself made clear in a speech last month.We are going to apply a family test to all domestic policy from here on.And I believe we also need to look more closely at how we tackle disincentives to strong and stable couple formationCulturePerhaps in bringing this value back to our personal relationships, we can start to tackle that damaging culture in our society that I spoke of earlier.The culture of "live now, pay tomorrow" that permeated our society from top to bottom.From those at the top of our society it was a case of "do as I say, not as I do."Whether in the banking crisis, phone hacking or the MPs’ expenses scandal, people have seen a failure of responsibility from their leaders.And this failure speaks to a wider cultural development in our society, namely a gradual but consistent move to a culture which values conspicuous consumption over the quality of our personal relationships.We have seen the growth of a culture in which people are valued in terms of how much they earn, how much their home costs, or how they spend on their holiday rather than how much value they bring to their community.Only today, a UNICEF report has highlighted the damage that consumer culture is doing to our children’s happiness.Owen saw some of these influences at work himself, contrasting the scant attention given to the millions of poor and destitute he saw around him to the fact that:"we hesitate not to devote years and expend millions…in the attainment of objects whose ultimate results are, in comparison with this, insignificancy itself."This culture has affected everything.We hear of people putting off getting married because they cannot afford it – not the marriage itself but the ceremony.With the average cost of a wedding put by some surveys at something like £20,000, some couples risk getting into debt just to meet the costs.What seems to have been forgotten is that the point of marriage is love, commitment, and creating a safe environment in which to bring up a family.As Owen would have said, the ceremony is insignificancy itself.We should worry instead about the human aspect.ConclusionOur task now is to achieve this rebalancing of our society.For too long the political class have understood that we have a social problem, but considered it a second order issue.The riots have provided a moment of clarity for all of us, a reminder that a strong economy requires a strong social settlement, with stable families ready to play a productive role in their own communities.The challenge of our generation is to reforge our commitment to reform society so that we can restore aspiration and hope to communities that have been left behind. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/14b-09-11.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Robert Owen Institute speech 2011-09-14 Department for Work and Pensions Robert Owen Institute
Content14 September 2011Lord David FreudMinister for Welfare ReformNational Housing Federation Annual ConferenceWednesday 14 September 2011[Check against delivery]I have come to you this morning fresh from the Second Reading of the Welfare Reform Bill in the House of Lords yesterday.This marks the first opportunity for the Lords to debate the Bill and is the next step in the legislative process.It therefore feels like a good moment to remind ourselves of the reason for reform.Welfare dependency in this country is rife.The numbers speak for themselves: there are five million people on out of work benefits.In 2010-11 Government spent £201 billion on welfare and pension payments, compared to £38 billion on defence, £91 billion on education and £121 billion on health.Of that £201 billion we spent £22 billion on the key out of work benefits and the same again just on Housing Benefit.Working age welfare spending has increased by over 40 per cent over the past decade, Housing Benefit spend is up almost 50 per cent.We have to regain control of the benefits budget.And we have to act to end welfare dependency.Because welfare reform is not simply about reducing the benefits bill.It is also about returning to first principles, asking ourselves what the welfare system is for and ensuring it delivers.We want a welfare system that provides financial support for those unable to work – that goes without saying.But for those who can work we want a system that encourages a return to employment as quickly as possible.The current system simply does not prepare people adequately for the world of work.The whole experience of claiming benefits has become so far removed from the experience of receiving a wage that an enormous gulf has opened up between the unemployed and those in work.For example, benefits are paid weekly or fortnightly, whilst most employees receive a monthly salary.Benefits are paid to individuals where as most families manage their budget as a household.And Housing Benefit can be paid directly to landlords and councils so people never learn to budget for their housing needs themselves.The way the system is set up encourages dependency.Not just because people are ill-prepared for the world of work.But also because the current welfare system actually makes it more difficult for some people to leave benefits and get a job.Part of the problem is that we operate two completely separate systems of support for people out of work and those who are in work but low paid.And it is not set up to support people to make the transition from one to the other.There are too many organisations to notify of a change in circumstances.The process is complicated and slow.The system doesn’t respond quickly enough to fluctuating incomes and this can lead to gaps as benefit payments end and tax credits start.And for too many people being in work simply doesn’t pay.Too many people are simply better off on benefits.Our solution is one based upon the principles of fairness and self-dependency.We want to develop a system that works.One which encourages people to take responsibility for themselves and their families.One which makes the experience of receiving an income from benefits more like the experience of receiving a wage.And one which is based around the simple goal of making work pay.The Welfare Reform Bill will deliver this solution in the form of Universal Credit, a new single income replacement benefit for working age adults.Universal Credit will be simple to understand and access.It will bring together in and out of work benefits so people on low incomes receive just one type of payment.It will create a link between the tax and benefits systems so that we can access real time information about benefit claimants’ earnings and calculate their entitlement as appropriate.This development throws open the door to more flexible working.It means people claiming benefits will be able to take on casual work, increase their hours or work multiple jobs and have confidence that they will continue to receive welfare support at a reliable level.Real time earnings information means we can withdraw support gradually, at a single rate, so more people will be able to work more hours and keep more of their pay.Slide one – a simpler system with clear work incentives(35KB)Take this example, of a lone parent with two children, you can see as income from work increases the Universal Credit payment gradually tapers off.Under the old system some claimants lost as much as 96 pence for every extra pound they earned.Universal Credit reduces this to around 76 pence for modest earners and around 65 pence for low earners.This directly improves work incentives for around 700,000 people by putting extra money in their pockets if they do extra work.This gradual tapering will ensure that support comes when it is needed, earnings from work will boost income straightaway and people will start to see an immediate difference in their income.The introduction of Universal Credit and other reforms contained within the Welfare Reform Bill will mean some of the poorest people in the country will benefit from more than £4 billion in welfare payments, as set out in the last impact assessment, through increased entitlement and take up.In addition to delivering a radical new welfare system, which breaks down the barriers that stop people getting into work, we are also revolutionising employment support.The new Work Programme replaces previous failing employment support programmes and delivers effective back to work provision for the first time.The Work Programme is unique because we have designed a contracting framework and payment structure focused upon success.Contractors are paid almost entirely on results and their success is measured over a long period – up to two years for those who are hardest to help.The payment structure recognises that some people need more support than others and payments are higher for the harder to help groups.A varied payment structure combined with longer contracts has encouraged the private and voluntary sector to invest up to £580 million in the first year.Taken together these changes will radically change the welfare landscape.But more importantly it will create the right conditions for cultural change.By removing the barriers to work contained within the current system, and making the experience of claiming benefits more like that of being in work we will radically alter attitudes and crucially behaviours.This is why Universal Credit payments must include payments for housing costs.It is vital that we close the gulf between being out of work and having a job.And this means benefit claimants have to manage their own finances – their full finances – so when they do find work it’s easier to leave the safety of the welfare system.I am absolutely committed to making a single Universal Credit payment per household, wherever possible.I know that this is a significant change for the social housing sector and I am fully conscious that Housing Benefit income streams are a vital component of housing finance, particularly in terms of funding new housing.I am determined that the introduction of Universal Credit, and therefore direct payments to tenants, does not undermine the financial stability of the housing sector.But I remain utterly convinced that there are mechanisms available which will allow us to both introduce a single Universal Credit payment, which includes housing costs, whilst also providing protection for the sector.So, from October 2013, in line with the introduction of Universal Credit, direct payments to tenants will be the default position for most working age benefit claimants living in social housing when they move on to the new system.This will help narrow the gap between benefits and work.It will be focused upon those who can stand to benefit most from this change – Housing Benefit claimants, of working age, who are capable of managing their own finances.We have done some analysis of housing benefit claimants in the social rented sector.We estimate the switch to direct payments to tenants will be completely new to around 20 per cent of your tenants.These are people who currently have no experience of budgeting and paying their own rent.And these are the people we most need to target, those who are furthest away from the labour market.The remaining 80 per cent of tenants will see no change at all or are already partially managing their budget and perhaps will not feel the change quite so keenly.So, let’s have a look at the analysis and see who this change will affect.Slide two – who will be affected by the direct payment to tenant policy?(35KB)Let’s go around the chart clockwise, starting with the largest group.Thirty-five per cent of tenants do not claim Housing Benefit and will therefore be entirely unaffected by these changes.Next is the 10 per cent labelled “partial HB” on the chart – these are working age households who receive a partial Housing Benefit payment and have to top up their rent from their income.This means they already have some experience of managing their own budgets and therefore moving to direct payments to tenants should be more straight-forward for them to manage.You can see next on the chart we’ve marked out an estimated 10 per cent of tenants as “vulnerable”.I fully appreciate that some of your tenants simply cannot manage their own finances. I know some people are very vulnerable and this change is just not appropriate for them. We estimate that roughly between five and 10 per cent of all tenants fall into this category. For these vulnerable people we will continue to pay housing costs direct to landlord.And then, pensioners, we estimate 25 per cent of tenants in the social rented sector are pensioners claiming Housing Benefit.I have decided that for pensioner tenants who receive housing support, we will retain the status quo. The vast majority will continue to have the housing cost element of Universal Credit paid direct to the landlord.New pensioners, after the introduction of Universal Credit, will be able to choose whether they receive their housing payment or it goes straight to the landlord.This choice will be extended across the social housing sector to include both current and future pensioners in both local authority and housing association properties.And that brings us back to the 20 per cent for whom direct payments to tenants will be completely new.The reality is that shifting to direct payments to tenants will potentially affect 30 per cent of social sector tenants.And the number of tenants completely new to this, those people who currently have no involvement managing their rent payments but will need to under the new system is only around 20 per cent.So, the question is how do we support that 20 per cent to make the change? How do we support them to manage their own budgets, as they would need to if they were in work?I have been working with the banks and with credit unions to explore what some of that support could look like.We have started to identify the kind of support that already exists and assess how effective it is.We have also started to explore a range of new ideas which could include prioritised direct debits or escrow accounts.And we are looking at some of the incentives landlords already offer tenants to encourage them to pay their rent on time.The aim is to do everything we can to help people manage their finances and not fall into arrears with their rent.We are not just going to move from one system to another overnight. Moving people to direct payments to tenants will be a gradual process, starting with new claimants from October 2013 and with a managed, gradual transition for existing claimants. And there will be plenty of support available throughout the process.It is in everybody’s interests to make direct payments to tenants a success.Increasing the number of social rented sector tenants who are in work can only be a positive thing.For tenants, work can bring increased wealth, stability, improved health and well-being and can encourage people to have a greater stake in their communities.For landlords, higher employment can mean better neighbourhoods.And whilst this may not show through in cash terms immediately, it will show in the value of your housing stock.I see moving to a system of direct payments for tenants as simply an extension of the work many of you already do to help tenants find work.I know there are a number of extremely good projects aimed at helping tenants in the social rented sector find work and ultimately get into a position where they can leave benefits for good.Direct payments to tenants is simply another tool to help people achieve independence from welfare dependency.That’s what welfare reform is all about – that’s the final goal – to bring an end to long-term benefit dependency and begin a cultural transformation. Moving to direct payments to tenants is a key part of our approach.And we want to continue to work with the industry to develop appropriate safeguards and ensure a smooth transition to direct payments to tenants.With this in mind, I am pleased to announce today that we will run around half a dozen demonstration projects to look at how direct payments to tenants will work.These projects will investigate two specific issues:Firstly, how do we support people to manage their finances so they don’t miss rent payments and are able to manage their own budgets?And secondly, how do we support landlords if people do miss rent payments?But let me clear from the outset, these demonstration projects are not testing outifwe should introduce direct payments to tenants.The demonstration projects will test the best way to support landlords under the new system of direct payments to tenants.And will specifically test different methods of implementation to ensure we get the transition to direct payments to tenants right.The projects will also look at potential safeguards for landlords.For example, we want to have in place a trigger which switches the housing payment to direct to landlords if tenants start to get behind with their rent.How this trigger will operate – whether it’s by number of payments, amount of money, length of time – are all questions for the demonstration projects.But what isn’t in any doubt is its existence.The trigger will be there to protect landlords from persistent failure to pay and to reassure your lenders by providing a safety net so income streams remain secure.We also want to make sure landlords don’t miss out if a tenant does consistently miss rent payments. For instance, this could mean providing a mechanism for reclaiming rent arrears from Universal Credit payments – again this is something the demonstration projects will investigate.Between now and Christmas we are looking for around six local authorities and partner housing associations to volunteer for these demonstration projects.This is a real opportunity to get in at the design level and make the change to direct payments to tenants work for you.We’re going to launch the projects in June 2012, so there’s going to be a lot of hard work over the next few months but getting involved now means you’ll be ahead of the game when direct payments become a reality in October 2013.If you are interested, there’s further information available on the DWP website and you can get in touch with the Housing team at DWP using these details.Slide three – contact details(32KB)So, just before I close, what I hope you take away from today is this, direct payments to tenants is on its way.However how we get there, the route we take, is something we can discuss.I am entirely open to testing out the best ways to provide support and safeguards to protect the industry whilst making this change.In the end we all want the same thing, to ensure people living in the social housing sector get the support they need.We are all aiming for the same finish line, for the majority of tenants employment is both possible and desirable.So, we have to start putting the parts in place to drive people towards this goal.Direct payments to tenants is a key element of the wider transformation we are aiming to achieve with Welfare Reform.Universal Credit, the Work Programme, the ongoing efforts around financial inclusion, all come together to build momentum towards work and away from benefit dependency.We all know the benefits having a job can bring.Not just in terms of increased wealth and stability.But the wider benefits of improved health and wellbeing, the social aspects of work.The transformation it can bring to communities when people leave benefits and move into work.The cultural transformation we know work can bring.That is the ultimate goal of the Government’s reforms and something I think we all want not just for social housing tenants but for society as a whole.Welfare reform – housing support None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/14-09-11.shtml Lord Freud National Housing Federation Annual Conference 2011-09-14 Department for Work and Pensions National Housing Federation Annual Conference
Content13 September 2011Maria Miller MPMinister for Disabled PeopleRecruitment Industry InitiativeBT CentreTuesday 13 September 2011[Check against delivery]Before becoming an MP I worked for a large advertising agency.One of the roles I held there was Head of Graduate Recruitment.So, I know something about both the challenge of identifying the right talent.And just how rewarding it can be when you find the right person for the job.Knowing they will be really happy in their new role and that you’ve helped an employer find somebody who’s a good fit for their company must be very satisfying.I see something similar in my line of work, when I go out to visit disability employment specialists and meet disabled people who have been helped into work.The impact on an individual of having the right job can be truly life-changing.Not just in terms of income, but think about all the other positive things we get from work, friendships, the satisfaction of a job well done, improved confidence and a sense of worth.Research has also shown that work can be good for people’s health and well-being.But too many disabled people are shut out from all of the good things that being in work can bring because they can’t get past the recruitment processes.Disabled people want to work, but less than half of working age disabled people are employed.The employment rate for disabled people is 46 per cent compared to a national employment rate of 70 per cent.This unused talent could be costing the economy up to £13 billion a year.And unfortunately all too often disabled people are failing to get jobs not because they can't work or don't want to work but because existing recruitment processes mean they don’t get past the first hurdle.This has to change.Not just because it’s a good thing for disabled people, and certainly not because it’s a "nice" thing to do.This has to change because shutting disabled people out in this way is detrimental to the economy and detrimental to business.Those who fail to consider the seven million disabled people, including three million already in employment, as part of the UK's potential talent pool are ruling out up to one-sixth of the UK’s potential workforce without real reason.This is an enormous disservice to the many very capable, talented disabled people who want to work.But it is also an enormous disservice to employers as it could so easily mean that actually the perfect person for their job is overlooked.The reality is that really small changes to recruitment processes can make the difference between being able to tap into this talent pool and not.For example, for lots of jobs now the first stage is an online application form, but too often these cannot be accessed by blind people.Or we ask disabled people to attend assessment centres which aren’t wheelchair accessible.Or we have really complex application processes for roles that are actually quite straightforward and could be carried out by a learning disabled person.It doesn’t take very much to put these things right.I know later this evening you’ll hear the results of the first Recruitment Industry Initiative survey.I don’t want to spoil the unveiling.But I think it will be no great surprise to learn that often employers and recruiters simply don’t realise the processes they use are having this affect.I think the problem here is two-fold, a lack of understanding of the way disabled people are affected by some recruitment processes and a lack of knowledge about where to go for support.But help is available.Clearkit is one example and I think the only resource that includes recruitment processes as well as in work support.But there are others. Jobcentre Plus advisers can also help employers to think more positively about disabled people.And for those employers who work with Jobcentre Plus and make a commitment to employ and develop disabled staff we award the "Two Ticks" symbol.This is a professional accreditation covering interview best practice and in work support for disabled people. It recognises those employers who are prepared to give disabled people a chance based on their talents.And that is all anyone needs and deserves.Two Ticks and Clearkit provide a complementary package of advice and support for employers recruiting and employing disabled people.In Government we have been looking at the services we provide to help disabled people be able to get the most of employment opportunities.Last December, I asked Liz Sayce, the Chief Executive of Radar, a national organisation run by disabled people, to carry out an independent review of disability employment services. As an aside, one of the interesting aspects of Liz’s research was just how much the work aspirations of disabled people have changed. Again and again disabled people – especially young disabled people – said they wanted the same choice of jobs as everyone else – in every sector. And why shouldn’t disabled people have that choice?Liz also looked at the in-work support available to disabled people and their employers.She found one scheme in particular, Access to Work, is highly valued by both disabled people and employers.Access to Work provides bespoke support for disabled people in mainstream jobs and is tailored to the needs of both disabled people and their employers.We spent nearly £98 million on Access to Work in 2009/10, helping more than 37,000 disabled people to get or keep employment.Liz has recommended some small changes to the Access to Work scheme to make it even more effective. For example, by widening access to information and peer support.She has also suggested a fundamental change to the way support is provided, linking it to the individual so support can go with them from job to job.Young disabled people, like young non-disabled people no longer expect a job for life so I think it’s sensible to design support that moves jobs with the individual instead of starting a brand new assessment at the start of each new role.I’m telling you about this because understanding more about the support available might help you to support more employers to hire more disabled people.Government obviously has an interest in getting more disabled people into work. More working people means less is paid out in benefits and we recoup more in tax and national insurance. In effect it’s good for our bottom line.But it’s also good for employers, providing access to a wider talent pool, finding a valuable member of staff and enhancing their reputation as a "good employer" enabling them to attract more high quality candidates.And this means it must be good for your business in terms of both the quality and diversity of the candidates you put forward.This evening’s event is partly to ask you to think about the processes you use and the processes your clients use to recruit and just ask yourself are they disability friendly?And if they aren’t what are you missing?But it’s also about showing you the kind of support on offer and where you can go to ask questions.I know so much of this is about information. Sometimes employers don’t know what to do for the best. So too often don’t do anything at all.If there’s one thing I have learned in my time as Minister for Disabled People, it is that the best way to find out what disabled people need and want, is to ask disabled people themselves.So, I’m delighted you’ll be hearing from Dan Biddle a little later, we’ve met a number of times now and he has some really interesting things to say about the importance of mainstream employment.I’d also urge you to take a look at the free part of the Clearkit website which has some useful hints and tips for making recruitment processes disability friendly.There is a real change of attitudes both of and to disabled people and employment.Being in work is something the vast majority both expect and aspire to.Employers, recruiters and yes sometimes still Government need to be much more alert to this and make sure disabled people have the same opportunities as non-disabled people.Not because it’s a nice thing to do, or even the right thing to do but because it’s the smart thing to do. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/13-09-11.shtml Maria Miller MP Recruitment Industry Initiative 2011-09-13 Department for Work and Pensions Recruitment Industry Initiative
Content14 July 2011Lord David FreudMinister for Welfare ReformPutting the Pieces Together: The Government's Plans for the Future of Welfare ReformRespublicaThursday 14 July 2011[Check against delivery]Despite the enormous variation in this essay collection, in terms of both subject matter and viewpoint, there are some reoccurring themes.Firstly, a move towards greater personal responsibility, and away from the notion that the state can and should provide services to the nth degree.Secondly, whether in health, education or welfare there is a shift from an autocratic model of service delivery towards intensely personalised support focused around the individual patient, pupil or benefit claimant.And finally, across all areas there is a more sophisticated appreciation of public service delivery. There is a growing understanding that social change cannot be achieved simply through ever increasing spending, we have to be smarter than that.This collection brings together some of the most radical new ideas in public policy today.Ideas that are transforming the future of Government and public service delivery in the UK.There is no arena in which this transformation is so palpable and as fast moving as it is in the welfare reform space.In just over 12 months we have completely redefined employment support and in doing so we have created a framework which can be used by other parts of Government to deliver social interventions in a much more holistic and comprehensive way.Using the new DWP framework we have contracted the best of private, voluntary and public sector expertise to deliver tailored employment support based on individual need.This support will be provided through the Work Programme which we launched just last month.The Work Programme takes a radically new approach to supporting people at risk of long term unemployment into sustainable jobs.This Programme is bigger than any of our previous employment programmes and it will serve an unprecedented range of people, some of whom will need more help finding and keeping a job than others.Organisations delivering the Work Programme are therefore paid variable amounts which are dependent upon the perceived difficultly of getting an individual into work.So, the more difficult it is to get someone into the work the more we will pay for that support.Maximum payments for supporting people into sustained employment will range from around £4,000 for typical jobseekers to almost £14,000 for the hardest to help, reflecting the differing levels of support required.This in itself is a unique approach for Government but what is really revolutionary is that we have not dictated the terms of this support.The Work Programme is being delivered on an almost entirely payment by results basis.We’ve developed is a contract structure that runs like this.For the first three years there will be a small but declining up front payment made for each claimant referred to the Work Programme.The next payment only comes after someone has been in work for six months if they are a typical jobseeker or three months if they are from one of the harder to help groups.The rest of the fee is paid in instalments that last up to two years for the hardest to help. And if the person drops out of work those payments stop.At the end of three years we will have moved to 100 per cent payment by results.The payment by results model was very much created out of my own experience in the financial markets.The UK has the most astonishing record of innovation in this area.Firstly, with the wave of privatisation that swept first through the UK and then through the rest of the world in the 1980s.Secondly, with the development of the basic framework for Public, Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the 1990s, which again we have exported to almost every corner of the world.And now we are entering the third wave with a viable payment by results mechanism.I believe payment by results will overtake PPPs as the preferred contracting option for public service delivery and once again we will see an idea that had its genesis here in the UK redefine public services at a global level.The welfare industry has shown its confidence in the new system by indicating it is willing to invest up to £580 million in the first year.This is a powerful indication that payment by results can deliver exciting, innovative programmes that simultaneously provide an effective service and are good value for the tax-payer.Crucially, the framework we have established to deliver the Work Programme is deliberately flexible enough to bring in other forms of social intervention that support people in to work. We have built something that can go much further than tackling unemployment, and we are now looking at developing a sophisticated system of social interventions based around the payment by results model, with the Work Programme at its core.Earlier this week the Prime Minister unveiled his plans for wider public service reform.A key strand of this plan is the commitment to extend payment by results to increase accountability and transparency.We are already looking at a number of options, including using this approach to provide services to tackle drug and alcohol addiction and the rehabilitation of ex-offenders.Indeed, just a couple of weeks ago we issued an invitation to tender to the DWP framework providers to deliver a family-wide intervention programme to tackle worklessness.There are a small but significant number of families - around 120,000 - who are truly struggling and contribute a disproportionate amount to Britain’s social problems.These are troubled families, often with multiple problems, and often already being supported in different ways by a host of local services.Simply providing back to work support to an individual family member is not going to transform the lives of the entire family.Turning the lives of these families around and enabling them to fulfil their potential is a priority and would bring real social benefits.Using the framework we will contract providers to work with whole families in partnership with local services to tackle some of the acute problems that prevent individual family members getting back to work. We are spending around £200 million of European Social Fund money to provide this employment-focused support.The ultimate aim is to break the intergenerational cycle of worklessness and get families working.But a similar non-prescriptive, payment by results model to the Work Programme will mean providers have the resources and the freedom to really work with families and bring about real life change.This is just the beginning.The framework isn’t just a mechanism for public sector intervention. It could also be the tool we use to turn social investment into social intervention.We want to use the payment by results model to bring in private finance in the pursuit of social good.We can harness social investment using something like Social Impact Bonds.And encourage private investors to back projects with, for example, disadvantaged children by rewarding them with some of the future savings we will make to the public purse.However, they’ll only see a return on this investment if their projects work –pure payment by results.When you consider that it costs on average around £59,000 a year on for a young person to be kept in a young offender’s institute, or hundreds of thousands of pounds to support somebody for a lifetime on benefits, it is clear that the potential savings and therefore rewards are huge.Not only does this make economic sense, it is also a question of social justice, getting investors to do something positive for their community while seeing a return on their investment at the same time.A pilot programme at Peterborough Prison has attracted £5 million investment from the private and voluntary sector. This scheme is targeting 3,000 adult offenders with the aim of bringing about a 7.5 per cent reduction in re-offending within six years.Sir Ronald Cohen has spoken eloquently about the possibilities here, arguing that: “Impact [social investment] capital is the new venture capital”.It’s a bold claim.There is still a great deal of work that needs to be done, particularly around how we value the impact of private investments and translate it into clear and measurable returns.But we are heading in the right direction.Previous Government schemes failed, in my view, because the flow of money for social interventions created the wrong kind of programmes.Public investment has typically come from the centre.Budgets have been divided up by department with each fiefdom carrying out its own activities and often the left hand having no clue what the right hand is doing.And these schemes have been entirely blinkered in their aims, focused on single issues and narrow outcomes.Payment by results takes away the blinkers, breaks down the silos and encourages tailored, localised support.This is going to be the real revolution – social interventions that actually work. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/14-07-11.shtml Lord Freud Putting the Pieces Together: The Government's Plans for the Future of Welfare Reform 2011-07-14 Department for Work and Pensions Putting the Pieces Together: The Government's Plans for the Future of Welfare Reform
Content7 July 2011The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of State for Work and PensionsCentre for Social Justice: Early InterventionThursday 7 July 2011[Check against delivery]IntroductionIt’s good to see so many people here today engaging with this issue.As the other speakers have made clear, the evidence on the importance of early intervention is now pretty overwhelming.Frank Field’s report into life chances cited research showing that the simple fact of a parent being interested in their children’s education could increase the child’s chances of moving out of poverty as an adult by 25 percentage points.And Graham Allen reminded us of the fact that a child’s development score at just 22 months can serve as an accurate predictor of educational outcomes at 26 yearsGraham Allen’s reportThis is an issue close to my heart.Graham and I came together in 2008 – two politicians from different parties – to write a book which established the case for early intervention.I saw first hand Graham’s passion for this issue, and so I had little hesitation in asking him to write two further reports on this for the Government.Throughout these reports he has worked with local authorities, investors and voluntary and community organisations to put these issues high up on the public agenda.Graham’s first report established the evidence base and some of the best practice around early intervention.His second – published earlier this week – is about how we provide the means to make early intervention happen.We will be looking carefully at the specific recommendations in the report, but the message coming through loud and clear is thatsocial investmentneeds to be part of the solution, rewarding investors when their money yields savings to the public purse and delivers improvements in young people’s lives.Not only does this make economic sense, it is also a question of social justice, getting investors to do something positive for their community while seeing a return on their investment at the same time.The social investment market is still at an early stage but I believe it has real potential.Just two days ago I spoke to a room of more than 300 prospective investors and delivery organisations who have expressed interest in bidding for the Government’s new Innovation Fund, which will reward investors for backing innovative projects which help disadvantaged young people.And I like to think of this as just the start of a process.Sir Ronald Cohen has spoken eloquently about the possibilities here, arguing that: "Social enterprise and impact investing…look like the wave of the future."He has even claimed that "Impact [social investment] capital is the new venture capital".These are bold statements, and it is still early days.There is still a great deal of work that needs to be done, particularly around how we value the impact of private investments and translate that into clear and measurable returns.But we are now very much on the right road.Priority to the early yearsAt the same time there is an important role for Government to play, both at the central and the local level.In a tight fiscal environment it is more important than ever that we get this right, which is why today’s report from the CSJ is helpful.I just want to emphasise two important points from the report.First, we need to remember the distinction between early intervention as a whole and the early, or foundation, years – in other words the years 0-5.Both are important.The early years are about creating a social and emotional bedrock, whereas the years up to 18 are about helping children become the excellent parents of tomorrow.But it is clear that the early years are particularly critical.Studies show that at birth only 25% of a child’s brain is formed. By the age of three, 80% is.So it is important that we offer support to every child to reach their full capacity as early as possible.Best practiceThe second point I want to emphasise is around best practice.Graham’s first report listed 19 programmes that were seen to represent the best in the field of early intervention.But, as Graham himself made clear, this list was far from exhaustive, and it’s critical that local authorities don’t take this as the final word on what works in early intervention.What works in Islington won’t necessarily be the same as what works in Ipswich.And, as the CSJ report explains, there may be more to this than effectiveness alone.There are also questions of what is feasible, and whether the intervention is appropriate for the recipient.These are questions that local authorities need to be looking into carefully, not just relying on a list that was never intended solely as a blanket cover-all. ConclusionIf we can move forward on this basis……building the social investment market……prioritising the early years……and continuing to look carefully at what really works……I think we will be in a position to make a powerful offer to some of the poorest families in our society, building a solid foundation for the future.If we don’t, the next generation could be condemned to repeat the mistakes and problems of their parents.We need to keep hammering home the message that early intervention offers the best hope for today’s children.It could turn out to be the smartest decision local and national government ever made.   None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/07-07-11b.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Centre for Social Justice: Early Intervention 2011-07-07 Department for Work and Pensions Centre for Social Justice: Early Intervention
Content7 July 2011Lord David FreudMinister for Welfare ReformGetting the UK workingConfederation of British IndustryThursday 7 July 2011[Check against delivery]CBI has hit the nail on the head.The Office for Budget Responsibility is forecasting increasing employment over the next few years.But we continue to have a problem with inactivity.There are nearly five million people on out of work benefits.This number has fluctuated over the years but has remained between four and six million for more than a decade, in good times and bad.Long term benefit dependency is a real problem.Of the 2.6 million claiming incapacity benefits, over half have been on benefit for at least five years, and a third have been on benefit for 10 years or more.Given this, the CBI are right to say that there is a strong business case for addressing these problems: those in work are healthier, live longer and are better off.We now know that work is good for you – there is strong evidence that being in work can be beneficial to health.Far from protecting people from work we need to recognise that it can be part of recovery from illness and part of a full life for disabled people.Employment is entirely the right route for those people who can work.We do not believe that it is acceptable to write people off to a lifetime on benefits because they have a health condition or disability.We believe the many of these people could work, if they received the right support.But that support has not been forthcoming.We’ve had active labour market policies in the UK for some time but they have failed to make any real difference to the large numbers of people for whom claiming benefits has become a way of life.It is time for a complete revolution in welfare provision and employment support. Government has started this revolution; with the introduction of the Work Programme, the development of Universal Credit, and the re-assessment of many of the people currently claiming incapacity benefits.But I know that employers are key to the success of our efforts.Private sector employers will be creating jobs over the coming months and years. I want to ensure that people leaving benefits are in the best possible position to take up those jobs – that they have the right skills at the right time to be the best people for those positions.This means having an ongoing discussion with employers throughout the UK to ensure the support we provide matches demand.This seems obvious, but it hasn’t always happened.A few months ago Professor Alison Wolf published a study into vocational qualifications.She found that among 16 and 17 year olds between a quarter and a third are in, or moving in and out of, vocational provision which offers no clear progression into employment.We have been paying for vocational training that does not lead to a vocation.It is small wonder that we have well over a million 16-24 year olds who are not in full-time education or employment.One of Wolf’s key recommendations was that education, whether academic or vocational, should provide for labour market and educational progress.And to achieve this employers should be directly involved in quality assurance and assessment of training at local level.There is a really important role for employers to provide opportunities for young people so they don’t get stuck in the age old catch 22 situation of not being able to get a job because they have no experience and not being able to get experience because no-one will give them a job.Government is playing its part; we have accepted Professor Wolf’s recommendations to improve the system of vocational education for 14-19 year olds.And we are committed to raising the age of participation in education or training to 18 by 2015.In this year’s budget, we increased funding for apprenticeships to over £1.4 billion, enough to provide 360,000 places.Apprenticeships are an excellent way of building capacity for the future and ensuring young people move into fulfilling and sustainable careers, and have the skills base they need to progress in their chosen profession.The additional funding will give us the extra capacity to target young people who are not in employment, education and training – the so called NEETs.But of course we rely on employers to provide those placements.We need employers to work with training providers, Jobcentre Plus and the National Apprenticeship Service to ensure apprenticeships meet the needs of employers, young people and the economy as a whole.We are also working with employers to develop 100,000 work experience places over the next two years for job seekers aged 16-24 to help bridge the experience gap.There are real benefits to business as well as youngsters of providing work experience placements and apprenticeships.The UK Commission for Employment and Skills recently surveyed 80,000 employers and found that whilst only 22 per cent of employers recruit direct from education, those that do overwhelmingly say it has benefited their business.This report suggested a number of recommendations for Government and employers to expand and develop opportunities for young people.Central to these recommendations and the findings of the Wolf report is bringing the worlds of skills training and work much closer together.We are having a total shift in philosophy away from the work first approach towards a more sophisticated understanding of the skills needs of employers.The analysis the CBI have released to launch the Getting the UK Working project add to this understanding.The maps are an interesting visual representation of the challenges faced at a sub-national level.This Government is committed to bringing together employment and skills – making the real world of work the focus for skills training.By using data about current and emerging jobs Jobcentre Plus can identify future skills needs and work with local training providers to develop short courses designed to meet those needs. Frontline services are being encouraged to operate much more strategically and now have the power to tailor support to individuals and employers, funding training that’s appropriate for the claimant, rather than just convenient for bureaucracy.Returning to the issue of inactivity.And the large numbers currently claiming out of work benefits, including those people claiming incapacity benefits, many of whom could work with the right support.That support will now be provided, for people who are at risk of becoming long term unemployed, by the new Work Programme.Launched last month, the Work Programme provides personalised back to work support delivered by private, voluntary and public sector specialists.The Work Programme is not like previous Government back to work employment schemes.We have contracted providers on a payment by results basis and have not dictated how they should get people into work – just that they should get them there.And not just into any job but in to sustainable work.After a provider has helped someone into a job, we will pay them for each month that they help that person to stay there, up to a set limit. In the hardest to help cases full payment will only be made when a provider has supported someone in work for two years.This means the nature of provision has to change to include in-work support as well as back to work help.This could include mentoring schemes and close engagement with employer and employee to stop vulnerable people falling out of a job and back into the benefits system.I think we’ll see greater convergence of the in and out of work support networks.For example, one of the things we are currently working on, which I know the CBI and its members are very interested in, is the Sickness Absence Review.In January the Government appointed independent reviewers David Frost of the British Chambers of Commerce and Dame Carol Black, the National Director for Health and Work to investigate the current sickness absence landscape.As part of the review the team will be exploring exactly where the financial and other incentives are in the system for both employers and employees.We know that many firms offer excellent support to return to work after a period of illness and this can have a really significant impact on bringing down the number of days lost to sickness absence and the well being of workers.I think the findings of this review, and the best practice demonstrated by employers in this area could include important lessons for Work Programme providers as they develop new approaches to in-work support.However, the freedom we have given providers through the Work Programme contracts means they have the freedom to draw upon these ideas or develop their own innovative approaches as they see fit.But I do know that private providers are very good at working closely with employers to ensure they are delivering the right candidates for the job.And I would not be surprised that if in the process of doing that much closer binds were forged between skills training and the work agenda and between in and out of work support.I think we all recognise we have a stake in getting the UK working.I hope the CBI’s latest project will support the efforts Government is making in the welfare and employment space and I look forward to reading the findings in the autumn. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/07-07-11.shtml Lord Freud Getting the UK working 2011-07-07 Department for Work and Pensions Getting the UK working
Content6 July 2011The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MPMinister for EmploymentPromoting Social Justice: Employment and WelfareEuropean Social Network Conference in WarsawWednesday 6 July 2011[Check against delivery]In the UK we have the best part of five million people on out of work benefits.This number has fluctuated but has remained between four and six million for more than a decade, in good times and bad.Within that number there are people who have never worked. People experiencing many of the deep rooted social problems associated with long periods out of work.There are generations of families who have lived their whole lives on benefits, people with drug and alcohol addictions, ex-offenders; people living on the fringes.There are small areas in the UK where we have very high levels of benefit dependency. Places like Merthyr Tydfill in Wales (23 per cent) and Knowsley in the North West (22 per cent) where almost a quarter of people aged 16 to 64 claim out of work benefits.Long term benefit dependency is rife – of the 2.6 million claiming incapacity benefits, over half have been on benefit for at least five years, and a third have been on benefit for ten years or more.We believe, that with the right support, many of these people can work but they have never been given the chance.We have had labour market activation schemes for years in the UK.But we have still not solved the problem of long term benefit dependency.This can not continue.We decided we needed a total revolution in the way we incentivise people to leave state benefits and get into work.To this end, we have developed a radical new programme to support long term unemployed people into sustainable jobs, called the Work Programme.And it is entirely unlike anything that has gone before.The Work Programme draws upon the best of private, voluntary and third sector expertise to deliver truly tailored support based on individual need.However, the UK Government has not stipulated what this employment support should look like – because we don’t need to – we are paying private providers almost entirely for their success in helping people find and keep jobs.We want providers to innovate and find what works for different people.They are the experts and now they are free to use the methods they know will deliver.We are already seeing this innovation begin to take shape.One provider I visited earlier this week is creating integrated employment centres right across the UK, bringing in specialist support to deal with drug addiction and homelessness alongside the back to work help.Another is bringing in ex-servicemen and women to act as mentors and be positive role models for claimants. This Heroes to Inspire scheme is developing soft skills like motivation and punctuality – it truly is an inspiration.The Work Programme has a unique payment structure which recognises that some people will require more help to find and stay in work than others.Maximum payments for supporting people into sustained employment will range from around £4,000 for typical jobseekers to almost £14,000 for the hardest to help, reflecting the differing levels of support required.The contracts are long, up to seven years and include financial incentives for maintaining, as well as securing, employment.Longer contracts mean providers have more certainty and are more willing to invest in provision.Differential payments means they can invest in people.We have worked hard to find the right balance. This has to be a good deal for both taxpayers and providers financially, as well as getting the right support for those who have fallen out of work.We are happy for providers to make a profit, but only if they do well at getting people into work. We don’t want them to be able to make money inappropriately from the taxpayer when they don’t succeed.What we’ve developed is a contract structure that runs like this.For the first three years there will be a small and declining up front payment made for each claimant referred to the Work Programme. After three years it’s 100 per cent payment by results.The next payment only comes after someone has been in work for six months if they are a typical jobseeker or three months if they are from one of the harder to help groups.The rest of the fee is paid in instalments that last up to two years for the hardest to help. And if the person drops out of work those payments stop.So we waited to see if we had got that balance right. And if the private and voluntary sectors were really willing to buy into the principle of payment by results.We now know that the 18 prime providers and hundreds of sub-contractors – from a mix of public, private and voluntary sectors – are willing to make that investment - to the tune of £580 million in the first year alone.This is £580 million investment risk shifted from the Government’s books on to the private sector.This is a powerful indication that payment by results can deliver exciting, innovative programmes that simultaneously provide an effective service and are good value for the tax-payer.The Work Programme started last month, and I believe it will transform the lives of many of our most vulnerable people.But what we have created with the Work Programme is not just a system of back to work support, but a blueprint for the provision of Government services.We have built something that can go much further than tackling unemployment, and we are now looking at developing a sophisticated system of social interventions based around the payment by results model, with the Work Programme at its core.For example, around £200 million of the Department for Work and Pensions’ allocation from the European Social Fund for England has been ear-marked for developing whole family provision which will focus on intergenerational worklessness.These are troubled families, often with multiple problems, and often already being supported in different ways by a host of local services. Simply providing back to work support to an individual family member is not going to transform the lives of the entire family, we have to do more.There are some 800,000 individuals, including around a quarter of a million children, living in households where no-one haseverworked.Using the DWP’s framework and a similar non-prescriptive, payment by results structure as the Work Programme we are using some of the money DWP receives from the European Social Fund to strengthen the work being done on the ground, and break down the barriers to work many of those families experience.This is just the beginning; we hope to use the Work Programme blueprint to develop work in other areas such as rehabilitation of drug addicts and ex-offenders.The framework we have developed to deliver the Work Programme is flexible enough to allow other parts of government to use it to provide services including at a local authority level.Alongside this we are completely changing our approach to supporting disabled people through the benefits system.For too long we have focused not on what people can do but on what they can’t.This has left 2.6 million disabled people on out of work benefits, many of whom could work, if given the right support.We do not believe that it is acceptable to write people off to a lifetime on benefits because they have a health condition or disability.Many people with health conditions are able to sustain and progress in employment.We have a new benefit to support disabled people which recognises that there are some people who simply cannot work and will always need unconditional state support.But there are many others who, if given personalised support could move into work.We are currently going through a process of re-assessing many of the 2.6 million people currently claiming incapacity benefits with a new emphasis on what they can do.If someone is found able to work they can access the specialist provision available through the Work Programme to enable them to start making that move into employment.Finally, the Welfare Reform Bill, a major piece of legislation currently going through our Parliament will deliver a complete overhaul of the benefits system – creating a single Universal Credit.This will simplify welfare provision and make it more responsive to changes in people’s circumstances.As part of these reforms we are developing a real time tax and benefit system, smoothing the transition between benefits and work and making work pay.This will mean we can make the system more responsive, so people are able to work more hours and keep more of their pay without losing all of their benefits.Universal Credit will make it easier for people to understand what they are entitled to and crucially how much better off they will be in work.These changes will develop continuity of state support for people moving off benefits and into work.Essentially, we are making the welfare system in the UK more active so that everything we do is geared towards supporting people to leave benefits and find sustainable work.All of this has started a new era for social intervention and public service delivery.I think it will revolutionise the way we support the most vulnerable in the UK and I believe it could have far reaching implications for welfare to work provision in Europe and the rest of the world. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/06-07-11b.shtml Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP Promoting Social Justice: Employment and Welfare 2011-07-06 Department for Work and Pensions Promoting Social Justice: Employment and Welfare
Content6 July 2011Lord David FreudMinister for Welfare ReformDWP Annual ForumWednesday 6 July 2011[Check against delivery]Last year’s DWP annual forum was one of my first events as a new Minister.I’m pleased to be able to join you again this year.Last year I set out the Government’s plans for reforming the welfare system, reforming employment support, reforming Housing Benefit, and reforming support for disabled people.It was an ambitious set of reforms.Now those ambitions are starting to come to fruition.So today, I’d like to give you an update on how far we’ve come over the past year.But also, go back to first principles, and remind all of us why we need these reforms, what we are aiming for, and what the final package should look like.The issue is this – there are nearly five million people on out of work benefits.The independent Office of Budget Responsibility is forecasting increasing employment over the next few years as the economy recovers.And therein lies our biggest challenge.We cannot stand by and allow, these people to be bypassed by growth.It is bad for the economy, it is bad for the country and it is bad for the individuals themselves.Of course there will always be people who will need state support, and we will always provide support for those who need it.But for the vast majority who can work, being in employment is the best possible option for escaping poverty and being able to play a full role in society.Our welfare reforms are designed to deliver clarity, consistency, and fairness for all, throughout every part of the benefits system.Let me take each of our major reforms in turn:With the introduction of Universal Credit we plan to simplify and restructure the benefits system to deliver a single household payment.We are developing a real time tax and benefit system, to provide immediacy for people.Benefit support that comes when it’s needed. Earnings from work that boost income straightaway.This will mean we can make the system more responsive, so people are able to work more hours and keep more of their pay without losing all of their benefits at once.Universal Credit will deliver clarity by simplifying the benefits system, making it easier for people to understand what they are entitled to and crucially how much better off they will be in work.It will deliver consistency by creating a single income-replacement benefit for working age adults and establishing a clear, steady tapering off of benefit payments the more people earn from work. And it will deliver fairness for benefit claimants by removing some of the barriers people currently face and delivering a more efficient more active benefit system that is also fair to the taxpayer.The piece of legislation that will make these reforms a reality – the Welfare Reform Bill has already passed through the Commons and is likely to have its second reading in the House of Lords in just a couple of weeks. This puts us right on schedule to deliver Universal Credit for new customers in October 2013.One of the interesting things about Universal Credit is the Government is taking an entirely new approach to delivery.We are currently working on the design and build of the new system.We are developing it in stages and testing each element with claimants.The aim is to deliver a benefit system structured around the claimant’s end to end experience – not just through the benefits system but their full journey right through the benefits system and into work.We are making good progress and have already completed the first stage of detailed design. Delivery of Universal Credit is on schedule and on budget.The same principles of clarity, consistency and fairness are at the heart of our reforms to Housing Benefit.Over the last 10 years Housing Benefit has roughly doubled in cash terms from £11 billion to nearly £22 billion from 2000-01 to 2010-11. Without reform it is forecast to reach nearly £25 billion by 2014-15.In some cases the State had supported people to live in homes with such high rents that they had no realistic chance of earning enough to pay the rent without state help.This approach encourages benefit dependency. Housing Benefit reforms restore clarity to the system by introducing a clear limit to affordability.The maximum we will pay is now £400 per week – still no small sum – more than £20,000 per year in total.We are also taking steps to tackle under-occupancy in the social rental sector.In England alone, there are around five million people on the social housing waiting list and over a quarter of a million tenants in overcrowded conditions.Yet at the same time we are paying for something approaching one million extra bedrooms with Housing Benefit. This is a luxury we cannot afford.  It is not fair to the taxpayer and not fair to those in housing need. If people continue to live in a property larger than they need then we will expect them to make a reasonable contribution to its cost through a reduction in Housing Benefit.Housing Benefit reform will deliver consistency by encouraging families on benefits to make the same choices about where they live as families on low incomes And it will deliver fairness, for families on benefits as they have a real chance of escaping benefit dependency for good and for those on low incomes and other taxpayers who will no longer foot the bill for rents they could not afford themselves.We are also pressing ahead with reassessing Incapacity Benefit claimants for Employment and Support Allowance.This is because, even for claimants who are unlikely to see an improvement in their health and who are unlikely to sufficiently adapt to their condition, it is important that we do not write them off completely.We have now started the national roll out of this reassessment and are currently contacting 11,000 people per week.The Government does not believe that it is acceptable to write people off to a lifetime on benefits because they have a health condition or disability.Many people with health conditions are able to sustain and progress in employment.We now know that work is good for you.There is strong evidence that being in work can be beneficial to health.Far from protecting people from work we need to recognise that it can be part of recovery from illness and part of a full life for disabled people.Employment is entirely the right route for those people who can work.We are entirely committed to ensuring we get the reassessment process right.That’s why we have accepted the full recommendations of Professor Harrington’s review of the Work Capability Assessment and remain committed to annually reviewing the process so we can continue to refine the assessment and support people back into work.This move to unconditional support for those people who cannot work and help for those will provide clarity, consistency and fairness for disabled people and people with health conditions.Clarity so people know where they stand and get the support they need.Fairness for people who had previously been sidelined by an inactive benefits system.And consistency of approach, everyone who can work will receive support to help them make the most of employment opportunities.We are taking this one step further, looking at the whole system of sickness absence.In January the Government appointed independent reviewers David Frost of the British Chambers of Commerce and Dame Carol Black, the National Director for Health and Work to investigate the current situation and develop some recommendations for improvements.Early insights from the review suggests the picture may be far more complicated than we had realised.For example, people do not always follow a linear journey from 28 weeks on Statutory Sick Pay to eventually claiming sickness-related benefits. In many cases, people who flow onto benefits come more or less directly from work thus entering the State’s auspices rather earlier.As part of the review the team will be exploring exactly what is happening and where the financial and other incentives are in the system for both employers and employees.We know that many firms offer excellent support to return to work after a period of illness and this can have a really significant impact on bringing down the number of days lost to sickness absence and the well being of workers.Alongside reforming welfare we are reforming employment support for those at risk of becoming long term unemployedLast month, we launched the new Work Programme.It’s a significant achievement and one which we could not have reached if it was not for the hard work of the welfare to work industry.The Work Programme is not like previous Government back to work schemes.It has a unique payment structure which recognises that some people will require more help to find and stay in work than others. Maximum payments for supporting people into sustained employment will range from around £4,000 for typical jobseekers to almost £14,000 for the hardest to help, reflecting the differing levels of support required.For the first three years there will be a small and declining up front payment made per claimant referred to the Work Programme. Thereafter it’s 100% payment by results.The contracts are long, up to seven years and include financial incentives for maintaining, as well as securing, employment.We have worked hard to find the right balance. This has to be a good deal for both taxpayers and providers financially, as well as getting the right support for those who have fallen out of work.We are happy for providers to make a profit, but only if they do well at getting people into work. We don’t want them to be able to make money inappropriately from the taxpayer if they don’t succeed.The Work Programme started last month, and I believe it will transform the lives of many of our most vulnerable people.But what we have created with the Work Programme is not just a system of back to work support, but a blueprint for the provision of Government services.We have built something that can go much further than tackling unemployment, and we are now looking at developing a sophisticated system of social interventions based around the payment by results model, with the Work Programme at its core.We’ve already used the DWP Framework to issue an invitation to tender for working with whole families financed by the European Social Fund, to tackle intergenerational worklessness. This approach will focus on England’s most troubled families, those already in touch with social services, the police, probation services, those families who are really struggling. These contracts will take the same non-prescriptive, payment by results approach as the Work Programme but encourage providers to work with whole families with the ultimate aim of getting them into work in part by tackling their other issues.The Work Programme delivers clarity for claimants as those at risk of long term unemployment will receive personalised support from welfare providers rather than the old confusing array of one-size fits all provision.It delivers fairness by giving people a real chance to change their lives and leave benefit dependency for good.And it delivers consistency because whilst the methods may vary the focus on sustainable employment remains the same.I know many of the organisations in this room have been working very hard to deliver different elements of our reforms.As the Bill makes its way through the parliamentary system and different aspects of reform take shape we are grateful for your ongoing input.I know there are a number of areas where we still have work to do; childcare in Universal Credit for example, reforming support for disabled people following the Sayce Review and the introduction of Personal Independence Payments.As we work through the detailed policy discussions in these areas and in to the delivery of these further reforms I hope you will continue to work with us to deliver clarity, consistency and fairness for all. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/06-07-11.shtml Lord Freud DWP Annual Forum 2011-07-06 Department for Work and Pensions DWP Annual Forum
Content5 July 2011Lord David FreudMinister for Welfare ReformEntry level employmentThe Centre for Social JusticeTuesday 5 July 2011[Check against delivery]The stark message from today’s report is that we simply have too many unskilled people, not enough intermediate skilled people, and increasingly need very highly skilled people.For a country coming out of recession this is a wake up call.We are seeing slow and steady recovery, and the type and range of skills we will need to maintain growth is changing.But this is not just about having skills for their own sake.We know that people who leave school with no qualifications are over three times more likely to be out of work than people with a degree.And there are wider benefits to having skilled people in work.Some researchers estimate that a one percentage point reduction in the proportion of working age people with no qualifications would provide a net social benefit of between £32 and £87 million from reduced property crime in Britain.But, as this report makes clear, skills training must be related to the reality of employment.I was disturbed to read the findings of Professor Alison Wolf’s study into vocational qualifications published just a few months ago.She found that among 16 and 17 year olds between a quarter and a third are in, or moving in and out of, vocational provision which offers no clear progression into employment.We’ve developed vocational training that does not lead to a vocation.We are teaching skills that are neither use nor ornament whilst at the same time employers are crying out for better skilled candidates.This is madness.We must ensure the skills system is geared towards the needs of employers.But having the right skills is just one part of the picture.As this report has found, for entry level jobs, having the right attitude to work is just as important, if not more so, than even basic skills.Whilst the scope of today’s report is much wider than young people – looking, as it does, at all potential entry level candidates – it made me think of the Wolf report and our failure to properly equip the young with the skills they need in the real world.I think, as a society, we have let young people down by not preparing them for life beyond education.But worse than that, we have stood by as they have been sold a lie.We have allowed reality television to make them an empty promise of overnight success.Saturday night talent shows make ten second celebrities of ordinary people.This is not harmless viewing; implicit in this programming is the notion that you can get something for nothing.That if you wait around long enough your true talents will be discovered and fame and fortune will be yours.It is time for these reality shows to get a reality check.The rise of the cheap, temporary celebrity has eroded people’s responsibility to support themselves.We have a triple whammy of failure for young people in Britain today.The education system does not prepare them for the world of work.The benefits system encourages inactivity.And celebrity culture tells them it’s all going to be fine, that their moment in the sun is just an audition away.It is small wonder that we have well over a million16-24 year olds who are not in full-time education or employment.The real challenge of the CSJ’s report is how to restore employability in the unemployed.The report quotes one employer who summarised employability using the acronym PRIDE:ProfessionalismReliabilityInterestDeterminationEnthusiasmHow do we restore the principles of PRIDE in our young people and more generally in the long term unemployed?We in Government hold some, but by no means all, of the levers for change.As the CSJ report rightly points out family, peer groups and wider society also have an enormous impact on aspirations and expectations.This is as much about culture change as it is about Government reforms in education or welfare.Government is tackling these issues head on.We have accepted Professor Wolf’s recommendations to improve the system of vocational education for 14-19 year olds.And we are committed to raising the age of participation in education or training to 18 by 2015.We are also committed to integrating employment and skills – making the real world of work the focus for skills training.We will improve basic skills like literacy and numeracy by providing a full subsidy for basic skills training in England for everyone aged over 19 years old, regardless of benefit status.We will also fully fund training for people on active benefits to address skills gaps, working with individuals and employers to ensure training is tailored to their needs.And all training will be accredited meaning over time credits from completed courses will add up to full formal qualifications.We are empowering Jobcentre Plus to work more closely with local employers, colleges and private providers to help ensure that flexible and responsive provision is delivered to meet the needs of employers and communities.One of the most important aspects of this is work is ensuring they understand the local labour market and are able to respond accordingly.Frontline services are being encouraged to operate much more strategically and have been granted the power to tailor support to the individual at the right time for them, rather than at specific points in time.Additionally, Jobcentre Plus is now able to use data about current and emerging vacancies to identify future skills needs.District managers will then work with local training providers to develop short courses designed to meet those needs.In addition, from August this year we will give Jobcentre Plus advisers the power to require some benefit claimants to attend training if they are clearly missing specific skills which would help them to get a job.We have increased the funding for apprenticeships to over £1.4bn this year, enough to train 360,000 apprentices, delivering real opportunities to progress across a range of industries.Apprenticeships are an excellent way of building capacity for the future and ensuring young people in particular are able to move into fulfilling and sustainable careers.For long term unemployed people welfare reforms will provide a much more responsive benefits system and personalised back to work support.Universal Credit will deliver a real time tax and benefits system, making it much easier for unemployed people to take short term, flexible jobs like those offered at entry level.At the same time the new Work Programme will provide tailored support for people finding it difficult to find work.This support is being delivered by private providers who are paid by results.The emphasis is on sustainable employment with providers earning more money the longer they support someone to stay in work – up to £13,700 over two years in some of the hardest to help cases.We have not dictated to providers how they should provide support so that they are free to use whatever methods they know work and to develop innovative new ways to improve existing methods of support.However, we know from this report and our own experience that often providers choose to develop effective relationships with employers so that they are able to more accurately match the right candidate to the right job.And the emphasis on sustainable employment means that providers will be incentivised to offer some form of in-work support.This could reduce the risk to employers of hiring some of the harder to help, long term unemployed as there will be some level of consistent support available to the new employee.There are a number of further steps Government is taking to tackle this issue.For example, over the summer we hope to launch the new sector based work academies.These are sector specific packages of training and work experience with a guaranteed interview at the end.They are focused in sectors that have high volumes of vacancies – often at entry level – and included accredited qualifications.Government is providing practical solutions, we are pulling all the levers we can but it must be a combined effort.We need employers to work with us to ensure training actually provides the skills they need.We need training providers and employers to work closely to design and deliver training and work experience packages.We need educational reform so young people are able to gain qualifications that are worth something to both students and potential employers.But most of all we need to restore PRIDE in our young people and long term unemployed, that’s about societal change and is a task we all share. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/05-07-11b.shtml Lord Freud Entry level employment 2011-07-05 Department for Work and Pensions Entry level employment
Content5 July 2011The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of State for Work and PensionsInnovation Fund bidder event – LondonTuesday 5 July 2011[Check against delivery]IntroductionI’d like to welcome everyone to the first Innovation Fund bidder event here in London.We will be taking these events around Britain over the course of this week, talking to potential investors and delivery organisations about our plans for the Fund.And we hope that you’ll take these opportunities to speak to each other as well, sizing each other up and assessing whether you could form a valuable partnership going forward.Young peopleI’d like to start by reiterating why this is so important.The Innovation Fund exists to find and fund organisations that are able to work with disadvantaged young people to turn their lives around.And this is one of the most significant challenges we face in our country at the moment.Even as we see some signs of promise in the labour market there is still a real challenge for young people, some 600,000 of whom are unemployed and not in full-time education.And while the recession has made things worse, this is a problem we have been dealing with for some years now.Just before the recession, unemployment amongst 18-24 year olds was actually higher than it had been five years earlier. And although many more young people are staying on in education, employment rates for 16-17 year olds who’ve left school or college have deteriorated substantially over the last decade or so.Back in 2000 around six in every ten were in work.That figure is now down to just over three in ten.As I say, this wasn’t just a product of the recession – by 2008 the level had already fallen to five in ten, so it has been on a steady downward trend over the course of the last ten years.Of course these statistics don’t reflect the fact that these numbers apply to an ever smaller group – as more young people have stayed on in education, so the number of NEET young people as a proportion of the population as a whole has fallen.But what it does tell us is that we will need even more effective – and, importantly, even more innovative – solutions for the remaining group of young people who are not engaging in education, employment or training.Support for young peopleWe’ve already put a number of programmes in place to give young people the extra support they need to take those first steps into further learning and work.We're investing in more education and training provision and have secured funding for an extra 40,000 apprenticeships targeted specifically at young people.We are also working with businesses to provide up to 100,000 work experience opportunities over the next two years.At the same time, young people will be able to get early access to the Work Programme, reflecting the fact they need more intensive support to find a job.The Innovation FundBut the Innovation Fund is about offering something a little bit different.I just want to touch on two important areas.First, the fund is targeted at young people aged 14 or over.In the past, Government has been too slow to engage with the employment prospects of young people before they hit 16 – or even 18.In line with the Government’s plans to increase the age of participation in education or training, the Fund’s focus for those who are not yet 18 will remain on supporting them to succeed in learning – but this support will also have to be focussed on improving employment outcomes further down the line.This is about getting in there early, understanding that the warning signs for poor employment prospects as an adult are often in place as early as 14 or 15.Investors take the riskThe second thing that’s different about the Innovation Fund is the funding model.We are inviting investors to partner with delivery organisations in submitting their bids, providing the funding and taking on any risks associated with the project.If they are successful they will get a return from Government, but we will only pay for outcomes – in other words we’ll pay for what works.Payment by results isn’t new of course – this is the model we are using in the much larger Work Programme – but the key difference here is that the investors take on the risk, freeing the delivery organisations to get a guaranteed income for doing what they do best.I hope this will encourage smaller organisations in the voluntary sector to come forward and take the opportunities provided by the Fund.This is what we mean by social investment – unlocking private finance in pursuit of the social good – and it’s an exciting time to be involved.Just yesterday I spoke at the launch of Graham Allen’s second report into early intervention.The Government will have to look at Graham’s recommendations closely, but what is clear is that using the tools of social investment to deliver early interventions for young people could prove a big cost-saver for Government, as well as having a huge impact on our local communities.The challengeBut now here’s the challenge: bids to the Innovation Fund have to be genuinely innovative, and they have to offer something which doesn’t just duplicate existing programmes.We need bidders to be thinking about how their support will really add value to existing provision.Get this right now, and the Innovation Fund could be a foundation for a powerful new partnership between investors, Government and delivery organisations in the years ahead.A partnership for:raising the financeproviding the expertise, anddelivering the results that young people in Britain really need. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/05-07-11.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Innovation Fund bidder event 2011-07-05 Department for Work and Pensions Innovation Fund bidder event – London
Content1 July 2011The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MPMinister for EmploymentHealth and Safety Laboratory CentenaryHealth and Safety LaboratoryFriday 1 July 2011[Check against delivery]I am honoured to be here to say congratulations on 100 years of the Health and Safety Laboratory.I know we have a full itinerary today and I am very much looking forward to seeing first hand some of the work you do.We are here to mark the centenary of a health and safety orientated facility at this site.The first research centre to be based here was, of course, nothing like the high-tech laboratory we have today.The Home Office Experimental Station - as it was initially named - was a single issue, single industry focused centre, set up entirely to investigate explosions in coal mines.I am sure that its founder, the then Home Secretary Sir Winston Churchill, would require a little more scotch with his water if he could see the breadth of work today’s laboratory is involved in.This facility is at the forefront of health and safety in the UK; investigating major incidents, researching future technologies and providing practical solutions for industry.I want this work to continue for another 100 years.But just as today’s lab has grown, from the original Experimental Station of 1911, into a facility with the widest science base of any equivalent laboratory in Europe, so must it adapt to the challenges of the future.We are maintaining protection for people at work, whilst reducing unnecessary red tape.We are reducing the burden on low risk business.We are re-focusing resources in to high risk areas.And we are committed to developing a fair and proportionate health and safety regime.At the same time we are restoring stability to the UK economy by reducing public spending and dealing with the deficit.This means the Health and Safety Laboratory, like many Government agencies, must also make some tough budgetary decisions.But I have every confidence that you will rise to the challenges of today, just as you have risen to the challenges of the past.But what of the future? And the next 100 years?The Health and Safety Laboratory has proven it is more than capable of adapting to the changing priorities of successive Governments.It has also demonstrated immense skill in adapting to changing work places and ever-changing health and safety concerns.From coal mining to Second World War anti-aircraft shells to hydrogen fuels, the service has provided solutions to some of the most difficult health and safety issues we have faced and continue to face.This ability to adapt will see the Laboratory through this current period of change and ensure it remains one of the most important health and safety facilities in the country.And I think the reason the Laboratory has so successfully adapted to new challenges, new technologies, and new priorities, is that the key aims of your work have remained the same.And they are very simple.The goal of this laboratory’s work has always been to ensure that more people are able to go home safe at the end of their working day.This must continue to be at the heart of your work.But I am also encouraged by the real focus on business and industry that this facility so obviously has.This emphasis on practical solutions chimes very closely with my own thinking on health and safety issues.The work you do must support future technology, not restrict it.It must encourage innovation and entrepreneurial activity, not restrain it.It must enable Britain to work better.I can see the aspiration the Health and Safety Laboratory has to achieve this.I know over the last five years the laboratory has increased its revenue from non-government sources by 83 per cent to £5.7 million.This represents around 20 per cent of the laboratory’s total income.But it is just four per cent of the £200 million non-government UK Health and Safety market.The ambition is there. Now is the time to deliver.The Health and Safety Laboratory’s annual report, published just this morning, notes that the organisation submitted £20 million worth of formal bids to the market in the last financial year – up by 25 per cent on the previous year.I know you do some fantastic work with the private sector such as the work for Shell on the safety of hydrogen when refuelling vehicles.I am especially impressed by the research you carry out into future technologies and processes before they are implemented and the impact this has on business.Your approach balances the need to quickly deliver major technological advances whilst reducing the risk to businesses and their employees that something will go wrong.The areas you are working in now; biomaterials, carbon capture and storage, and nanomaterial will be the industries of the future.The work this laboratory carries out for industry accelerates the contribution new technology makes to national productivity and wider economic prosperity.One of the most innovative aspects of your approach is the broad range of sciences you work across.This allows you to increase the benefits to business, by taking the lessons learned in one area and applying them to another.This allows firms to avoid costly learning curves by using research undertaken and knowledge gathered in other sectors that they may never have otherwise been aware of.We have to continue to sell this innovation to UK Plc and the rest of the world.I want to help the Health and Safety Laboratory get the recognition it so rightly deserves as a world class facility.I want to support you to build your reputation as a centre of technical excellence so that the laboratory is able to generate additional work from both the public and private sector.I want next year’s annual report to say bids were up again on this year and that the Health and Safety Laboratory’s market share has increased yet further.I know that currently Eddie and the rest of Laboratory management are developing a plan for this expansion.I fully support this work and I look forward to seeing the plan when it is produced next month.In the meantime, I am sure that under Eddie’s guidance the Laboratory will continue to tackle some of the most difficult and dangerous health and safety issues at work.My message is simple - apply common sense, support employers as well as employees, innovate and create practical solutions for both the private and public sector.And enjoy your centenary.I know the highly professional team here will continue to work hard to ensure the safety of the UK’s work force now and in the future.So, in another 100 years, another Minister can stand up and tell another audience about how the Health and Safety Laboratory adapted to the challenges it faced in 2011 to become one of most important players in the UK health and safety market. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/01-07-11.shtml Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP Health and Safety Laboratory Centenary 2011-07-01 Department for Work and Pensions Health and Safety Laboratory Centenary
Content29 June 2011Maria Miller MPMinister for Disabled PeopleAccess Explorers: Keynote addressShape: Access Explorers event at the Southbank CentreWednesday 29 June 2011[Check against delivery]It is a great pleasure to join you for the start of this important session to discuss accessibility issues.I’ve been doing this job for just over a year now and one of the very best parts of my role is to get out of my office and talk to young people about their hopes for the future.We, as a Government, have made a real commitment to achieve equality for disabled people.We often talk about it in very dry terms.But when I meet young disabled people I am reminded what it means in practice – to be able to enjoy time with your friends, to be spontaneous, to quite simply take part in the community.When I meet young disabled people they are of course as ambitious as young non-disabled people.Their hopes for the future are no different to any teenager - university, travel, careers in the arts, theatre, business, maybe even politics.The limits of those ambitions should only ever be as far as our imaginations can take them – every young person needs to be actively supported to achieve their potential.But the sad reality is that today we don’t.Young disabled people and those with learning difficulties are twice as likely to be NEET – not in employment, education or training - than non-disabled people and those without learning difficulties.Less than half of people who are hearing or sight-impaired are in work.So, what happens to all of that untapped potential?My own view is that some of the barriers you have been looking at over the last two days have a really cumulative effect so issues with physical accessibility, combined with negative attitudes around disabled people’s abilities leads to a loss of confidence and I think people can just become dis-engaged.Accessibility, as I know you have been exploring over the last two days, is about more than wheelchair ramps and hearing loops, although those practicalities are absolutely vital.Accessibility is also about attitudes and confidence.We have to support young disabled people to achieve their potential.And we have to raise the expectations of disabled people themselves but also employers, teachers, support staff.We have to demand more.I think we in Government can go further to ensure the progress of disabled young people through our education system and importantly in to employment.A couple of weeks ago Liz Sayce from Radar published an independent review of employment support for disabled people.One of her recommendations was to establish an inter-ministerial group where Ministers from lots of different departments come together to talk about these issues.We have already had our first informal meeting last week.I met with my colleagues from BIS, Education and Health, to discuss how we can work better, together, to support disabled people into employment.One of the things I am particularly interested in is developing a really clear route for disabled people through the education system and into work.I want to make sure at every stage disabled people are encouraged and supported to make the most of the opportunities that are available to them.Government obviously has an important role to play to drive the sorts of change that you have been talking about.But it would be entirely wrong for Ministers alone to be at the forefront of change – disabled people have to be an integral part of that.The work Shape has been doing over the past couple of days is a great example of developing solutions from the bottom up – and I want to see more of this innovation and motivation for change.In Government we are having to think smarter about how we spend money in difficult economic times.But Liz Sayce’s report found that existing budgets could help up to 100,000 people when currently only 65,000 are helped.If you think about it another way, that’s 35,000 people missing out because money hasn’t been spent effectively as it could be.There are a number of things Government is doing well but there are also a number of things we could be doing better.In education - we know that the experience of disabled young people at school and beyond has an enormous impact on their ability to fulfil their potential.In the right environment, aspirations are encouraged and young disabled people will flourish.I want to ensure we create more of the “right kind of environments”.The Department for Education is currently consulting on how to support young disabled people at school and beyond to achieve their ambitions.The Special Educational Needs Green Paper sets out far reaching changes to improve that support that young disabled people get from birth to adulthood.Proposals include a single assessment process and combined education, health and care plan for under 25s with more severe or complex support needs.For the first time people with special educational needswill have one plan that follows them through from birth to adulthood. This is a really radical idea that many people have been talking about for a long time.Our aim is for education, health and care services to work together with a real emphasis on helping disabled young people progress from education and into work.For example, one of the options we are consulting on is supported internships for some disabled young people.My colleague at education, Sarah Teather, Minister for Children and Families, and her team are really keen to ensure the views of young disabled people have been fully represented in this really important consultation.I know they have already had a large number of responses from parents and young people.If you want to contribute and have not done so already you’ll need to be quick as the consultation closes tomorrow.However, I know there will be ongoing work with young people and disability groups beyond the end of the formal consultation process, so if you haven’t had a chance to take part hopefully you can take part then.This comprehensive approach to support should develop a much stronger pathway through education and into employment.We are also reconsidering employment support for disabled people.One of the key findings of Liz Sayce’s report was that employment support should be built around the individual not institutions. Some of you may think that makes common sense.We are considering Liz’s findings very carefully.We are already moving towards much greater personalisation and localisation of services for disabled people in many other areas. The challenge is why not employment support?There are a couple of things Government is doing in terms of tailoring employment support for disabled people.Access to Work is one of the best kinds of this personalised provision. The latest figures show that nearly 33,000 people were supported between April and December of last year. It’s a really important way to help people achieve the independence they want.The Sayce Review suggested that for every £1 spent through Access to Work the Treasury – that’ s the people who have all the money - recoups more than £1 in tax and National Insurance contributions, so it makes real economic sense.The crucial thing about Access to Work is that the support it provides is built around the needs of the individual person, and individuals in their workplace.Access to Work is also available for young disabled people who have an apprenticeship place.The Government is increasing funding for apprenticeships to over £1.4 billion this year, enough to train 360,000 apprentices.In 2009/10 almost one in ten apprenticeships were taken up by people who declared a disability, I want to see that number increase.The Education Bill will redefine the apprenticeships available, making training a real priority for Government funding for all 16 to 18 year olds, and disabled youngsters up to 24 years old, when they have secured an apprenticeship.And just last month the Prime Minister announced a new Access to Apprenticeships route for young people who needed an extra boost to secure a job as an apprentice with an employer.This will begin from August of this year and is aimed at young people aged 16-24 who have been NEET for some time or who have additional learning or social needs.For unemployed disabled people help to get them back into a job is also being personalised. This is absolutely vital support for this important group of people, personalisation is really important so we are bringing in specialist providers to deliver it.The new Work Programme draws upon the expertise of specialist providers to help people into work. It pays by results and does not dictate how someone should be supported. So there’s a real incentive to get people into a job rather than just push people through training schemes.We know some disabled people may need more support so we will pay Work Programme providers more to help a disabled person into work, more than £13,000 so there is money there to get disabled people into real jobs.We want disabled people to be able to access this personalised employment support as a matter of course.So, we have identified further funding so they can join the Work Programme at an earlier point in their benefit claim than other groups of people, so they get that support sooner.People who may have more complex disability related needs will be supported by Work Choice, a programme which is based on personalisation and is much more flexible than its predecessor programmes and provides more intensive support for disabled people.And budgets for employment support for disabled people have been protected, it is important to emphasise, at a time when virtually all other budgets are being squeezed.I understand lots of what you have been doing over the last couple of days has been around entertainment.The arts are a great leveller.It’s not just the experience of being there and taking part that’s so important.It is great to see organisations like Stagetext and Vocal Eyes working hard to improve captioning and audio description in theatres so more people can enjoy amazing performances.But also, as I am sure you have seen over the past couple of days, the arts can challenge our expectations and change the way we see things.Whether it be showcase events like the DaDa Fest, the ongoing theatre work of Graeae – who will be involved in the Paralympic opening ceremonies - or Marc Quinn’s statue of Alison Lapper Pregnant in Trafalgar Square, the arts can have a really positive impact on public perceptions of disabled people.They can strengthen the disabled voice in the public sphere.And having that voice – that freedom to be creative – is incredibly important for all of our self-esteem and for feeling part of society.Going forward we want disabled people to have a voice in the development of the policies that affect them.This is why we are investing £3 million in User Led Organisations – groups that are run by disabled people and for disabled people.These organisations have a unique insight and are a powerful voice for the disabled people in our communities they represent both locally and nationally.We want to secure the continued involvement of these organisations by developing their skills and building on their experience.I don’t know if you realise just how powerful your opinions are.This event, bringing together disabled and non-disabled young people to consider accessibility, and it is truly inspiring.The issues you have explored over the last couple of days, the barriers you have faced and the solutions you have found are real.Hundreds of thousands of young disabled people will face the same challenges every single day.This event has brought us a bit closer to overcoming them in the future.Thank you. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/29-06-11.shtml Maria Miller MP Access Explorers: Keynote address 2011-06-29 Department for Work and Pensions Access Explorers: Keynote address
Content28 June 2011The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MPSecretary of State for Work and PensionsAll Party Parliamentary Group on Credit UnionsTuesday 28 June 2011[Check against delivery]IntroductionDebt was one of the pathways to poverty identified when I was at the Centre for Social Justice – alongside addiction, educational failure, family breakdown and welfare dependency.The CSJ looked at the issues carefully a few years ago in two reports: Breakdown Britain and Breakthrough Britain.The first report warned that the level of personal debt in the UK was unsustainable – and some of the banks complained that this was scare-mongering…That was not long before Northern Rock went to the wall.Our challenge now is to keep working to highlight the serious issue of personal debt.The UK debt problemHousehold debt levels have doubled in the last decade, from £700 billion ten years ago to almost £1.5 trillion today.And total outstanding consumer credit - which excludes mortgages – now stands at £214 billion.That’s an average of around £16,000 for every indebted household.Impacts on familiesThe impact of this debt burden is played out on doorsteps across the UK on a daily basis.Low income families are paying huge interest rates for cash to cover what are sometimes no more than the costs of daily living.Meanwhile those lending the money are on to a nice earner, often charging interest rates of more than 200% APR – and sometimes more than 2,000%.Interest at these rates can cause an ever-increasing spiral of debt, dependency and despair.And some illegal operators are employing unspeakable methods to extract payment.Just the other week a loan shark in Wales was jailed for charging extortionate rates of interest to a vulnerable woman.On an initial loan of £500 she was forced to pay back £3000, and was subject to aggression and intimidation at the hands of the lender.  This is what we mean by the poverty premium – not just paying a high monetary price for borrowing, but paying a high emotional price too.Worse still, we know that indebtedness is closely correlated with other key ‘pathways to poverty’.Where families have serious money problems it can make it much more difficult to hold down a job or build a stable and loving relationship, and the stress at home can impact on children’s performance at school.What we’re doingPart of the problem is that we have little or no savings culture or Britain – there are currently some seven million people not saving enough to give them the income they want or expect in retirement. But we also lack the strong institutions needed to provide those on the lowest incomes with a fairer source of credit.When you look at the figures, you find that we have a very low ‘penetration rate’ of Credit Unions compared to other rich countries – just 2% of people in the UK are members of a Credit Union, compared to 24% in Australia, 44% in the United States and almost 50% in Canada.This was something looked into carefully when I was at the Centre for Social Justice, with a range of recommendations made for reform aimed at restoring a culture of saving and fair credit in the UK. The Breakthrough Britain report argued that UK Credit Unions should be strengthened, supported and expanded – and I’m pleased to be able to stand here today and say that’s precisely what we’re doing.We’re making a £73 million fund available that will support suitable Credit Unions to expand and become financially sustainable within four or five years, helping up to one million more people access clearer and fairer Credit.We want people to have a local, trusted organisation to turn to when they are in financial need, not a local loan shark.Of course we need to make sure this money is well spent, which is why we are carrying out a feasibility study over the next few months which I’m delighted to say that Deanna [Oppenheimer] is leading.The CSJ were clear that commercial banks needed to support the development of Credit Unions as part of their social responsibility – Deanna and Barclays have certainly stepped up to the mark on that count.I am also pleased that Lord Griffiths – who chaired the debt group at the CSJ – has agreed to join Deanna on the study.And this isn’t just about building the role of Credit Unions.It is about enabling a whole network of trusted, local organisations to deliver vital services for some of the most vulnerable people in society.Take the Post Office.Part of the feasibility study will involve exploring if people are happy to use credit union services over Post Office counters, and whether this could be an opportunity for the Post Office to build on existing work with local credit unions to develop a national income stream.I should also touch on the issue of the Legislative Reform Order, as I know many of those present will be keen to know how it is progressing.The LRO will enable and encourage credit unions to grow their membership, by removing outdated restrictions on what they can do.It’s frustrating that there have been delays in getting this through, but it is important that we get this right, and I can confirm that subject to Parliamentary Scrutiny the LRO should be on the statute books in the Autumn.ConclusionBut of course this is about more than parliamentary instruments, feasibility studies and departmental funds.It is about giving dignity back to some of the poorest people in our society, ending a situation where those who have the least pay the most.It is about helping people manage their finances better as we move towards the Universal Credit.And it is about putting the UK’s Credit Unions on a more sustainable footing for the future.   None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/28-06-11.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP All Party Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions 2011-06-28 Department for Work and Pensions All Party Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions
Content22 June 2011The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MPMinister for EmploymentThe Work Programme, Employment and SkillsAssociation of Employment and Learning ProvidersWednesday 22 June 2011[Check against delivery]The Work Programme is absolutely central to our strategy to deal with the challenge of long term unemployment by helping people into the right kind of employment.The Work Programme is also a pathfinder and if it delivers in the way we think it will then it will change public service delivery across Government.I know many of you are involved in the Work Programme and it has been a busy 12 months.From start to finish it has been a rapid process, through design, contracting and putting the Work Programme in place.And I know many of you have been working flat out to get ready for the start date of the Work Programme and the hard work doesn’t stop here.So, I want to start by saying thank you.We’ve started the most radical reform of employment support this country has seen.We hope and believe almost two and a half million people will be helped by the Work Programme over the next five years.And support is not capped because the mechanism we are using to fund the Work Programme means we are using the savings made when you get someone into work.There is no limit to our aspiration.We are using a black box approach, we are trusting the professionals to deliver the support they know works. We are saying to providers: "You do what needs to be done and we will pay you when you are successful".We want to unleash the creativity of the industry.And the varied payment structure means there is more money available to invest in the hardest to help.I’m really looking forward to watching that innovation take place.The networks developed to deliver the Work Programme are still bedding in and I think it’s quite typical for there to be some movement.I expect supply chains and networks will grow and evolve over the lifetime of the contracts, advancing on experience of what works and bringing in others as appropriate to maximise success.The sub contract chain is crucial. We want to encourage strong supply chain partnerships with fair and supportive treatment for sub-contractors. The Merlin Standard provides real commercial protection to smaller organisations involved in the Work Programme.We do not expect smaller organisations to be used as, what somebody recently described to me, as bid candy. And we will take a pretty dim view of primes that cast their supply chains aside or mistreat subs. The specialist provision that smaller organisations provide is a really important part of the package.I’d like to thank Paul Warner from ALP for his work on the Merlin Advisory Group.This is just the start, we see the Work Programme as the blue print for social interventions.We believe everyone who can work should work.There will always be support for people who are unable to work.But for everybody else work is a crucial part of taking a full and active role in our society.This is why employment support is the back bone of social interventions.We are already considering a number of bolt-ons to the Work Programme – for example, building employment support in to the rehabilitation of offenders and drug addicts. This could transform social interventions.And the Work Programme blue print, in particular, the payment by results model, is already being replicated in a number of areas such as health and offender management.And I know that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is looking at how the payment by results model can be used to reward training providers for job outcomes.Skills training is a key part of the employment picture.We are committed to integrated employment and skills provision – at a Ministerial level John Hayes and I work extremely closely together.ALPs announcement that you will be changing your name to the Association of Employment and Learning Providers is an extremely welcome step forward.Budgets are tight, we have been forced to take some difficult decisions and now we all have to spend wisely.This means we have to focus the resources we have where they are needed most and where they will have the greatest impact.We know that people who leave school with no qualifications are over three times more likely to be out of work than people with a degree.Nearly 14 million working age people do not have numeracy skills at the level expected of an 11 year old.We do not underestimate the scale of the challenge.Nor do we underestimate the wider benefits of improving the skills of the nation.Some researchers estimate that a one percentage point reduction in the proportion of working age people with no qualifications will provide a net social benefit of between £32 and £87 million from reduced property crime in Britain.We will fully subsidise basic skills training in England for everyone aged 19 years and over, regardless of their benefit status. In addition, from August this year we will give Jobcentre Plus advisers the power to require some benefit claimants to attend training if someone is clearly missing a bit of their skills jigsaw that would help them to get a job.One of the most important aspects of this is understanding the local labour market and responding to skills needs.This means more freedom and flexibility for colleges, for Jobcentre Plus advisers and for Work Programme providers than has been done in the past.We are encouraging frontline services to operate more strategically. For example, from now on Jobcentre Plus will use data about current and emerging vacancies to identify future skills needs.  District managers will then work with local training providers to develop short courses designed to meet those needs.Employers also have a key role to play. They have a duty to share their training needs and work with local agencies to ensure people are able to take advantage of local vacancies. But we also want to encourage employers to co-fund training opportunities, sharing the financial burden, as ultimately they will be the beneficiaries.This partnership working is also crucial to the delivery of the apprenticeship programme.Last week there was a welcome fall in the youth unemployment figures, 79,000 down on the quarter, bringing the total down to 895,000. This is still a huge number.Even when you take into account the number of those in full time education but looking for work, the number is still much too high. There are still 618,000 young people who are unemployed and not in full time education.That’s why, in this year’s budget, we announced a further expansion of the Apprenticeship Programme by an additional 40,000 places. This will give us the extra capacity to target young people who are not in employment, education and training – the so called NEETs.Apprenticeships are an excellent way of building capacity for the future and ensuring young people move into fulfilling and sustainable careers, and have the skills base they need to progress in their chosen profession.We rely on training providers, employers and Jobcentre Plus to work with the National Apprenticeship Service to ensure apprenticeships meet the different but very much complementary goals of employers, learners and the economy as a whole.So, my message to you today is this, please keep doing what you are doing, continue to work together to deliver this exciting package of reforms, we can work better, deliver more, if we work together.This is an exciting time to be part of the employment and skills world.I know the last few months have been tough, there have been a lot of changes, and we’ve had to make some difficult choices.But I think now we can all see that the world that’s emerging is one that is better for providers, better for Government and most importantly better for those people who need our help.Greater freedom and flexibility on the ground will translate into first rate, personalised support for those who need it most.   None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/22b-06-11.shtml Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP The Work Programme, Employment and Skills 2011-06-22 Department for Work and Pensions The Work Programme, Employment and Skills
Content22 June 2011Lord David FreudMinister for Welfare ReformHousing and Welfare ReformChartered Institute of HousingWednesday 22 June 2011[Check against delivery]Over the past four years I have been struck time and time again by the sheer scale of the welfare system and the fine balance that needs to be struck between supporting people in a way that is fair and affordable and yet which still encourages work and self-dependency. Achieving that balance should be, I believe, a priority for all of us here.The numbers are huge. In 2009-10 the Government spent £192 billion on welfare and pension payments, compared to £35 billion on defence, £50 billion on education and £98 billion on health.Housing Benefit is a significant part of this expenditure. Over the last 10 years Housing Benefit has roughly doubled in cash terms from £11 billion to nearly £22 billion from 2000-01 to 2010-11. Without reform it is forecast to reach nearly £25 billion by 2014-15.The number of people involved is also very large. There are currently five million people claiming out of work benefits and of those over one million have spent the last ten years on benefits.New analysis into Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants has revealed that many people cycle through the system several times. So, over 190,000 jobseekers have been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for three out of the past five years.Behind these numbers there is a story of individual lives perhaps unfulfilled because that person is trapped in a benefit system that:discourages them from working,discourages them from taking responsibility for themselves ,discourages them from breaking the cycle of poverty that blights so many of our poorest areas.Public investment in tackling poverty must be about more than a straight income transfer. Welfare spending over the years has got out of control. Yet despite this – and despite a booming economy - the numbers on inactive benefits remained broadly static.A situation has developed whereby generations of the same family have never worked, people exist outside the normal day to day of working life and poverty deepens – both in financial terms but also in hopes and expectations.That’s what is really at the heart of this issue – the lost human potential.Lives blighted by poverty, poor educational achievement, addiction, debt, family breakdown and unemployment.And for all of the initiatives launched by the Government the gap between rich and poor has widened and social mobility remains at a shamefully low level.The really galling thing about this is that it is the very system intended to provide support that has created this situation.As it stands the benefits system is costly, ferociously complex, and rife with disincentives to work. This is unfair to those claiming benefits and even more unfair to the taxpayers who have to fund the system.Housing Benefit is a case in point. In some situations the State was supporting people to live in homes with such high rents that they had no realistic chance of earning enough to cover the rent independently and to escape benefit dependency. And in many cases those homes were more desirable than those afforded by low income non benefit claimants.The same applies more generally. As a result of the way the system is structured too many people find that they are better off unemployed than in work. For them, regardless of how well we could support them back to work, it would be completely irrational to take a job.Faced with this rather bleak outlook the DWP Ministerial team and I were keen to get started on reform.And we have not wasted any time, the Welfare Reform Bill has now been considered by the House of Commons and received its first reading in the House of Lords just last week.The revolutionary new Work Programme, which will provide tailored back to work support for the unemployed, was launched the week before that.We’ve moved quickly.And we were able to do so because we were all guided by the same three principles:Fairness– the new system has to be fair to both benefit recipients and to taxpayersAffordability– in difficult fiscal times we have to keep an eye on our budget, but more than that, the Government proved that throwing money at this problem won’t fix it. We have to spend smarter and ensure the investment we make creates a real change for the unemployed and inactive.Finallyending benefit dependency– this is not just about the soaring benefits bill, it’s about people, families, children. Everybody deserves a decent chance at improving their lot. Welfare reform is about empowering people to make a change for themselves.So, what does this mean in practice? Well we’ve launched a two-pronged attack; a total overhaul of the benefits and tax credits systemandan effective, personalised back to work programme.I’d like to talk a bit about both.Firstly, reforming the benefits system.Consecutive governments have grappled with the benefits system, often adding layer upon layer of complexity in their attempts to make improvements.I’m sure many of you here today have struggled at times to explain the array of different benefits – and the way they interact – whether you’re a Housing Association trying to support your tenants or a Local Authority helping the people in your area. No one could claim it’s straightforward.We have needed to rethink this system from the ground up.Our plans will simplify the benefits system, creating a single income-replacement benefit for working age adults – the Universal Credit.At the heart of Universal Credit is the simple goal that work should always pay.The key features of Universal Credit are:It is simple to understand and access.By bringing together both in and out of work benefits people will continue to receive the right level of support when they move into work, without the risk of losing one award and having to apply for another.Withdrawing support gradually at a single rate means that many people will be able to work more hours and keep more of their pay, ensuring work pays, even for those at the bottom end of the pay scale looking to take on extra hours or a modestly paid job.Universal Credit is there to support people when they need a safety net - but in return claimants will be expected to take their responsibilities seriously. And because the system is simple to use there will be no excuse for cheating.The real time link between earnings and benefits information provides immediacy for people. Benefit support comes when it’s needed. Earnings from work boost income straightaway. People immediately start to see the difference to their income when they do work.By basing support on financial need, not crude measures of employment status, we remove barriers to work.Under the old system some people on Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit could lose as much as 96 pence for every extra pound they earned.Universal Credit reduces this to around 76 pence for modest earners and 65 pence for low earners improving the work incentives of 700,000 people. It is also designed to encourage people into the world of work by leaving benefit levels untouched at very low earning levels.The broader impacts of introducing Universal Credit make the argument for reform even more compelling.Around 2.7 million households will have higher entitlements – for over one million this will amount to more than £25 a week.We anticipate more people will take up benefits once the system is simplified, potentially lifting 600,000 adults and 350,000 children out of poverty.And the combined effects of welfare reform could lead to 300,000 fewer workless households.We are currently designing and building Universal Credit.It is structured around the claimant’s end to end experience, not just through the benefit system but into sustainable work. We’re working with claimants to test the new system as we go.We are making good progress and have already completed the first stage of detailed design. Delivery is running on time and on budget.We expect the first new claims for Universal Credit to start in October 2013 with all existing customers moved to the new system by 2017.Alongside this radical welfare overhaul we are revolutionising employment support with the launch of the Work Programme.And it truly is a revolution.Contractors are paid almost entirely on results and success is measured over a long period – up to two years for those who are hardest to help.The payment structure recognises that some people need more support and payments are higher for the harder to help groups. Some of the savings from the benefits bill will go towards paying for the success of providers.This varied payment structure combined with longer contracts has encouraged the private and voluntary sector to invest up to £580 million in the first year.We’re also trusting the professionals – the so-called black box approach. We want organisations to be free to do what they know works and so beyond a few basic requirements we will not dictate how this support should be delivered.The Work Programme will replace the failing employment support programmes and deliver effective back to work provision for the first time.Together Universal Credit and the Work Programme will ensure people get the help they need to leave benefits and return to work.So, you may well be wondering where Housing Associations and Local Authorities are in this picture.Well first off, there are opportunities for all kinds of organisations to get involved in the Work Programme and I know a handful of Housing Associations have already arranged to get involved in supply chains.But returning to Universal Credit we have already made clear that an element will be added to the Universal Credit award to help meet the cost of rent and mortgage interest.For those who rent their accommodation, this amount will be similar to the support currently provided through Housing Benefit once we take account of recent and imminent reforms.To further simplify the system for pensioners Housing Benefit will be combined with Pension Credit.I know many of you may be interested in what will happen to direct payments to landlords under the new system.Welfare reform is about empowerment.We want to ensure that the experience of Universal Credit claimants mirrors that of other low income families who are in work as far as possible – to make the move off benefits and into work as smooth as possible.For this reason our starting position is that people should manage their own budgets, including paying rent or mortgage, in the same way as other households do in work.However, we recognise the importance of stable rental incomes for social sector landlords.And we said in the Welfare Reform White Paper to develop Universal Credit in a way that protects the financial position of social sector landlords and keeps a facility to pay landlords directly.We are still working through the detail of this and will continue to work with benefit claimants and the housing sector.Local Authorities will have an important role in the transition to Universal Credit.Until Universal Credit is fully rolled out, Local Authorities will continue to administer Housing Benefit as well as Council Tax support.Beyond that there may still be a role for Local Authorities in face to face delivery of Universal Credit.In the meantime we are reforming Housing Benefit.In some cases people were living in homes that other low income households could simply not afford. And with rents so high that they had no realistic chance of ever earning enough to escape benefit dependency.And more generally people on Housing Benefit were paying more rent for their homes than low income households not on Housing Benefit.By exercising tighter control over the Housing Benefit budget, we aim to moderate the upward growth in private rents.So, we are reforming Housing Benefit to make it fairer to both those claiming benefits and the taxpayers who support them.From April this year we changed the way Local Housing Allowance rates are set and imposed an overall weekly cap so that the highest rate is now £400 per week – still no small sum – more than £20,000 per year in total.Measures included in the Welfare Reform Bill will also ensure that people in both the private and social sector continue to act responsibly and make choices about the size and location of their accommodation based on what they could afford if in work and not on benefits.Our assessment is that the vast majority of Housing Benefit claimants will remain in their homes.However, we accept there may have to be some adjustments and have made transitional support through sharply increased discretionary housing payments available to Local Authorities to help people make the necessary changes.For the minority who will have to move, there will be support to help them find more suitable, sustainable accommodation.These reforms are guided by the principles of fairness, affordability and achieving an end to benefit dependency.But the Government knows it cannot do this alone.There are real opportunities for the organisations represented here today.I know many of you are already getting involved. For example the Housing Associations I mentioned earlier who are already becoming part of the Work Programme supply chain.As the Work Programme contracts bed in, partnership working will be a firm feature of delivery and I expect supply chains and networks will grow and evolve over the lifetime of the contracts, advancing on experience of what works and bringing in others to maximise success.I know many of you will already be working with your tenants or the people in your local area to do more than just provide housing.Some of the Housing Plus activities I have seen are no less impressive, no less innovative than our best bids for Work Programme provision – and provides much food for thought as we consider how to support claimants in future. I am very conscious that the State must find a way of helping the most vulnerable families on a holistic and cost efficient basis. There is no reason why you cannot build on what you are doing to help us get to grips with this fundamental imperative - and expand your partnership working to increase the impact of the work you do even further.We are poised and ready to deliver real change for benefit claimants. I am looking to you to help us with this social transformation.Thanks very much. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/22-06-11.shtml Lord Freud Housing and Welfare Reform 2011-06-22 Department for Work and Pensions Housing and Welfare Reform
Content21 June 2011The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MPMinister for Employment"Welfare reform and homelessness"Crisis Conference 2011Tuesday 21 June 2011[Check against delivery]Good afternoonToday you have asked whether welfare reforms will be fair for homeless people.Let’s take a moment to consider the fairness of the current system.Is it fair that some people are worse off when they leave benefits and go into work?Is it fair that some people lose out because the system doesn’t respond quickly enough to changes in circumstances? Or that the fear of losing puts so many people off from even trying to change their lot?Is it fair that some of the most vulnerable people, those most in need of support, are parked on benefits because they are viewed as too difficult to help into work?Our reforms will bring fairness back into the welfare system.We will ensure work pays.We will simplify in and out of work benefits, replacing them with a single Universal Credit and remove the cliff edge loss of income that makes some people reluctant to leave the safety of the benefits system.And we will ensure everyone who is able to work gets the support they need to find and stay in work.Our reforms are based upon the principle of social justice, which means always providing a second chance.For homeless people it means giving them a fair shot at over-coming the complex causes of homelessness and opening up the possibility of life change.It means not writing anyone off.We all want the same thing - to see an end to homelessness.It is incredibly sad that tonight, here in London, an estimated 400 people will feel their only option is to sleep on the streets.It is not a sign of a socially just society.Nor are the tens of thousands of vulnerable people, who this evening will sleep on a friend’s sofa, or in a shelter, or in a squat.Insecure accommodation cannot be the only option for our most vulnerable people.But putting a permanent roof over someone’s head is only part of the answer.To truly bring an end to homelessness we need to see beyond bricks and mortar and help people deal with the root causes of disadvantage.The underlying issues– family breakdown, drug and alcohol misuse, poor physical and mental health, behavioural problems, a lack of education and skills, crime and so on.And we know that all too often these issues occur in parallel. The most common trigger for homelessness is family conflict but this is often driven by one, usually more, of those other issues.To bring a sustainable end to homelessness, we must offer support in parallel too. It is not enough to find someone a bed to sleep in, or even a home they can call their own, if the underlying issues are not addressed.The Government understands that the causes of homelessness are complex and the solutions fall across and beyond Government boundaries.That is why we have set up the Ministerial Working Group on preventing and tackling homelessness, bringing together eight departments with responsibility for providing different aspects of support to address the underlying causes of homelessness.It provides a focus for Government action on homelessness but it does not have all the answers. There is a significant role for local authorities and the voluntary and charitable sector to continue to work with homeless people at an individual level.Which is why, despite these tough economic times, we have maintained the level of the Preventing Homelessness Grant, with £400 million being made available to local authorities and the voluntary sector over the next four years.And it is why we have made a further £10 million available to Crisis, specifically to help single homeless people access the private rented sector.Fairness is at the heart of our welfare reforms.We are reforming Housing Benefit to make it fairer to both those claiming benefits and the taxpayers who support them.Measures included in the Welfare Reform Bill will ensure that people continue to act responsibly and make choices about the size and location of their accommodation based on what they could afford if in work and not on benefits. These further changes build on the reforms to the Local Housing Allowance that we have already made.Rents in the private rented sector have, in part, been distorted by the high rents the benefits system has paid out.Research has shown that most low income working households pay less to rent a place to live than Local Housing Allowance would pay for the same property.Now that cannot be right.It makes it much more difficult for people to move from benefits and into work.Nor can it be right that until March this year people were allowed to claim excessive rates of Housing Benefit in parts of London – thousands of pounds per month in some cases – to pay rent that the vast majority could not afford, even those on high incomes – and those people themselves could not afford when back in work.By allowing a system to continue in which the State pays rents so high that it is impossible for people to leave benefits and pay their own way we compound poverty rather than alleviating it.That is why, from April, we changed the way rates are set and imposed an overall weekly cap so that the highest Local Housing Allowance rate is now £400 per week that’s nearly £21,000 a year – it is no small sum.We expect these reforms will mean rents will fall.Our assessment is that the vast majority of Housing Benefit claimants will remain in their homes.However, we accept there may have to be some adjustments and have made transitional support available to Local Authorities to help people make the necessary changes.For the minority who will have to move, there will be support to help them find more suitable, sustainable accommodation.Support for homeless people should also be about sustainability, helping people leave the streets for good, and that does mean addressing their wider issues.The Ministerial Working Group will shortly publish its first paper on homelessness. This will focus on the most vulnerable homeless people – rough sleepers. It will include some key commitments for those already sleeping on our streets and those at risk of rough sleeping.A key part of our approach to homelessness is helping those who can work to find work.Employment should be part of the first conversation we have with any homeless person trying to get back on their feet.I do not believe in the approach that we must first solve the immediate issue of housing, and then deal with the underlying causes of homelessness and only once all of their issues have been resolved have a conversation about finding work.Of course we must address the immediate issues of shelter, warmth and security.But as we heard in the film employment, for those who can work, can be a really important part of stabilising a new lifestyle and helping reintegrate into society and truly transforming lives.Eighty per cent of St Mungo’s clients said one of their goals was to get back into work, and we have just heard Crisis’ view on this is much higher (97 per cent). There is no doubt homeless people want to get back into the work place. We need to build on that aspiration and understand that having a job is an important part of reintegrating into society for any homeless person trying to start afresh.Employment is the one of the most sustainable routes out of homelessness, poverty and disadvantage. The benefits are clear, even a few hours a week can help establish a routine, provide extra cash, and help someone settle into a new life.There are two key elements to providing employment support for homeless people. Firstly, a simplified benefits system that ensures work pays, makes the move from benefits to work easier and supports those on the lowest incomes to keep more of the money they earn.That’s what Universal Credit is all about, it is designed to make work pay, so that whatever the situation, whatever their circumstances whether they are starting off with just a few hours, claimants will always be better off, the cliff edge where people would see all their money disappear is itself disappearing.The Universal Credit will also include housing support. We are working through the detail of this at the moment but the guiding principle will be fairness. Rents will be paid at the market rate and accommodation provided will match need but not exceed affordability.The second key element is the Work Programme; launched two weeks ago this is a revolutionary approach to employment support, built around the needs of the individual and focused on achieving long-term, sustainable job outcomes.The Work Programme is revolutionary for a number of reasons.Providers are paid primarily by results and results are measured over a long period – over two years in some cases.The payment structure recognises that some people need more support and payments are higher for the hardest to help. This varied payment structure combined with longer contracts has encouraged the private sector to invest up to £580 million of their money in the first year.We’re also trusting the professionals, we are saying to the organisations involved that they can design the programmes that work – the so-called black box approach. We want organisations to be free to do what they know works and so beyond a few basic requirements we will not dictate how this support should be delivered.In addition the Work Programme contracts encourage providers to involve voluntary and community sector organisations to deliver specialist support. It is often the case that these groups are best placed to work with the most vulnerable, those with the most complex issues. We want to build on this experience and expertise and really add value through the Work Programme. For example, in London alone there are 160 different charitable organisations dedicated to ending homelessness – Work Programme provision needs to complement this support.I know some organisations have already been contracted to provide Work Programme support; both the Single Homeless Project and Shelter will be involved in delivery of the Work Programme.The Work Programme is central to this Government’s plans to tackle worklessness, we know unemployment is one of the key drivers of homelessness and so the package of support we offer homeless people will include specialist employment provision.This is where we need your help, we can provide a range of tailored support for vulnerable people, including homeless people – but we need to know who they are.For example, if we identify someone on Jobseeker’s Allowance who is homeless, they will have the option to volunteer for early access to the Work Programme. If they take up that option, we can pay providers more to help them get into work – up to a third more than they would have received for a JSA claimant with no particular  barriers to work.But the only way we have to identify people who are homeless, those who need this additional support is if they identify themselves to Jobcentre Plus.Currently we have 13,500 claimants in Great Britain with the “person without accommodation” marker on their record – we know this is a significant understatement. But we need your help to identify people and get them the help they need. Please encourage them to tell us about their situation.This link needs to be made on the ground. Frontline Jobcentre Plus staff, not central Government, have the expertise and local knowledge to work directly with you and your clients, to provide the tailored support homeless people need to find work.Government is making it easier for District Managers to make these local links and work with the voluntary and community sector by modernising the way Jobcentre Plus delivers its services and handing more responsibility and some funding to frontline staff to use their discretion. This means they can focus on getting people into work not on following rigid processes, thus reducing bureaucracy and unnecessary form-filling.So, I have two things to ask of you today:Firstly, please encourage your clients to self-identify to Jobcentre Plus so we can ensure they get the help they need.Secondly, I’d urge you all to work with your local Jobcentre Plus to provide more coherent support and case manage in a much more sophisticated way.It is only by working together, at a local level, supporting individual need, that we will be able to change lives and succeed in the goal we all share of ending homelessness for good.Thank you very much. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/21-06-11.shtml Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP Welfare reform and homelessness 2011-06-21 Department for Work and Pensions "Welfare reform and homelessness"
Content25 May 2011Maria Miller MPMinister for Disabled People"For fathers"Working families event, Church HouseWednesday 25 May 2011[Check against delivery]Good morning, I’m delighted to be here this morning to help launch this research, which is the culmination of two years extremely hard work by Lancaster University and Working Families.The publication of this research couldn’t have come at a better time with last week’s launch of the Government consultation on Modern Workplaces, which was also the culmination of lots of hard workIt’s good to see a piece of research focused upon the challenges facing working fathers and recognising the unique role they have in family life.This is no where more apparent than in my own household which is dominated by Dads, my own, my husband, without them I couldn’t do what I am doing today and have three children.Dads are special. Many working women couldn’t do what they do without their support.So are mums.Each has a unique role in family life which should be equally valued.We, as a society, have to adapt to support and nurture those roles.Today is about fathers.But, as David Cameron reminded us earlier this week, we are committed to supporting both parents because we want to make sure every child grows up in a stable, loving home.We will shortly be publishing our strategy for the vital early years of a child’s life, including radical new ideas for supporting both parents.In the meantime there is much we are doing to develop support for families and fathers.I will move on to that in a moment, but let me just say a couple of words about mums and families more generally.Today’s event takes nothing away from the pivotal role mother’s have.This discussion, whilst focusing on the pressures working fathers face, in no-way undermines or ignores the very great challenges that mums still face, not least in the ongoing battle for equal pay.And although we’ll talk a lot about fathers today, and a little about parents, we have not forgotten the pivotal role grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and other family members play in providing the love and stability that children need when developing a sense of themselves.Government recognises that to truly support families, we must address the issues faced by mothers, fathers and often wider family members because it’s only then that we can start to make a difference to children’s lives.This is why I was so keen to come and speak to you today, because there are two sides to making this a family-friendly nation.For too long I think it’s been a one-sided debate.The pressures on fathers are different to those faced by mothers.There is evidence, as your research has found, that Government policies have previously focused almost solely on supporting mothers and in doing so have undermined father’s roles.Just for example, the couple penalty that has been allowed to develop in the tax and benefit system creating financial incentives which can push fathers out of family life. And we know fathers want to be involved.We now have a situation where, as this research found, the vast majority (82%) of full-time working dads would like more time with their families.Research has found that a third of working fathers can’t even have breakfast with their children – they would like to but they miss out.   It is just this kind of family ritual, meal times, play times, time spent as a family that helps to create important bonds and shape children.Family meals are important, as we all know.The OECD measures the number of main meals 15 year olds eat with their families as one of the barometers of children’s well-being. In the UK around a third said they do not regularly eat with their parents putting us fourth from the bottom of the international league table of OECD countries.One way for fathers to enjoy more meal times with their children, if we use family meals as a touch point, then may be to adjust their working hours.But two in five are afraid to ask for flexible working because they believe it will harm their career prospects.Those men who do request flexible working are almost twice as likely to have their request turned down as their female counterparts. (23% of men’s requests are declined compared to 13% of women’s)This is quite simply nonsensical because all the evidence demonstrates that flexible working is not just good for families.It’s good for business. I know having worked in business, latterly as a company director, before becoming an MP, so I know that first hand.The Fatherhood Institute found that a quarter of fathers changed jobs within the first two years of a child’s birth so they could spend more time at home.Whereas evidence demonstrates that firms offering flexible working report higher staff retention rates, increased productivity, greater staff engagement and commitment and loyalty from employees. All of us who have operated flexible work places know that to be true.In essence, flexible working is good for the bottom line.The British Chamber of Commerce found almost three quarters (70%) of firms offering flexible working felt it had improved employee relations and a similar amount (63%) told the CBI that offering flexible working had lowered staff turnover.Crucially, research conducted by the London School of Economics has found that organisations with family friendly policies have higher levels of productivity (35%) and greater profits (60%) than firms offering no flexibility at all. But we are not just talking about equality for parents; we are considering providing the right to request flexible working to everyone.We all have responsibilities at home and demands on our time outside the workplace. The number of people who have caring responsibilities of one form or another is greater than ever.It is also worth reminding everyone that this is only a right to request flexible working, not a right to flexible working per se.Government will not dictate to families or business how they should organise their lives or their workforce but what we do want is to encourage a sensible conversation between employer and employee about their needs both at work and at home.The important thing is that people and employers should be able to work together to come to an arrangement that works for them.At the same time we are developing non-legislative measures to encourage the cultural change needed to make this happen. The private sector working group brings together employers and experts to develop practical ways to stimulate awareness of the benefits of flexible working.We are also exploring developing the civil service as an exemplar of flexible working. There is a role for Jobcentre Plus to promote flexible working to employers and people seeking work.The hope is that we will slowly begin to see more of the benefits I have mentioned for both families and business, reducing stress for employees and increasing profits and productivity for employers.We are also looking at the arrangements around maternity and paternity leave.The current system focuses almost entirely on the mother, with fathers entitlement to paternity leave set at two weeks compared to the 39 weeks paid leave mothers can claim. There is virtually no flexibility in the current system with only one opportunity for parents to transfer this entitlement if the mother returns to work when the baby is 20 weeks old.The current parental leave system is a smoke screen of flexibility, it promises more support for families trying to juggle work and home life but the reality is it actually entrenches state endorsed stereotypes by bestowing entitlements to mothers and whilst having very little regard for the roles of fathers.Currently virtually all (94%) fathers take some time off work when their child is born. However, around a third supplement the statutory two weeks with their holiday entitlement so they can spend more time with their family, at what we all know to be a pivotal time in family life.In our modern society, we too often assume that a father’s main contribution is financial and we can forget about the vital contribution they make to nurturing children.There is clear research showing how important it is for fathers to be involved in the early part of a child’s life and their role is now, scientifically at least, considered as important as the mother’s.For example, in America, studies have concluded that fathers approach to play tends to be more rough and tumble; they challenge children’s expectations, they develop curiosity and stamina as well as helping children develop problem solving skills and assertiveness.We live in a world of changing family dynamics, one in which more parents want to share caring responsibilities, and we do increasingly value the role fathers in child development.Yet we still let the state dictate who should look after the child by allowing a system of parental leave to continue which values mothers more than fathers.I am not suggesting for one moment that we should level down, taking entitlements away from mothers to bring them in line with those we currently provide for fathers.Nor can we completely level up, bringing fathers’ paternity entitlement in line with the full complement we currently offer mothers. As I have mentioned, there are tangible benefits for businesses that provide flexible working. Any changes Government makes to the statutory system must maximise those benefits, and not be a burden on business.So, the consultation proposes providing a protected period of maternity leave which will remain just for mothers, providing a ‘use it or lose it’ entitlement to paternity leave which will be just for fathers and then providing for up to five months shared flexible parental leave which can be used by mums or dads, whatever best fits their particular circumstances.It is a deeply personal decision, dependent on family income, the nature of parental relationships and employment circumstances. It should not depend upon the limitations of Government restrictions.Finally, we need to do more to support families if parents separate. The current system of child maintenance fails around half of children whose parents have split up.Government has become too involved in families when they separate. It has developed a system of rules and regulations which makes it more difficult for parents to come to equitable arrangements for sharing care and to take responsibility themselves. We need to reform the system and encourage families to find the arrangements which work best for them.We need to reform the system to encourage families to come to arrangements which work for them. We believe that enabling collaboration between parents will encourage family-based arrangements and is also likely to bring better long-term benefits for children.The Coalition came to power faced with the enormous challenge of tackling the deficit and restoring stability in the UK. This has, without doubt, been the focus of the first few months in Government but we have not abandoned our priorities.Earlier this week the Prime Minister said: "Don’t think I have forgotten about our pledge to make this country the most family friendly in Europe" and I don’t think I would let him.The proposals in the Modern Workplaces Green Paper will help us move closer to that goal.Whilst I know today is very much about fathers, it is also fundamentally about supporting families.Whilst I know we must go further to redress the balance in terms of flexibility and support for fathers the ultimate purpose of making these changes is to develop a nation that is truly family friendly.Working Families has always been a campaigning force for family friendly policies and I’d simply like to conclude by welcoming today’s research and your on-going work in this area.Modern Workplaces consultation(Department for Business Innovation & Skills website) None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/25-05-11.shtml Maria Miller MP "For fathers" – Work Families event 2011-05-25 Department for Work and Pensions "For fathers"
Content24 May 2011Lord David FreudMinister for Welfare ReformCBI: Employee Health and Absence breakfastTuesday 24 May 2011[Check against delivery]The CBI’s absence review has become a significant source of information around absence management.The monitoring you have so conscientiously carried out since the 1980s has contributed to our overall understanding of sickness absence and your continued thoughtful work in this area is welcome.Of course our understanding of these issues is now much more sophisticated than it was in the early 1980s. There has been a radical shift in the way we understand the interaction between work and ill-health. Crucially we no longer see work as bad for you but instead recognise that it is an important part of recovery.I was very lucky when I wrote my own paper on work and welfare that, just three months before, Waddell and Burton had produced a very thorough piece of research which essentially concluded that work is good for you.My own report, prepared for the previous Government, focused on those people who had already fallen out of the labour market as a result of health issues.My task was to look at how we could support this group, particularly those who could work, to reconnect with the labour market and eventually leave benefits and get back into work.That work is ongoing, the Government’s Welfare Reform plans include reassessing 1.5 million people currently claiming incapacity benefits and providing tailored support for those who can work through the new Work Programme.Early indications show that more than a third are found immediately fit for work, with a further 38 per cent capable of work, if they receive the right support.Many of those people have been on benefits for a number of years and will need intensive support before they are able to return to work.Department for Work and Pensions analysis shows that of the 2.6 million claiming incapacity benefits, over half have been on benefit for at least 5 years, and a third have been on benefit for 10 years or more.The revolutionary thing about the Work Programme is that we have designed the payment structure to recognise that some people will need extra support and we will pay more for those who are harder to help, up to £14,000 per person in some cases.Increasingly we understand that remedies may not just be medical, that we need to take a much broader social approach to ill-health.On a recent visit to Turning Point, which specialises in helping people with complex problems like mental health issues, or addiction, I was really interested to learn that confidence and assertiveness training was by far the skill they most invested in – simply building people up to cope with work, to believe that they could succeed was often enough to set them on a path back into employment.Aaron Antonovsky and his theory of salutogenesis has really shaped thinking in this area. Very simply put Antonovsky says stop worrying about ill health and start worrying about health resilience.We all get knocked about by life and occasionally by work, but the people who cope are the ones who already have a sense of coherence. Essentially those of us who have some meaning through our jobs, relationships, and whatever else we feel is important will cope better than those people who do not have those things.So, we need to build up that sense of coherence in people to ensure they have the wherewithal to cope. Antonovsky’s also found that this was true for both mental and physical ailments. If you have a sense of coherence you are better placed to deal with both and less likely to become ill.This theory is really important as we start to think about what we as Government and you as employers can do to support people to stay in work and reduce the burden that sickness absence places on all of us.We need to support people before they hit crisis point and end up long term sick and prevent them from entering the benefits system.Research by Waddell and Burton suggests there is strong evidence that the longer the duration of sickness absence the greater the obstacles and the lower the chances of return to work.Their evidence also shows that more than 90 per cent of people with common health problems can be helped back to work by simple healthcare and workplace management measures – so we’re not talking here about complex interventions. This is why government is piloting projects like the Fit for Work Service which I will talk about in a bit more detail later on.It seems the message is getting through, three quarters of the employers surveyed by the CBI this year said improving employee well-being was a priority for the coming year, and 89 per cent said they had stress management policies.But as this survey demonstrates we continue to have a shadow welfare system made up of the occupational and statutory sick pay elements that sit in the twilight zone between employment and benefits.Whilst there has been a welcome fall in the number of employers who feel people are taking time off as paid sick leave when they are not ill, around a fifth still believe employees feel paid sick leave is an unofficial top up for annual leave. Similarly there is a small minority in the welfare system that has a sense of entitlement to benefits that reaches beyond mere need.We have a shared challenge to rebalance perceptions of rights and responsibilities and break this cycle of dependency.The current legislative system means that by the time someone starts to claim benefits they may have been out of work for many months, and in that time have moved further and further from the workplace, making the job of getting them back into employment that much harder. This situation prompted me to review the whole system of sickness absence. In January the Government appointed independent reviewers David Frost of the British Chambers of Commerce and Dame Carol Black, the National Director of Health and Work to investigate the current situation and develop some recommendations for improvements.Early insights from the review suggests the picture may be far more complicated than we had realised.For example, people do not always follow a linear journey from 28 weeks on Statutory Sick Pay to eventually claiming sickness-related benefits. In many cases, people who flow onto benefits come more or less directly from work thus entering the state’s auspices rather earlier.This may reflect the nature of employment contracts and in general raises interesting questions about the different incentives and issues facing employers. It appears for example that people may be disproportionately arriving on state benefit from smaller firms.Furthermore, some interesting questions are arising around the variety of employer provision: Why is it that some firms take out insurance against the risk of sickness absence whilst most do not? And why is there such a variation in the nature of occupational sick pay arrangements which firms pay over and above the statutory minimum?As part of the review the team will be exploring exactly what is happening and where the financial and other incentives are in the system for both employers and employees. As employers with a practical expertise your input to some of these questions will be most valuable.Moving on, I want to address some of the issues raised by the CBI’s survey around the Fit Note.The introduction of the Fit Note was the first major change to the Medical Statement since the formation of the NHS – it will take a little while to bed in.I know the employers you surveyed felt training was key, with 71 per cent believing GPs have not received adequate training to use the fit note differently to the sick note.We have completed in partnership with the Royal College of General Practioners intensive face to face training with over 3,000 GPs who can now take this new knowledge back to their practices and train others. Government in partnership with professional bodies have also developed an online resource and training module for GPs.Now we are focusing our efforts on ensuring health and work training is included as part of the training medical students and trainee GPs already do – embedding this knowledge at the earliest opportunity.On the GP side the feedback has been very encouraging; DWP research has found 70 per cent of GPs believe it has helped their patients make a phased return to work.The Fit Note is also, albeit slowly, proving its use to employers, the CBI survey found 41 per cent of employers are using the Fit Note to guide their occupational health interventions.What is key for the fit note to succeed is the engagement of all three parties in the process. The GP, the employer and not forgetting the employee. Where all three are signed up, then the benefits of the fit note are fully realised; where they are not then this becomes infinitely more difficult.We have to accept that it will take a little while for GPs and employers to establish this new kind of relationship. Engaging with the process is crucial; a recent EEF survey found that those employers who made proactive contact with their local GPs to discuss the kind of adjustments they could make received more helpful and useful Fit Notes.The CBI’s own report this year has found that those firms that are investing time and energy in managing sickness absence are seeing rewards. The best performing firms have reduced the average number of days per employee lost to sickness absence to 2.2 days, meanwhile the worst performing firms lose on average 10.7 days per employee – almost five times as much.We need to keep plugging away at this, because if we crack it then the potential savings to your bottom line are huge – we can really start eating into the £17bn lost to sickness absence.There is definitely room for more frequent and better quality early interventions when people are struggling at work.A recurring theme is the crucial role line managers play in maintaining contact with the employee, conducting back to work interviews and discussing reasonable adjustments.Government has been piloting a number of initiatives to provide health-related support to keep people in work or to help them return from a period of sickness absence – for example Occupational Health Advice Services for small businesses and the Fit for Work pilots.Over the last year the Fit for Work pilots helped over 6,500 working people in the early stages of sickness through case-managed support. Early results have been encouraging and last week we announced that we would extend seven of the pilots, continuing to ensure support for those in the early stages of sickness absence until March 2013.This is a serious issue, the numbers involved and the impact it has on business and productivity are in themselves enough to encourage Government to act. But more than that there is a moral obligation to deal with the current system which I increasingly believe is encouraging dependency and creating barriers to employment. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/24-05-11.shtml Lord Freud CBI: Employee Health and Absence breakfast 2011-05-24 Department for Work and Pensions CBI: Employee Health and Absence breakfast
Content19 May 2011The Rt Hon Iain Duncan SmithSecretary of State for Work and PensionsYouth unemployment speech – ScotlandThursday 19 May 2011[Check against delivery]IntroductionIt's a great pleasure to be here in Scotland to speak to you today.It won't be news to anybody here that we are currently nursing a fragile economy.We went into the recession with the largest structural deficit in the G7, and have now racked up a budgeting shortfall larger than any seen in UK post-war history.The decisions we've taken on the deficit have put the economy back on an even keel, but we are now working hard to put in place the conditions for growth which will drive recovery in the labour market.As a new set of employment figures were released yesterday I thought I would re-cap on them briefly.In the latest statistics we saw that across the UK there are 118,000 more people in work than three months ago. Encouragingly, the number of unemployed young people has fallen by 30,000 over the same period.This follows recent trends where we've seen unemployment falling by 55,000 over the course of the last year, driven by a rise of over 400,000 in private sector employment.But we shouldn't get carried away by these figures – there are still too many without work who are desperate for a job.And the overall position in Scotland is similar to the UK.Scotland entered the recession with an unemployment rate below the UK average, and though it has seen a sharp rise since then, its current rate remains the same as the UK average of 7.7%.To put this in context, Wales saw a larger increase in its unemployment rate than Scotland during the recession and still has a lower proportion of people in work.But, as ever, headline figures hide the reality that there are pockets of prosperity and deprivation wherever you look – for example, Aberdeen has fared better during the recession than many other parts of the UK, whereas areas like North Ayrshire have clearly suffered more.This is also true of the youth unemployment figures – whilst Scotland has seen its youth unemployment rate rise faster than the UK as a whole, Wales continues to have a lower proportion in employment and a higher rate of unemployment than Scotland.Indeed, in many senses this has been a tale of two recessions. While they have taken a hit, employment rates for older people have remained surprisingly resilient.Take the fact that the number of over 65s in work has actually increased by more than 100,000 in the last year – and this picture appears to be broadly similar in Scotland.But the outlook for young people has been much tougher. And one area where Scotland has suffered particularly badly is in the unemployment rates for 16-17 year olds.This is a crucial area and one I want to explore in more detail today.Neglected 16-17 year olds16-17 year olds are a critical group, because if we lose young people early we risk losing them for good.In the jargon, they develop a ‘wage scar' which means they struggle to make up the lost ground later on in life.In the last decade or so we've seen their employment prospects diminish as the support provided through the Jobcentre has been downgraded.And we are now reaping what was sown, with the figures laying bare the scale of the problem.Although many more young people are staying on in education, employment rates for 16-17 year olds who've left school or college have deteriorated substantially in the last decade or so.Back in 2000 around 6 in every 10 were in work.That figure is now down to just over 3 in ten.A similar trend holds true in Scotland, where around 7 in 10 were working in 2000, a rate which has fallen to around 4 in 10 now.And this is by no means just a product of the recession – in fact, by 2008 the level had already fallen to 5 in 10, so it has been on a steady downward trend over the course of the last ten years.And we can contrast this to the figures for 18-24 year olds, whose employment rate was at about the same level in 2008 as it had been ten years earlier.To understand how we got to this situation it's worth reminding ourselves of the history of support for this group.While there has been a strong focus on encouraging young people to stay in education in recent years, for those 16-17 year olds who do not stay on at school or college the system of employment support has changed significantly. Some 23 years ago this group were taken out of the benefits system – except in cases of severe hardship – and put on a guaranteed Youth Training programme.Under this system the Government promised that if individuals had not found education, employment or training within a short period of time it would provide them with a Youth Training place.However, from around 1997 onwards this system changed as there was a gradual shift away from the Youth Training offer, until the early 2000s when it essentially ceased to exist.As support from the Jobcentre leaked away so we saw 16-17 year olds struggling to maintain a foothold in the labour market, and it is no coincidence that over this period the employment rate for this age group deteriorated substantially.When you look at the figures, it's pretty clear that they start trending down steeply from around 2000.Worse still, you find that employers are much more reluctant to employ 16 year old school leavers, believing them to be significantly less likely to be well prepared for work than their slightly older counterparts.And we know that almost 200,000 young people left school between 2002 and 2006 and have still never held regular work since.This is the lost generation.Yes, the majority of young school or college leavers take the opportunities provided through the education system and manage to get on in the workplace.And of course our Coalition commitment is to raising the participation age, and we have announced measures to ensure that as many young people as possible stay in some form of education or training.But some children do drop out, and we must ensure they are not left behind and have proactive support to access training and work experience.This support hasn't been available from the Jobcentre, and instead Government has been forced to deal with the consequences, paying out potentially billions of pounds in benefits which could have been better invested in proactive support early on.WorklessnessOf course, not every young person needs help from the Jobcentre to make the move into work. Many can rely on the support structures provided by their family, drawing on positive family role models, as they make their own way into the labour market and start to build a career.But there are young people all over the UK who have no such role models at all. There are swathes of young people who have seen their whole family – and many in their wider community – go for generations without sustaining anybody in work.Almost 1 in 4 households in Scotland don't contain a single family member who works, compared to 1 in 5 in the UK as a whole.Many find themselves trapped by a crippling welfare dependency, unable to see the point of working when they are better off on benefits.The welfare system currently sees people lose up to 96 pence in every pound earned as they increased their hours in work.Worse still, the system was so complicated and moving on and off benefits so fraught with difficulty that few people were willing to take the risk of moving into work.Even where they want to work, many have found that they don't have the skills or experience to compete in an increasingly globalised labour market.A tangled mess of employment schemes failed to give people the real, individualised support they needed to build up the skills and experience to move back to work.Universal Credit and Work ProgrammeOur programme of welfare reform is about trying to break this dependency and help people back into the workplace.The Universal Credit will fundamentally simplify the system and make sure that work always pays, eradicating some of the obscene withdrawal rates we've seen in the past and replacing them with a single, clear taper set at around 65%.We're also doing everything we can to help young people get work ready, breaking down the barriers that stop them finding work and taking it up even when it is financially worthwhile to do so.That's what the new Work Programme is all about, paying the best of the private and voluntary sectors for the results they achieve in getting people into work – and then keeping them there.Extra support for young peopleBut these reforms are by no means the be all and end all of our response to the youth unemployment challenge.There is still more we must do for young people in particular, including the 16-17 year old group which has been so badly neglected in the past.We have looked carefully at the form this extra support should take and we have worked hard to design a programme which helps young people access real opportunities that provide a route into sustainable careers in the private sector.Just last week the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister confirmed our commitment to 100,000 work experience placements over the next two years across the whole of the UK.To date, 100 large companies have pledged to offer work experience places and tens of thousands of small companies around the country have also been engaged by Jobcentre Plus – up to 25,000 places have been pledged so far. And in England we have committed to 250,000 extra apprenticeships over the course of this Parliament, of which 40,000 will be exclusively for young unemployed people.  And I am pleased to note that the Scottish Government appears to be on the same page as us on this issue with their commitment to investing in Modern Apprenticeships.16/17 year oldsBut what I really want to focus on here is the new support we are targeting at 16-17 year olds specifically.Last week we announced that we are introducing dedicated work support from a personal adviser for 16-17 year olds who are claiming Jobseekers Allowance for Hardship reasons.I have decided to start re-establishing that crucial link between young benefit claimants and the employment support provided by Jobcentre Plus.This will include spending more time at the start of the claim assessing the person's needs and setting clearer and more tailored goals around job searching and access to education and training. Jobcentre Plus will also work in partnership with voluntary organisations to offer access to training, including help with interviews, CVs and job applications.The key here is flexibility – we will give Jobcentre advisers the freedom to look at each young person in their own right, tailoring a package of support to suit their specific needs.Alongside this, we will ensure that once this group of young people hit 18, if they are still claiming JSA, we keep them firmly on track by giving them early access to the Work Programme after just three months in recognition of the more significant barriers they are likely to face in getting back to work.And we have also committed to a new Innovation Fund, worth £30 million over three years, which will be used to support social investment which addresses the needs of disadvantaged young people, as well as other vulnerable groups in society.We know that there are lots of organisations out there who have a vast amount of experience in working with the most disadvantaged young people, but they simply don't have access to the money they need to make that happen. The new Innovation Fund will provide a funding stream and help to bring these bodies together with organisations who have the relevant finances to support the delivery costs.And we are in discussions with colleagues in the Scottish Government to agree how we can work together to introduce this in Scotland.ConclusionSo we are finally taking steps to support a group which has been forgotten about for far too long.I'm also pleased to note that the Scottish Government has a dedicated plan for this age group in their areas of devolved responsibility, and we want to work closely with them as we move forward to ensure our plans match up. Unemployment is a blight on everyone whether you be 16 or 60, and we need to help to resolve this.However it is a particularly tragic state of affairs when someone of 16, 17, or 18 starts their adult life without work.We know that future prospects rely on a good start, one that builds skills, develops self-motivation and results in self-confidence.To be out of work at that point makes it much more difficult to help a young person to develop the ‘work habit' and understand the importance of work as a lifelong commitment.This is particularly the case if they come from a home where no one works.The economics are vital to this process and the systems must be focussed.Yet the human dimension of this lies in the dependent and dysfunctional families, the missed opportunities, and the lost generations.When politicians take what might appear to be short term decisions they can have long lasting consequences.Ten years on from the ending of the Youth Training commitment we see how devastating that can be.Now's the time to work together to think about how can provide the support that 16 and 17 year olds need in the future, and avoid losing another generation of young people. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/19-05-11.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Youth unemployment speech – Scotland 2011-05-19 Department for Work and Pensions Youth unemployment speech – Scotland
Content17 May 2011The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MPMinister for EmploymentHow to tackle unemployment – a speech to the Oxford and Cambridge ClubTuesday 17 May 2011[Check against delivery]I am delighted to be able to join you today and to deliver Politeia’s Spring Address. My connection to Sheila and her work go further back than either of us care to remember: She was one of my history tutors at Cambridge.Now we are no longer studying history, we are helping to shape it.I am here today to address you on the issue of unemployment, and I really want to do two things, firstly set out the scale of the challenge we face and secondly explain the revolutionary approach we have taken to tackling it – an approach that has profoundly changed the way Government provides services.The figures speak for themselves, there are currentlyfive millionpeople on out of work benefits.The overall unemployment rate is still showing the impact of recession.Youth unemployment has been rising since the early part of the last decade – well before the recession started. It’s probably the most challenging part of our labour market legacy.Over the past year there have been some encouraging signs. Private sector employment has been rising much faster than public sector job losses.The labour market still shows month to month fluctuations, but it does appear to be more stable now.The independent Office of Budget Responsibility is in fact forecasting a big increase in employment over the next few years as the economy recovers.And therein lies our big challenge.As we take the tough decisions needed to reduce the deficit, rebalancing the economy and driving economic growth, we are seeing confidence return and private sector employment rise.This is good news and many people will need only minimal support to return to the labour market as more vacancies become available.But within that five million there are people who have never worked, generations of families who have lived their whole lives on benefits, people with drug and alcohol addictions, ex-offenders; people living on the fringes, failed by a system that is meant to provide support.Working age welfare spending has increased by 50 per cent in the last decade. Long term benefit dependency is rife, of the 2.6m claiming incapacity benefits, over half have been on benefit for at least 5 years, and a third have been on benefit for 10 years or more.There are two key problems with the current system.Firstly the benefits system itself is broken, it is too complex, and for too many people moving from benefits into work simply doesn’t pay.And secondly, back to work provision has been inadequate for a long time. The New Deals consistently underperformed and failed to break the cycle of long term dependency for many claimants. They ended up shunting people around from dole queue to training room and back again – centrally designed programmes that lacked the individuality of approach that was needed.The more than two million people on Incapacity Benefit received no support at all to see whether they could do something more than simply spend the rest of their life on benefits. For too long they have been stranded on the margins of our society.These deeply entrenched problems require radical solutions. And those solutions lie at the heart of the work this Government is doing.Making sure that work pays.Delivering specialist back to work support.Making sure we look again at each individual case to identify the best way of providing support.To make work pay we are completely overhauling the benefits system, replacing the majority of working age benefits with the Universal Credit. This will create a simpler, fairer benefits system; it will remove the complexities that keep people trapped on welfare, and ensure that we smooth the transition between benefits and work. Above all we need to get rid of the claim that “I’m better off on benefits”.Crucially, with the introduction of the new Work Programme next month, we are also putting in place effective back to work support for all.The Work Programme is a revolution in service provision.It is entirely unlike anything that has gone before.It will draw upon the best of private, voluntary and third sector expertise to deliver truly tailored support based on individual need. We will not dictate the nature of this support but instead will reward success using payment by results.We will deliver more by reinvesting the savings we make from getting people off benefits and into work, and drive provider performance through a bonus structure linked to achieving sustainable employment. This is in itself a revolution. Up to now the Treasury has always guarded the barriers between conventional spending on departmental programmes, and the separate pot from which benefits are paid. This is the so-called AME-DEL switch, and it represents a real step forward in delivering support for people on benefits.This unique payment structure recognises some people will require more help to find and stay in work than others and payments will range from £3,500 for those who need minimal assistance to £14,000 for the hardest to help, reflecting the differing levels of support required.The contracts are long, up to seven years and include financial incentives for maintaining, as well as securing, employment. Longer contracts mean providers have more certainty and are more willing to invest in provision. Differential payments means they can invest in people.When I first embarked on delivering this support I felt there was a real opportunity to transform welfare to work services, to create a service that was capable of delivering a personalised package of support for those furthest from the labour market. But it wasn’t clear whether the private sector would in fact be willing to invest.And we worked hard to find the right balance. This has to be a good deal for both taxpayers and providers financially. We need our providers to make a profit, but only if they do well at getting people into work. We don’t want them to be able to make money inappropriately from the taxpayer when they don’t succeed. So we asked some of our leading investment bankers to go through the contracts with a fine toothcomb and identify the weak points, any space ripe for exploitation. And then we closed the gaps.What we’ve ended up with is a contract structure that runs like this.For the first three years there will be a small up front payment – about 10% of the total. Thereafter it’s 100% payment by results.The next payment only comes after someone has been in work for three months if they are from a vulnerable group. Or six months if they are a conventional jobseeker.Then the rest of the fee is paid in instalments that last up to eighteen months. And if the person drops out of work those payments stop.It’s meant to be challenging, and more than one provider told me it was.So we waited to see if we had got that balance right. And if the private and voluntary sectors were really willing to buy into the principle of payment by results.We now know that the 18 preferred bidders and 300 plus sub-contractors – from a mix of public, private and voluntary - are willing to make that investment - to the tune of £580 million in the first year alone.This is a powerful indication that payment by results can deliver exciting, innovative programmes that simultaneously provide an effective service and are good value for the tax-payer.The Work Programme will begin next month, and I believe it will transform the lives of many of our most vulnerable people.But what we have created with the Work Programme is not just a system of back to work support, but a blueprint for the provision of Government services.We have built something that can go much further than tackling unemployment, and we are now looking at developing a sophisticated system of social interventions based around the payment by results model, with the Work Programme at its core.For too long tackling poverty has been reduced to its most basic level – income – and the solutions have been equally simplistic; raise benefit levels and where possible get people into work.But this approach falls down because it does nothing to tackle the root causes of disadvantage, if anything it perpetuates cycles of poverty as people either remain static, trapped in a benefits system that provides just enough to survive or alternatively rotate around the system through benefits, training and work over and over again, never achieving stability or fulfilling their potential.To affect real change we must tackle the root causes of poverty, we must break down the barriers that prevent people from achieving their potential, that stop people finding and keeping a job. This is why the Secretary of State is committed to his Social Justice agenda, to transform the lives of the most vulnerable people and to prevent others from slipping down in the first place. Social Justice encourages early intervention, to stop the initial situation snowballing into a complex, long-term social problem. This means recognising the fundamental role of a stable family life in child development; supporting people suffering from addiction to achieve full recovery; delivering practical support to break the cycle of re-offending when people leave prison.With the Work Programme at the centre we are exploring ways of using the payment by results model to tackle some of these issues.Let me give you a couple of examples of areas we are exploring.Intergenerational worklessness is a major problem, there are some 800,000 individuals living in households where no-one has ever worked and almost two million children living in households that are currently workless.These are troubled families, often with multiple problems, and often already being supported in different ways by a host of local services. Simply providing back to work support to an individual family member is not going to transform the lives of the entire family, we have to do more.Last December the Prime Minister said helping problem families should be an important task for the Government.Important work is now under way at local council level, and in the Cabinet Office and the Department for Education about how we can best deliver targeted interventions to those families, and do so, above all, in a joined up way.We are planning to play a part in that work, by using some of our resources to strengthen the work being done on the ground around the country and to help break down the barriers to work that can be found in many of those families.So we are planning to build a bolt-on programme to the Work Programme which will provide additional front-line support to our problem families strategy. With a focus on improving their basic employability and easing some of the issues that stop them from working.We will contract private providers to work with whole families, and with local service provision to tackle some of the acute problems families face. Government will provide £200 million funding from the European Social Fund. The ultimate aim will be to break the intergenerational cycle of worklessness and get families working, but a similar non-prescriptive, payment by results model to the Work Programme will mean providers have the resources and the freedom to really work with families and bring about real life change.It’s important to stress that a key part of awarding the contracts will be about how potential providers demonstrate that they are interlocking that work with the efforts being made by the public sector both locally and nationally.For example, the Cabinet Office is also looking at ways to leverage money into this work, using Social Impact Bonds to reinforce that work on the ground, again on a payment by results basis.Similarly we are taking a new approach to combating problem drug use.Eighty per cent of heroin and crack cocaine users in England are claiming out of work benefits, that’s around 270,000 people at an estimated cost, in benefit spend alone, of £1bn a year.In addition, the social and economic cost of problem drug use is estimated to be around £15bn a year.And who could put a price on the human cost, the lives lost or wasted as a result of addiction.It is clear that simply sending a drug user on a training course to help them find work is not enough; we have to provide support to tackle the underlying problem, to deal with the root cause of their unemployment by helping them deal with their drug problem.We will be making changes to the benefits system to encourage and support out of work drug users if they take up treatment, tailoring benefit conditions around their treatment programme.But we can go much further. Using the payment by results model we are contracting for eight small-scale pilot schemes exploring how we can create a recovery system that focuses not only on getting people into treatment but getting them into full recovery, off drugs, and reintegrated into their communities.And we’re looking to beyond this, with the possibility of setting drug treatment work alongside the Work Programme as part of a pathway back into employment.Employment is an important part of this reintegration and support to find work, provided through the Work Programme, has to be an integral part of the rehabilitation process. So we are exploring how best to further support drug treatment and rehabilitation by reinvesting the savings made as people move off benefits and into work back into drug treatment and recovery services.I believe the payment by results model could also deliver more for offenders.The prison population has doubled since 1993 to over 80,000 and nearly half of those released from prison will re-offend in the first 12 months.The cost of supporting this cycle is huge.Estimates suggest the cost of re-offending could be as much as £13bn per year, convictions cost an average of £67,000 per offender, and the average cost of a year in custody is £45,000.We all want to see dangerous criminals behind bars, and offenders face the right punishments, but there is a clear financial incentive to do more to keep people from making a return journey to prison.And it’s not just the cost to the justice system.In England and Wales alone, the 80,000 people who left prison in 2008 spent half of the following twelve months on benefits. This equates to a cost to the taxpayer around of £160m.  And of course many return to prison.Tackling this problem, and getting these people quickly into work could pay huge dividends.But there is moral imperative too, many prisoners have experienced a lifetime of social exclusion, compared to the general population. We know that prisoners are:13 times more likely to have been in care as a child13 times more likely to be unemployedMany prisoners lack the skills to break out of the cycle of re-offending without support, evidence shows more than half have the reading, writing and numeracy skills of a child of 11, we know between 60 and 70 per cent were using drugs before prison, and 70 per cent suffer from at least two mental health disordersThe current system does not do enough to deal with the complex levels of disadvantage that many offenders experience. That’s why my colleagues in the Ministry of Justice are already working on a series of pilot programmes to use payment by results as the vehicle to fund projects that reduce reoffending. Their work has really exciting potential.But we are also looking at how we get offenders back to work, using the payment by results approach. And the current system is wholly inadequate. Standard practice today is for prisoners to receive £46.50 as they walk out of the gates of the prison and an appointment with a Jobcentre Plus adviser to start their benefit claim – with first payment of benefits weeks down the line. We have a system that essentially spits people out of prison virtually penniless and with poor support – it is no wonder re-offending rates are so high.Evidence shows that being in employment reduces the risk of re-offending by between a third and a half. Supporting offenders into work must be a key element of rehabilitation.We should be using the specialist provision already contracted through the Work Programme to deliver improved support for offenders that comes earlier and is more intensive than for more conventional jobseekers. We should be reinvesting the savings we make from getting offenders off the benefits register and into work, putting the money back into support for people leaving prison.Justice Minister Crispin Blunt and I are working on the details of a package for offenders which we hope to be able to announce very soon. We intend the payment by results approach, to be an integral part of our strategy to keep former offenders from returning to our justice system. Getting them into the Work Programme quickly has the potential to break the cycle.I began by telling you we are helping to shape history, let me make it clear what I mean: Payment by results has changed the way government provides and pays for services forever.But the real revolution is a cultural one; people will no longer be abandoned on benefits by a system which views the barriers they face as too complex or too difficult to overcome. We will not shy away from helping the most disadvantaged to break the cycle of dependency; everyone will receive support, because the effective way to tackle unemployment is to set about transforming lives.This is one revolution I am very proud to be part of. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/17-05-11.shtml Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP How to tackle unemployment 2011-05-17 Department for Work and Pensions How to tackle unemployment – a speech to the Oxford and Cambridge Club
Content28 March 2011Maria Miller MPMinister for Disabled PeopleChild Poverty DebateMonday 28 March 2011[Check against delivery]IntroductionGood morning.It is a great pleasure to see so many people here today focused on the issues of child poverty.There are few more important – or emotive – topics in politics.We all know that tackling the problem demands far more than warm words or political posturing.We recognise that money matters whether it is measured in relative or absolute terms.Yet we also know that dealing with child poverty demands more than just thinking about poverty in cash terms.Poverty of aspiration… lack of life chances… and inequality of opportunity are all powerful factors too.So let me say right now that this Government is determined to tackle the underlying causes of child poverty – not just the symptoms.Indeed, this is already the starting point for so many of the actions we are taking to promote greater social justice across society.It lies at the heart of our welfare reforms.And in the long run, it is the only way we will deliver the fairer and more responsible society we all want to see.Centre for Social JusticeBefore he became Secretary of State, Iain Duncan Smith spent years examining exactly these issues with the Centre for Social Justice.Under his lead, the Government fully recognises that far broader social issues are at play – debt, addiction, family breakdown, educational failure, and worklessness, to name but a few.Any one of these topics represents a huge social challenge in its own right.Every person in this room will have worked with families trapped in situations where they feel it is very difficult to break out and where benefits alone are not going to provide the answer.Families where feeding an addiction has become a greater priority than feeding the children.Working with people frightened about Payday loans hanging over their head.Or picking up the pieces after a childhood spent in the care system.These are the type of challenges many of you deal with day in, day out.I am sure we can all agree, it is only by Government accepting that there are not going to be many quick fixes that we can start to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges – and then work together to find ways to meet them.Accepting that there are a whole host of issues to tackle along the way also helps us to understand how best to deliver for the poorest.If I take just one statistic, I could point to the fact that we have spent £150 billion on Tax Credits alone since 2003.Yet despite the apparently vast resources being aimed mostly at families with children, real progress on child poverty all but stalled in the years that followed.We all know what the results are today:2.8 million children still living in relative poverty1.6 million children still in absolute poverty, andalmost 2 million children living in workless households – one of the worst rates in Europe.Clearly, simply throwing money at the problem has not worked.I believe in the principles underpinning the Child Poverty Act and the Government is determined to meet the challenge it sets.So we need a new approach.That means moving away from the goal of getting every child one penny past an arbitrary income threshold.And instead, it means focusing on helping each child to move out of poverty in the real-world sense.That is why we need to start looking at child poverty through a sharper lens and start tackling the underlying issues of poverty such as education, debt and worklessness.Work not welfareThis is also why the Government is so focused on tackling welfare dependency.The benefits trap presents a very real barrier to many of the poorest in our country.They become isolated from broader society.They get stuck in a rut where aspiring to work and a better life actually represents a real risk to income levels.And as if all that were not bad enough, it costs the taxpayer a fortune to maintain this broken benefits system.This is why we are so committed to fundamental welfare reform.Completely re-thinking our approach to people on incapacity so that we don’t abandon them to a life on long-term benefits.Re-inventing welfare to work with one of the biggest work programmes this country has ever seen.And just as importantly, re-writing the incentive base for jobseekers through the Universal Credit to make sure work pays.The introduction of the Universal Credit on its own is forecast to lift some 600,000 working age adults and 350,000 children out of poverty.Yet it is the long-term behavioural changes inspired by the three legs of these welfare reforms that we expect to have a bigger impact.We will move toward a benefit system that is there to support people when they need it, but without trapping them in a cycle of inter-generational poverty.We will move those who can work back toward employment so that we reduce the number of children who think it’s normal to have no-one in the house heading out to earn a living in the morning.And at the same time, we will work to tackle some of the other big issues that too often leave children trapped in poverty.Other interventionsOne of those is educational attainment.This is an area that has been flagged by both Graham Allen and Frank Field in reports commissioned by the Government to help us find new ways of making a positive impact on the life chances of children.I think everyone here today can agree just how important education and early intervention are in tackling child poverty.That’s why, for example, the Department for Education is targeting extra money at pupils from deprived backgrounds – pupils we know are at high risk of poorer outcomes.This is a key priority for the Government, which is why we are increasing the funding available under the Pupil Premium to £2.5 billion.At the same time, we recognise the huge role that Local Authorities play in influencing the life chances of children.As a result, we are allocating £2.2 billion this year under the Early Intervention Grant to help local leaders act more strategically and target investment early, where it will have greatest impact. This will help fund new investments such as early education and 4,200 extra health visitors to build stronger links with local health services, which can make all the difference in early years.And of course, we are also reforming the Child Maintenance system to ensure that we put child welfare firmly at the centre of our policy approach and prevent the State from exacerbating potential disagreements between parents.ConclusionThese are just some of the many actions this Government is already taking to help children in the UK escape the poverty trap and the consequences that too often follow.We have to make taking action on child poverty a continuing priority – just as we have in these first 11 months of Government.The Child Poverty Strategy is a document that will bring together the details of all these policies and plans and it will be published very shortly.What I can tell you is that the Goverment takes child poverty extremely seriously and we have quite deliberately waited to publish our Strategy at the right time – not some arbitrary deadline set by the previous administration.Rather than rush the strategy out as just another piece of Government business, everyone involved has been determined to make sure it is right so that we can deliver the change that this country needs.This reinforces just how highly child poverty features on this Government’s policy agenda.As a new Government taking a fresh approach to child poverty, there is a real determination to do our best.It is the only way we will achieve the joined-up approach we will need to make a real impact on children’s lives – in Central Government, at Local Authority level and across the Third Sector and civil society.Clearly, we have a great deal to do. But I am convinced that by working together, we can deliver the right solutions for the children of Britain.That is the challenge – and I look forward to meeting it with you.Thank you. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/28-03-11.shtml Maria Miller MP Child Poverty debate 2011-03-28 Department for Work and Pensions Child Poverty Debate
Content21 March 2011Lord David FreudMinister for Welfare ReformIPPR Welfare to Work ConferenceMonday 21 March 2011[Check against delivery]IntroductionGood morning.Today I would like to talk you through the next steps of the Government’s welfare reforms in the UK.In fact, I should really define that as the next three and a half steps – because having worked through the main principles involved in re-shaping the welfare state, we are already looking ahead to the next set of reforms needed to ensure we deliver a coherent welfare strategy long into the future.Some of you will already be familiar with the three steps I’m referring to:making work pay through the introduction of Universal Creditre-thinking our approach to inactive benefitsand re-inventing welfare to work with one of the biggest work programmes this country has even seen.These are major milestones on the road to welfare reform, but we don’t intend to stop there.This is why we have already started thinking about the interaction between the public sector welfare system and the “shadow” welfare system that exists in the private sector in terms of statutory sick pay and occupational health.This is the next step on the journey of welfare reform.However, it is a still a half-step since Dame Carol Black and David Frost were only recently commissioned to complete a review of the Sickness Absence regime.Step-changeI’ll go through each step in turn, but I want to make one very important point first.Taken together, these reforms represent the most radical and far-reaching restructure of the welfare system witnessed in this country for generations.Yet despite the scale of change, the interesting part is that there is such a great deal of continuity and consensus around the specific measures.This reflects the fact that while these reforms are radical, they are not revolutionary.In many areas, we are building on the work of others who recognised that the existing welfare system is not fit for purpose.That includes the previous Government, which fully recognised that the benefits system was far too complicated, horribly inefficient and prone to creating perverse incentives that bred welfare dependency and poverty.Overseas examplesHowever, it also includes the lessons we’ve learned and best practice from other countries such as Australia, The Netherlands and the USA.For example:re-thinking work as a positive thing in and of itself for the individual – even before we think about issues of poverty or social mobilitytaking a new tack on long-term benefits, because the lessons learned elsewhere show that massive cash transfers simply can’t address underlying problemsand of course, we are also looking at how we can do more to support people before they hit crisis point by taking a more structured approach those who look like they might be on the path toward long-term sickness.That is why there is so much consensus around many of the proposals we are putting forward today.Universal CreditTo give you an idea of what I mean by political consensus, I’ll start with the Universal Credit.For years, every time Government has tried to pull a lever in the benefit system, they have had to contend with multiple cliff edges.Years of adding layer upon layer to the benefits system created a maze of complexity. This in turn has created all sorts of perverse disincentives to work, including the nonsense of the 16hr cut-off.Ministers of every stripe have tried to smooth out the taper, but the sheer complexity of the system made it a Sisyphean task.The Universal Credit is the first really concerted attempt to start simplifying the benefit system we have seen in years.The key benefit is that a single taper will finally make sure that work pays – even for those at the bottom end of the pay scale looking to take on extra hours or a modestly paid job.By linking tax and benefits in real time, the single taper will mean claimants see a real difference in their pocket when they do work.Another key point to note about the Universal Credit is that we probably couldn’t do it all if it wasn’t for the fact so much support was already being delivered through the tax credit system.Conceptually, the link between tax and benefits is already established, so here again we are building on what has gone before.However, there is another reason too.The Universal Credit is set to cost some £2 billion over the Spending Review period. But if the current system weren’t so complex and inefficient, the final cost would be significantly higher.Of course, in the long run I believe that the Universal Credit will create a step-shift in attitudes toward work and benefits, in which case it will effectively pay for itself.However, we do still have a major challenge is ensuring that we maintain the simplicity we need to keep the whole system operating efficiently – and reducing fraud and error in the process.The Universal Credit marks a radical departure from the previous maze of risk and reward which meant that so many people genuinely did not know if they would be better off in work.In fact, it often takes Jobcentre Plus advisors quite a long time to figure it out – and they are experts in the 8,700 pages of Guidance that are used to help them navigate the benefits system.No wonder simplifying the benefit system commands such broad support.However, it is only one area where our “radical” reforms build on concepts that were already widely supported before we arrived in Government.Incapacity Benefits / Employment and Support Allowance / Work Capability AssessmentTake our approach to incapacity benefits.The Coalition Government is determined to support those who have been abandoned to a life on long-term benefits.This is why we will start the national roll-out of incapacity benefits reassessment next month having made a start in Burnley and Aberdeen.However, here again, large-scale reassessment was on the cards before last May, because the previous administration also recognised we had a major problem with long-term incapacity benefits.Indeed, the problem has been becoming ever more apparent since the 1980s when we opened the door to runaway incapacity benefits and forgot to close it.As a result, today there are 2.6 million working age people claiming incapacity benefits – of which some 850,000 have been claiming for a decade.This level of inactivity is a massive brake on growth and economically very inefficient.That is why we are embarking on this large-scale reassessment of those on incapacity benefits using the Work Capability Assessment, which will take in some 1.5 million people over the next three years.For many people, reassessment will mark a major milestone in transforming their lives.Instead of being labelled “incapable” and abandoned, for the many people who can work, the reassessment will be the starting point of a journey back toward the workplace and away from the invidious cycle of welfare dependency and inter-generational poverty.This is not just important for the economy or for the benefits bill – this is also crucial for the individual.People need a sense of purpose in life – something that the respected academic, Aaron Antonovsky, explored decades ago where he spoke about the link between “coherence” and health and well-being.So it is right that we help everyone who can work get the support they need to find that all-important sense of purpose and self-worth.Work ProgrammeAll of which brings me neatly on to the next step of our welfare reforms – the Work Programme.Once more, it is plain that work programmes are hardly new.Indeed, DWP has run dozens of pilots across the country in recent years.The difference today is that instead of running yet more trials through a bureaucratic maze of employment programmes, we are simply cherry-picking the best ideas that have been shown to work.So while the new Work Programme is one of the largest welfare to work programmes ever witnessed in this country – conceptually, it is closer to a scaled-up model of the Employment Zone pilots that DWP ran years ago.Black Box / Payment by ResultsAs a result, the new Programme boasts two key characteristics:first, it gives providers far greater flexibility to decide what works best for them with a Black Box approachand second, the Work Programme is firmly based on payment by results.That’s important, because it is very easy to throw an incredible amount of money at these programmes without seeing results.Under our scheme, if the providers succeed they can earn very good fees.Depending on the scale of the challenge the jobseeker faces, we will pay anything between £4,000 to £14,000 to the employment specialists –ifthey can get people into sustainable employment.MerlinPayment by results means that we can reward providers who invest successfully to get people into jobs – especially the hardest to help.In turn, that means that the providers have an incentive and work with the specialist groups that can deliver the frontline expertise required to achieve the bigger pay-offs.This price differentiation encourages primes to include specialists in their programme mix and that has been reinforced with the introduction of the Merlin Standard during the bidding process.By promoting this mix of financial muscle and expert knowledge and combining it with payment by results, we are delivering a good deal for the taxpayer – as well as the jobseeker.Not only that, but because of the AME-DEL switch – whereby we use the money saved in benefits to fund further payments to the programme – we maximise the opportunities to transform people’s lives and put an end to the capping effect that was a feature of previous programmes.In other words, money will always be available for successful providers to do more.This is a model that has huge implications for how we deliver value for money for the taxpayer.Not just for DWP, but right across Government.This payment by results framework provides the basis for all sorts of bolt-on support.For example, DWP is already working closely with the Department of Health and other departments to see how we can utilise payment-by-results in drug recovery.In the meantime, the Ministry of Justice is already testing a payment-by-results approach in two prisons to see what impact it can make on re-offending rates and there is no reason why we can’t replicate this approach more widely.So the contracting process for the Work Programme has helped create a toolbox that other parts of the public sector can use and I see this very much as the blueprint for the future of public sector contracting.Added to that, the Big Society Bank will soon open for business, so with both the tools and funding available, we will see a rapid expansion of the Third Sector in the coming years.Sickness Absence ReviewUniversal Credit, incapacity benefit assessment and the work programme represent the starting point for huge reforms.But as I mentioned earlier, we plan to look at the system in its entirety and that includes the “shadow” welfare system that is funded by the private sector.This is a vital area, not least because employers spend £8 billion a year on Occupational Sick Pay and Statutory Sick Pay, while the Government spends another £13 billion each year on incapacity benefits and Employment Support Allowance.There is real potential here to make a dramatic difference – both in economic terms and in terms of the outcomes we achieve for individual jobseekers.The is one of the reasons the Government has asked Dame Carol Black (National Director for Health and Work) and David Frost (Director General of the British Chamber of Commerce) to undertake a major independent Review into Sickness Absence.I don’t want to pre-empt the finding of the Review, but what is perfectly clear is that there are significant gains to be made if we can find a better way of supporting people before they fall out of work and into the benefits system.Well over 600,000 people go on to Employment Support Allowance each year – more than 300,000 from the workplace.In reality, many of those coming from work get very little support before they reach the 28-week cut-off point for statutory sick pay. That’s bad for them, us, the economy and the taxpayer.“We’re missing a huge trick”.However, if we can make a dent in that 300,000 by taking a more structured and holistic approach to people when they are still on sick leave – and put a stopper on the inflow to ESA – the potential savings are vast.Financial / Moral imperativeThe fact is that the old system is simply no longer affordable.In real terms, the Working Age Welfare Spending has climbed by 54.2 percent over the past decade from £48.4 billion in 1999/2000 to £74.7 billion in 2009/2010.That is clearly unsustainable.But by far the bigger problem is that we are failing so many of those the welfare system is supposed to help.ConclusionThis is the real reason we have such a consensus for change in the country right now.And this is why I am so excited about the radical welfare reforms we are making today.Once all the elements fall into place, we will finally have a coherent welfare system in place.The process is already well underway:Next week sees the start of the national roll-out of incapacity benefit reassessment, which will cover 1.5 million people by 2014The preferred bidders for the Work Programme will also be announced next month and they will get the ball rolling on the new welfare to work drive from JuneThe publication of the Sickness Absence Review will appear toward the end of the yearAnd by 2013, the Universal Credit system will start drawing together the web of several working age benefits under a single taper to make sure that it always pays to work – something that we can all agree is long overdue.When all the pieces of the jigsaw are fitted together in a few years time, you will finally see the big picture of welfare reform laid out in all its splendour.That is when we can make a real start and help jobseekers – and the country – move back into sustained and responsible economic growth.Thank you. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/21-03-11.shtml Lord Freud IPPR Welfare to Work Conference 2011-03-21 Department for Work and Pensions IPPR Welfare to Work Conference
Content8 March 2011The Rt Hon Iain Duncan SmithSecretary of State for Work and PensionsAge UK speechTuesday 8 March 2011[Check against delivery]IntroductionI’d like to thank Age UK for the invitation to speak to you today.I want to use this opportunity to be absolutely clear about my priorities for the pension system.When we came into office we were faced with the challenge of securing the incomes of today’s pensioners.We acted immediately to introduce the triple guarantee, meaning that someone retiring today on a full basic state pension will receive £15,000 more over their retirement by way of basic State Pension than they would have done under the old prices link.We also committed to a permanent increase in Cold Weather Payments.  And we protected other key areas of support for pensioners, including free eye tests, free prescription charges and free TV licenses for the over 75s.Having put incomes on a firmer footing, we moved to secure older people’s rights to work.We are phasing out the Default Retirement Age from April of this year, despite concerns from some in the business community.I believe this sends out a message that age discrimination has no place in modern British society.I’m proud to say that we fought for these reforms against the backdrop of the worst fiscal position in living memory.Our public debt alone is the equivalent of over £14,000 for every man, woman and child.We’ve had to take tough decisions, but I believe that we have managed to protect the areas that matter most to today’s pensioners.And I should use this opportunity to pay tribute to my colleague Steve Webb, Minister of State for Pensions, whose work since we entered office has been nothing short of remarkable.It is a real privilege to work closely with someone who is so passionate about pensions and the issues facing older people in this country.Next generationOf course we cannot be complacent.There is always more to be done to help the poorest in retirement.However, having worked to put incomes and rights for today’s pensioners on a firmer footing, we must also turn our focus to the next generation.The challenge is immense.A diminishing group of younger workers will have to work longer just to help fund the pension promises made to their parents, even before they invest in their own future.The comparison with previous generations is stark.When the State Pension Age was set back in 1926 there were around nine people of working age for every pensioner. Today, there are only three people working for every pensioner, and by the second half of the century it will be down to nearly two.For the first time in more than 30 years our children are expected to have retirement incomes which will fail to keep up with average earnings in the rest of the economy –despiteour decision torestore the earnings link in the State Pension.This is our children’s legacy – unfunded obligations and insecurity in private pensions.Few will be able to look forward to a guaranteed income in retirement.The numbers saving in Defined Benefit pensions in the private sector have more than halved in the last 20 years and have been on an inexorable downward trend.There are currently only one million active members in open private sector Defined Benefit schemes, down from five million members in the mid 1990s.But, because the numbers in Defined Contribution schemes have so far failed to take up the slack, fewer people than ever are saving in any form of scheme at all.Indeed, less than halfof the entire working age populationis currently saving in a pension.Even those who are saving face an uncertain retirement.This is because contribution rates are weak, and annuity rates have fallen significantly since the late 1990s.They can only be expected to fall further as life expectancy increases.And the next generation will not be able to rely on bricks and mortar in the way their parents have been able to.While 70% of today’s pensioners own their homes outright, their grandchildren are struggling to even get a foot on the housing ladder.The average cost of property for a first-time buyer has increased by 40% in real terms in the last decade.It’s no wonder our children are increasingly cynical about saving.And they won’t be able to afford a stable and secure retirement unless we do something radically different.Acting in the long termSo it is absolutely imperative that we take steps to secure the position of the next generation.It would be easy to shirk our responsibilities.But what will we say to the next generation if we don’t act now?That it was too difficult?That there were no votes in securing our childrens’ pensions?That attitude must be consigned to history.Otherwise we will bear responsibility for the burdens on our children.Surely we have to act now to secure their future?Parallels to welfare reformBut this challenge isn’t unique.After all, this is, in many ways, the challenge that confronted us when we looked at welfare reform.We could have continued with the short term option – increasing child welfare payments at budget after budget and triumphantly announcing the number of children we had pushed just over the poverty line.But we knew that if we were going to make a real difference to people’s lives – transforming them rather than just maintaining them – we had to tackle the problem at itsroots.In welfare this meant simplification of the system.And it meant getting rid of the perverse incentives which rewarded the wrong choices and meant that work didn’t pay.The challenge in pensions is exactly the same.We have to fundamentally simplify the system.And we have to make it crystal clear to young savers that it pays to save.Private PensionsWe have made a start by pushing ahead with plans for auto-enrolment, building on the groundwork laid by Lord Turner back in 2005.By providing a low-cost and dependable pension scheme for those who wouldn’t otherwise put money aside, we can start to push up savings rates and move away from a culture of debt.This should ensure that between five and eight million people start saving or save more, and it will enable us to start the process of rebuilding confidence in private pensions.It will also challenge other providers to look hard at their service charges, at the way they communicate information to their customers, and at the quality of the product they are providing.Auto-enrolment is as much about cultural change as improving saving rates.All of those who have played such an important role in the development of the existing UK pension system have to recognise that the world is changing, and they need to start working in the interests of the next generation.They need to get their shoulders to the wheel and help make this new retirement system work.State PensionBut this alone will not be enough.Auto-enrolment cannot solve the savings challenge on its own, and we have to be prepared to look at the other side of the equation.We now have to look at the State Pension.For the two go together, and what we do in one affects the other.Just like the chaos in the benefit system, piecemeal changes to state pensions have turned what started as a relatively simple contributory system into a complex mess.S2P, Serps, graduated retirement pension, the additional state pension – these are names designed to strike fear into the heart of a young saver and confusion in almost everyone else.The system is so complex that most people have no idea what any of this will mean for them nowandin their retirement.And for those on the lowest incomes, the complex rules governing Pension Credit have been a barrier to claiming the money they so dearly need.That is not to mention the demeaning nature of the means-test, which we know puts people off from making a claim, as well as acting as a disincentive to save.Means-testingToo many people on low incomes who do the right thing in saving for their retirement find those savings clawed back through means-testing.When they reach pension age they discover that while they have foregone spending opportunities and made plans to be self-sufficient, others, who haven’t saved a penny, are able to get exactly the same income as them by claiming Pension Credit.Think about how this could affect auto-enrolment – low income savers will rightly be frustrated if they reach retirement and find they have paid in for nothing.Confused and uncertain, they may never even get that far, choosing instead to opt-out of saving altogether.We have to change this.We have to send out a clear message across both the welfare and pension systems – you will be better off in work than on benefits, and you will be better off in retirement if you save.ConclusionI seek a debate on the next generation of pension reform.Having acted immediately to protect the incomes of today’s pensioners, we have to turn our focus towards the next generation – tomorrow’s pensioners – and start working hard to secure their future.I want a State Pensions system fit for a 21st Century welfare system, which is easy to understand and rewards those who do the right thing and save.My Department has been working closely with colleagues at the Treasury on options for reform.As the Chancellor made clear late last year, he is keen to look at options for simplifying the pension system, and that is precisely what we are doing.We have worked together on this and he has been seized of the importance of this project from the start.The Chancellor is determined to lift the burden of debt from the shoulders of our children and our children’s children, and to enable them to pursue, at the very least, the opportunities we have been fortunate enough to avail ourselves of.Surely we cannot let this opportunity to put right the mistakes of the past pass us by?That is why we seek your support to get this right.Too often we forget that this isn’t just a system for those who are currently retired, but also for those who will need it in the years ahead.That is why, together, we must make it work not just now but down through the generations, and make sure we leave hope and stability for those generations to come. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/08-03-11.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Age UK speech 2011-03-08 Department for Work and Pensions Age UK speech
Content10 February 2011The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MPMinister for Employment, DWPSocial Market FoundationThursday 10 February 2011[Check against delivery]IntroductionGood morning and thank you for inviting me to join you all today.Today, I’d like to talk to you about the Government’s plans for welfare reform, which form three legs of a stool – the Work Programme, Universal Credit and reform of incapacity benefit.As I’m sure many of you know, the welfare reforms we are introducing are the most far-reaching in 60 years.The reason for that is fairly straightforward.The existing system – which has evolved piecemeal in the intervening years – is no longer up to the job it was originally designed to do.The system has failed far too many people for far too long and the result is clear:Today in the UK, there are:5 million people on out of work benefits – a number that was stubbornly high even before the recession when it stood at 4 million2.6 million working age people claiming incapacity benefits – of which some 850,000 have been claiming for a decade andalmost 2 million children in this country are growing up in workless households – one of the worst rates in Europe.In far too many cases, the root cause of these terrible statistics is the welfare system itself and the benefit dependency it has bred.That is why the reforms we are introducing are so extensive – some might even say, radical – and why we are moving at such pace.Certainly, the Government has had to make some tough choices.But I have been pleased to see the amount of cross-party support for the changes we need to deliver.And the need for these reforms to be able to last for a significant period of time to get the results we all want to see.In one sense, this is understandable.Because if you believe that we need a welfare system that supports people through tough times – and this Government certainly does – then you know that waste, inefficiency and perverse disincentives to work are hugely damaging in the public eye.That is true no matter which side of the political fence you sit on.Every news story about someone on benefits living in a house in Chelsea that is completely unaffordable to anyone with an average job erodes trust in the system.Few people would argue that the present system is fit for purpose.So the question then becomes – how do we best forge ahead with the changes we need?IB/ESAThe answer lies in the three legs of the stool I mentioned and I’ll run through them quickly in turn.First – reforming incapacity benefits.The fact is that under the old system people could easily end up abandoned to a life on long-term benefits.People were simply categorised as “incapable” and left to find their own way.No expectation that they would ever work again.No proper support to get them back into the workplace.And worst of all, no hope left for the individual that their lives could improve.That has to change if we want to make a dent in the unacceptable – and financially unsustainable – numbers of people on long-term benefits.So over the next 3 years, we will reassess 1.5 million people using the Work Capability Assessment, which looks at what people can do, rather than what they can’t.This process has already started in Burnley and Aberdeen – and the idea is to finally provide real support for those who can make the journey back to work rather than park them on long-term benefits.This is not about asking severely ill people to work – those who need our support can continue to rely on it.But the process will allow us to engage with many people who were all-to-often completely ignored by the old-style incapacity benefit regime.Work ProgrammeThe second leg of the welfare reforms is the Work Programme that you’ve been discussing this morning, so I won’t dwell on this for too long.What we are about to deliver is one of the most ambitious welfare-to-work schemes ever witnessed in this country and I’m sure we all recognise the challenges:how do we support the hardest-to-help?how do we match the professionalism and financial savvy of larger providers with the local knowledge and expertise of smaller groups?how do we get the best value for money for the taxpayer? Andabove all how do we transform the lives of people for the better?I believe that the Framework we have in place answers many of these questions already.And based on the high level of interest we’ve seen from bidders, we are also well on our way to delivering a Programme that works for those we are trying to help – as well as for the taxpayer.The key here is the Black Box approach we are taking to the Work Programme.There are lots of organisations with lots of expertise taking part. We are saying – you design it and we will pay you if you succeed. Not trying to manage everything from Whitehall.Crucially, we are introducing payment-by-results.This means that they will only get paid if they find the right job for the right individual. Because if they try to shoehorn people into jobs they don’t want, they won’t stay and the Providers won’t get paid.Providers can make a transformational difference and from what we’ve seen of the bids so far we have had a good mix of providers – a Coalition if you will – that matches business scale with local knowledge.The best providers will do extremely well – especially if they find sustainable jobs for the hardest to help. There’s up to £14,000 available for each person in this category and if we have to pay that out because they have managed to get people in this group into sustainable jobs, then I will personally be delighted.In short, we have fundamentally changed the terms of engagement.So if a provider says they’re good at getting people into work, they can go out and prove it and get well paid.It’s that simple.And if they succeed and get people into sustainable jobs, then the successful providers will be worth every penny.Universal CreditThe third leg of the stool is the Universal Credit.The Universal Credit is fundamental to our welfare reforms, because this is how we will make sure that works pays and remove some of the complexity that leaves so many stuck in the benefits trap.Under the present system, the poorest in our society often face the biggest risks if they get the chance to take a job or take on extra hours.Just navigating your way through the maze of red tape is daunting enough. In fact, some of the experts find it quite difficult to work out if someone will be better off taking on extra hours.But by incentivising work and making sure it pays with a simple taper through Universal Credit, we will strip away much of that complexity – reducing administration costs along with the opportunities for fraud and error that currently cost £5 billion per year.In the process, these plans will lift an estimated 350,000 children and 500,000 adults out of poverty.Building GrowthThe Welfare Reform Bill to get these reforms in place will be introduced shortly – and taken together, the three legs of these reforms will make a huge difference to the lives of millions of people.But even then, we know we have far more to do beyond reforming the welfare system.We have to drive economic growth. And we have to support the sustainable, private sector recovery that will create the long-term jobs we need to help people make the most of their lives and contribute to society.In the short-term, this means driving down the deficit that would act as a brake on growth and completely scupper any economic recovery.It means tackling the rise in youth unemployment, which we know has risen over the past decade – so it’s not just an issue for this recession.It means preparing young people to make the transition from education and training to Higher Education and work.And it also means that we need to put the right employment support in place across the board so that we can build up the skills and experience needed to sustain growth across the economy.All these issues feature at the top of the Prime Minister’s agenda.That is why the Government is:undertaking a Growth Review that will examine what each part of government can do to support growth and investment andslicing through red tape to help businesses get on with growing income instead of filling out forms. For example, I have the responsibility for this across HSE, where we are working to get health and safety back to a more common sense approach.This is also why my Department is supporting a host of measures such as:Work ClubsWork TogetherEnterprise Clubsthe New Enterprise Allowance to help unemployed people move off benefits into self-employment where we aim to create up to 40,000 new businesses by 2013 andgetting the Prince’s Trust into Jobcentres so that we can help build volunteering partnerships across the whole of the sector.And, finally, to help young people in particular we are:offering personalised support to help their transition to worklaunching a new Work Experience programmemaking access to skills provision a priority across the country andat the same time, increasing our investment in apprenticeships where we have just announced support for more than 50,000 additional apprenticeships – the kind of jobs that we know can help people build careers and build sustainable growth in the economy.All these schemes are part of a wider commitment right across government to make sure that we are giving young people the right support to make the transition from schoool to work, no matter which path they take to get there.ConclusionEmployment support, welfare reform and economic recovery all have to be achieved together to ensure that we get the right result for the country… for the individuals we want to help… and particularly for the young who are at the beginning of the journey through their working lives.No-one pretends for a second that it will be easy – but it has to be done.Without a credible deficit reduction plan, we won’t get back to sustainable economic growth.Without a coherent Work Programme, we won’t provide pathways for people to get back into work.And without radical welfare reform, we won’t create the incentives we need to make work pay for the poorest and start dismantling the benefits trap.On the other hand, if we make progress in all these areas we create a virtuous circle – one where deficit reduction spurs investment, which creates the jobs we need to get people off benefits, which helps them out of poverty, and helps them contribute to further economic growth.This is the prize – and I hope that everyone in this room will work with us to make it a reality.Thank you. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/10-02-11.shtml Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP Social Market Foundation 2011-02-10 Department for Work and Pensions Social Market Foundation
Content8 February 2011The Rt Hon Iain Duncan SmithSecretary of State for Work and PensionsMarriage WeekTuesday 8 February 2011[Check against delivery]IntroductionI’m delighted to be here today to launch Marriage Week.I had the privilege of being invited to speak at the launch event back in 2007, and I have always been very supportive of what Marriage Week UK are trying to achieve.My appearance in 2007 came just a few months after the Centre for Social Justice – of which I was then Chairman – published its report “Breakdown Britain”, which laid bare the impact that family breakdown was having on the UK’s social fabric.Back then to speak of marriage made one something of a lone voice – at least within the political class.That was because over the years the political establishment had frowned if a mainstream politician mentioned marriage.The prevailing view was that to extol the virtues of this most fundamental institution somehow meant that you were going to stigmatise those who were not married.This is an absurd and damaging assumption.Support for our most basic and successful institution does not mean that you cannot be sympathetic to and supportive of families where one parent is left with the difficult responsibility of bringing up the children.As a result of such two-dimensional arguments, successive governments shied away from proper discussion about the structure and importance of the family.So I’m pleased to be able to stand here today and say that I believe the tide is beginning to turn.The role of marriage in family life and the importance of stable families has become an important topic.Not as a “finger wagging” exercise, as has sometimes happened in the past, for everyone is ultimately responsible for their own lives, not the government.But because any balanced government must understand the effect that family breakdown can have on the wellbeing of both adults and children.Financial and social costsThe financial costs of family breakdown are incredibly high, with estimates ranging at somewhere between £20-40 billion a year.But what is most painful to see is the human cost – the wasted potential, the anti-social behaviour, and the low self-esteem.The Centre for Social Justice has found that those not growing up in a two-parent family are:75% more likely to fail at school70% more likely to become addicted to drugs, and50% more likely to have an alcohol problem.And the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has found that children from separated families have a higher probability of:living in poor housingdeveloping behavioural problems, andsuffering from a host of other damaging outcomes, whose effects spill over to the rest of society.Marriage and cohabitationOf course I recognise that relationships can break down for unavoidable reasons, and as a consequence there are lone parents all over the country doing the difficult job of bringing up children and often succeeding against the odds.They are to be applauded and we should do what we can to help them in adversity.But we do a disservice to society if we ignore the evidence which shows that stable families tend to be associated with better outcomes for children.And there are few more powerful tools for promoting stability than the institution of marriage.Indeed, evidence suggests that even the poorest 20% of married couples are more stable than all but the richest 20% of cohabiting couples.And approximately one in three parents cohabiting at birth will separate before their child is five years old, compared with one in ten married parents.Of course I’m aware that there are other factors at play – those who marry tend to be slightly older, relatively better educated and relatively better off, all of which help promote family stability. Further down the income scale two parent family formation becomes even more problematic.But, as the Prime Minister has argued for some time, there is something special about the active commitment which marriage involves – the willingness to openly and actively plan for the future – which promotes stability in other aspects of the relationship and family life.This stability can, in turn, be key to ensuring that children are able to achieve a better education, and go on to become better off parents themselves in later life.So commitment at every level of family income is crucial, which is why the Coalition supports civil partnerships, another expression of that binding commitment.Marriage trends and aspirationsGiven the costs imposed by family breakdown, it is worrying that marriage rates have more than halved in the last 40 years.And the proportion of children being born outside of marriage rose from under 5% in the 1950s to 45% in the most recent statistics.From this, perhaps the worst and most insidious causal assumption has been made, as some commentators have concluded that marriage is an institution which is no longer wanted or needed by modern British society, and that young people no longer value it.However, I prefer my conclusions to be borne out by evidence not speculation.That is why the research in this area is so fascinating.When asked about their aspirations, young people are very clear:three quarters of those under 35 who are currently in cohabiting relationships want to get married, andsome 90% of young people aspire to marriageSo perhaps the question we should be asking ourselves is this: if people from the youngest age aspire to make such a commitment in their lives, what stops them doing so?Government cannot and should not try to lecture people or push them on this matter, but it is quite legitimate to ensure people have the opportunity to achieve their aspirations.And that means that we have to look at how we can remove the barriers that currently stand in their way.The Couple PenaltyTake the couple penalty in the benefits system.Couples living together and claiming benefits receive less than they would if they each claimed separately.So it is no surprise that research by the Centre for Social Justice found that a majority of people out of work or in part-time work think low-earning and unemployed people are better off living apart than as a couple.Only those with money say that money has no bearing on whether people stay together.This was made remarkably clear in last month’s Panorama documentary on ‘missing dads’.It featured a young man – Caleb – who desperately wanted to be a good dad and to live with the mother of his child.But they were both on a low income, and would have seen their benefits cut by around £30 a week if they’d have moved in together.As Frank Field said to Caleb in the programme – "If you were designing a crazy system to mess up kids, you’d come up with the system we’ve got now." Not only that, but this crazy system can have the effect of pushing the most disadvantaged in society into the most destructive behaviour – namely criminal activity – as they attempt to get around the couple penalty by committing living together fraud.Such behaviour can never be condoned, but it is a tragic state of affairs that people should feel pushed into crime by having their genuine aspirations to build positive and committed families stifled.  ExpectationsBut, beyond the money, research shows that today’s couples also face a growing problem of what they expect married life to be like.Guidance councillors say that too many young people have an almost fairytale expectation of life after the marriage ceremony.This puts huge pressure on newly married couples as too few have time to develop an understanding of the sacrifices needed to make their relationship work before they break up. This is where the work of Relate and other community organisations is so invaluable, in helping to explain what is needed to sustain and build a strong relationship.We could do so much more to reduce the level of family break up if we had more guidance available to couples when they need it.The invaluable experience of these councillors shows us that getting to couples in difficulty early can have a huge effect on their future. Successive governments have undervalued this work.These expectations can lead to financial problems as well.Research shows that debt is one of the most prominent causes of family breakdown, yet we know the average amount spent on a wedding has risen to around £20,000, a huge sum.It has become apparent that couples will not marry until they can have such a wedding and some couples will get into debt just to meet the costs. Starting married life with a large overhang of debt puts enormous pressure on from the start.What seems to have been forgotten is that the point of marriage is love, commitment, and creating a safe environment in which to bring up a family.None of these cost more than the price of a marriage licence.Coalition behind this agendaAs I’ve already explained, we must no longer be afraid to talk about these issues.Government has no place moralising about peoples’ relationships – but we do have a duty to do our best to ensure a balanced playing field, and to support people as they pursue their own aspirations.I’m pleased to say that the Coalition is behind this agenda.The Deputy Prime Minister gave a speech about parents and the family just last month, outlining the Government’s plans on flexible working and shared parental leave.And the Prime Minister addressed Relate in December of last year, outlining his support for the family and the Government’s commitment to family stability.Relationship supportIn that speech he announced new funding for relationship support – £30 million over the spending review period – and he explained that we are currently speaking to relevant organisations about opening up Government buildings after hours so that they can increase their capacity to provide support.It was also on the Prime Minister’s initiative that the family task force was set up, and his commitment is shown in the fact that he chairs it too.Couple penaltyWithin my Department we are working hard to see how we can reduce the couple penalty in the welfare system.A recent report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies confirmed that the Universal Credit will help meet our commitment in the Coalition Agreement to tackle the couple penalty in the tax credit system.And our own analysis suggests that the Universal Credit will reduce the couple penalty where it will have the greatest impact – among low-earning couples. This is the group under most financial pressure when it comes to decisions to commit.Equally important, the Universal Credit will provide a framework within which tackling the couple penalty becomes more feasible.By simplifying the system governments will be able to make clear decisions over how they increase support for certain groups – and the public will find it much easier to hold them to account for the decisions they make.Marital status on formsI have also asked my Department to ensure  references to marriage are included on relevant forms and research in the future.The previous Government excluded information on marriage from the reports of important research like the Families and Children Study, which was undertaken by the Department for Work and Pensions.This particular study has now finished, but I’m keen to ensure that we give marriage the status it deserves in similar research in the future.Tax systemI’m also aware that the Prime Minister continues to be committed to recognising marriage in the tax system.And I believe it’s important that we do more to recognise and value the commitment people make to one another.ConclusionToday through our celebrity focussed media we give awards to so many different groups: film stars, soap stars, pop stars and football stars.We extol the virtue of public institutions and private business and we even give awards to politicians.Yet the most basic institution, which nurtures each generation and from which so many of us draw our strength and purpose, goes unnoticed and unrewarded.Fashionably dismissed or taken for granted, the commitment of two people to put selfish interest to one side for the sake of each other and the children they raise is simply the very best of us as human beings.Furthermore, marriage is perhaps the best antidote to the celebrity self-obsessed culture we live in, for it is about understanding that our true value is lastingly expressed through the lives of others we commit to. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/08-02-11.shtml Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP Marriage Week 2011-02-08 Department for Work and Pensions Marriage Week
Content3 February 2011The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MPMinister for Employment, DWP“Powerful Ideas”Thursday 3 February 2011[Check against delivery]IntroductionGood evening and thank you for inviting me to open this series of debates on the challenges we face as a society.It is always a little daunting to be the first to take on a new initiative, but hopefully I will be able to do justice to the Powerful Ideas concept and make a positive start for the lectures to come.The JourneyTonight I want to walk you through a revolution.One that lies tucked away amongst a range of measures designed to change the culture of Government and its relationship with the private sector.It’s one part – but a key part – of a strategy of getting Government to do less, and trusting those who can to do things better.Whitehall is famous for its one-size-fits-all, the Man from the Ministry knows best approach.Today, however, this Statist approach to Government seems increasingly outmoded and ineffective.This is partly the result of a slow slide toward a world where people are afraid to take responsibility and make a decision for fear of not following the prescribed process to the letter, or worse, getting sued if they don’t.Too many people in all walks of life are now hidebound by reams of rules and regulations that are both hard to understand and yet impossible to ignore.This fear factor stifles creativity and starves the country of the innovation that made Britain the country we used to be famous for.Today, that is changing.The Coalition is committed to a new form of Government that treats people as adults.It is a Government that is determined to leave policy-making by Whitehall diktat behind and instead let the people of this country do what they’re good at – getting out there and getting on with it.Unleashing the creativity and energy of local groups.And allowing local communities who really understand the challenges they face to determine how they manage their own affairs in their own way.Responsibility AgendaThis, then, was the starting point for some new thinking.Not just thinking about how we might tear down the barriers to work and rebuild the benefits system.But more fundamentally – about how we could reinforce the importance of work as a bulwark that supports more meaningful lives, stronger families and more cohesive communities.The Responsibility Agenda forged the basis of the welfare reforms we are now implementing.And what is most remarkable about these changes is just how much consensus they command across the political spectrum.Consensus reformsArguably, this is hardly a surprise.David Freud – or Lord Freud, the Minister for Welfare Reform under this Government – worked with the Labour Party in articulating many of the challenges in the welfare arena and outlining many of the solutions we are implementing today.He was far from being alone in recognising there was a deep-seated problem.Indeed, it is this realisation that has helped build strong support for many of the measures this Government has introduced since.For example, we have gained strong cross-bench support for the work we are doing to help people off long-term incapacity benefits and start to make the journey back to work.Most people recognise that it cannot be right to have a system that defines people as incapacitated and then simply consigns them to a life on long-term benefits without any follow-up support.So with the help of the new Work Capability Assessment, we are doing something about it.From this spring we will begin a nationwide programme to reassess 1.6 million incapacity benefit claimants to see who we can help to do something more with their lives.It will be a challenging process, but one that is made stronger by the support we are getting across the political spectrum.This same non-partisan support has also been extended to Iain Duncan Smith’s innovative plan to merge working age benefits into one, single Universal Credit.Here again, there is a broad consensus that welfare dependency is a very real problem for some of the poorest in our society, who are stuck in the benefits trap and struggling to get out.So it makes sense to take a bold step and get rid of the complexity and cliff edges that make it so risky for people to take work or extra overtime if the opportunity comes along.The new Work ProgrammeBut the Powerful Idea that I really want to talk to you about today is our flagship Work Programme – a huge employment support programme that will launch this summer to provide intensive help to the long term unemployed.It will be the biggest support programme of its kind seen in this country for decades – if not ever.Providing really high quality support to the unemployed is, of course, a vital part of getting people off benefits back into work.It is also the key to breaking the back of our deeply-ingrained benefits culture.More than that though, the new Work Programme also happens to be one of the best advertisements for this Government’s determination to decentralise power.Our approach is nothing less than a revolution in how Government thinks about solving social problems – in this case, unemployment.Gone are the one-size-fits-all programmes.Gone are the short-term, quick and dirty political sticking plasters that use non-jobs to keep the unemployment figures down.And gone are the top-down process constraints that prevented Jobcentre Plus staff from taking a flexible approach to helping their customers.This is all part of our agenda of pushing power, discretion and responsibility to the front line.Just as importantly, this is the mechanism that will allow us to put an end the situation where diktats from officials in Whitehall shape the services offered to our citizens – often with little reference to the practicalities of life on the ground.But that still doesn’t define the full extent of the Powerful Idea.What makes the Work Programme really revolutionary is that it marks the Government’s first real foray into the world of Payment by Results.It is redefining the relationship between Government and its contractors.Now, some of you may argue that Payment by Results is something that the Government has tried before. To a limited extent it has. But let me explain why what we are doing is both radical and cutting-edge.Clearly, Government has tried to pass risk to the private sector for years with varying degrees of success.The lesson of the 1970s and 1980s was that Government did not run things well, and that external contractors could bring a much more focused set of skills to the public sector.The original principle of PPP schemes was to enable the public sector to take advantage of private sector financial and management expertise.But sometimes attempts to harness the skills of the private sector drowned in contractual complexity.However, the fact is that the fundamental principles behind PPP remain valid today.If Government can capture the discipline of private sector management… if it can genuinely pass on risk to the private sector… and crucially, if it can capture the creativity and innovation that drives successful corporations… then this is an idea that is worth pursuing.That’s what makes the Work Programme different.It ends the principle of Whitehall-based programme design.Instead, we are going to hand a blank sheet of paper to the private and voluntary sector and say to them – "you decide what works."Most importantly though, we will only pay the bill when providers succeed.If they don’t, they miss out. It’s that simple.We have fundamentally changed the terms of engagement.You say you’re good at getting people into work – we say, go out and prove it.If you succeed, you make your money.The Work Programme is redefining the relationship between the Department for Work and Pensions and most of its major contractors.We’re providing them with the opportunity to succeed, but it will be down to their efforts to determine whether or not they do so.Britain today has some five million people on out of work benefits.Spread across Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support and Incapacity Benefit and its successor, Employment and Support Allowance.That total isn’t just a factor of recession. It’s been like that for a decade and more – with very little change even when employment has been rising fast.The goal of the Work Programme is to break down that culture of dependency.Of course not all of those people can work. Many will need unconditional support for the rest of their lives. But every official and independent assessment of the problem in recent years has expressed the view that most have the potential to return to work.The problem is that although billions of pounds, quite literally, were spent on Whitehall designed employment programmes to make this happen, the overall total barely budged.The Work Programme is designed to change that for good.From June this year, around six hundred thousand people a year will be referred to specialist providers.The providers have been chosen for their potential to get people back into work; for their ability to gather together a mix of expertise to support the hardest to help; and for the financial strength to carry the risk of a payment by results scheme.We want to see providers tailoring support to individual needs, supporting the unemployed back into work, and then providing them with ongoing mentoring to help them stay there.We’ve designed a contracting structure that will ensure that this is what happens.The Work Programme will support people over the age of 25 who have been unemployed for more than a year.It will support young unemployed people after nine months of job-search.And it will provide much quicker access to specialist support for people moving off Incapacity Benefit or Employment and Support Allowance, as well as for those who come from the most challenging backgrounds.Depending on the scale of the problems in a claimant’s life, we will pay anything between four and fourteen thousand pounds to the employment specialists – IF they can get them into sustainable employment.And that means getting them into work and then supporting them in work for up to a further two years.It’s a challenge.It’s certainly a lot more difficult to do than to operate the previous programmes, where the money was pretty much guaranteed to flow in.We will make a small upfront payment each time someone is referred to the Work Programme.However, this only applies for the first three years of the contract – and then that will stop.Once we’re fully up and running, all of the rest of the payment will depend on success in the labour market.Around a quarter of the fee will be paid after three or six months of employment.The rest is paid month by month in instalments for between one and two years, by which time the claimant should be well bedded down into employment.We are also setting minimum performance standards that will ensure that the providers cannot make good money by taking an ultra-cautious approach and only focusing on a small number of people.And we’ve built price ratchets into the plan so that the providers have to constantly seek to improve performance in order to continue to maintain profitability.At the heart of all of this lies an accounting revolution for the public sector.We will be using savings generated by moving people off benefits to pay for the cost of the programmes that get them there.This is what’s been widely described as the AME-DEL model – moving funds from the benefit savings pot into the programme spending pot.This might sound a little anodyne and technical – but in reality it is crucial.It means that the Work Programme has no limits. The budget cannot run out if more and more people are helped into work.And there is only one way in which the providers contracted to deliver the work programme can make very substantial profits.That’s if they are massively successful at moving very large numbers of the most challenged people into our society into work.And let’s face it – if they can do that, they are worth every penny they earn.It’s been very obvious that some parts of Britain’s welfare to work industry took a sharp intake of breath when they realised what we are doing.I know of one who told media organisations that it was having to rewrite its business model because of the robustness of our approach.But more than a hundred organisations came forward to put in initial tenders, and almost all of our shortlist of potential suppliers are expected to submit final bids in ten days time when the process closes.The truth is if we are to be good stewards of the public finances, we need to be putting our contractors under pressure.And the reality is that this model is not nearly as radical in business terms as some in the industry have suggested.Because at the heart of it lies a simple premise, one that is fundamental to any new business.You raise initial funds to get things going.You take the risk that you may or may not be able to build a successful business.You reach breakeven and start to make a profit.Eventually you make enough money to recoup your initial investment.And then you are in surplus and making a genuine return.This is a well-worn path that almost every business has walked.However, it is the first time that Government has made it a condition of doing business with you.And it should not be the last.There are many other parts of Government – both national and local – that can use payment-by-results as the way to drive the best possible service for our citizens from the companies and organisations that want to work with us.Indeed, the approach we have taken to contracting the Work Programme has created a toolbox that other parts of the public sector can use to adopt a similar approach.We have built the Work Programme around a framework contract approach that allows other parts of the public sector to buy additional services from the companies on our list – as long as those services related to our core goals of employment and tackling social deprivation.So a local authority, for example, could commit to a local payment by results scheme to deal with a local problem – like a large number of older workers unemployed for a long period in an old industrial area – and deliver in doing so enhanced support over and above what the Work Programme will do.This has to be the future of public sector contracting.The Ministry of Justice is already testing a payment-by-results approach in the area around two of its prisons to see what impact it can have on reoffending rates.And at heart, this approach isn’t just about passing risk to the private sector. It’s also about capturing what works in our society and bringing it to Government.It’s a philosophy that drives everything we are doing.Handing back responsibility to heads and teachers in our schools.To doctors and nurses in our hospitals.Stripping away the paraphernalia of bureaucracy that has held back so many parts of our public sector and public services.We’re pushing power and responsibility down to local authority level as well.In 2012, for example, we are giving local communities direct control over their police forces through the election of individually elected police and crime commissioners to oversee the fight against crime in their areas.Within the Department for Work and Pensions we are also removing the old target culture that dogged Jobcentre Plus, and giving advisers much greater discretion in how they deal with the challenges that newer claimants face.The Work Programme is part of that narrative of change.It needs a national framework to operate in, as you can’t set up dozens of individual payment-by-results relationships between local authorities and the Treasury. But it absolutely should not be delivered to a national template.Indeed I want to see the providers assembling teams of people and organisations whose skills drive down to the lowest possible level – in the heart of the local neighbourhood, or with small groups of claimants with specialist needs.Taken together, the Work Programme, the migration of people away from long term dependence on Incapacity Benefit, and the introduction of the Universal Credit mark a complete transformation of our welfare and back to work system.Our goal is very simple – to change lives.ConclusionEven as the new Work Programme rolls out in the months ahead and we see more people on incapacity benefits escape welfare dependency, we know that we have a long way to go.Changing minds and attitudes is much harder than simply changing processes and contracts.Yet we know that if we do not change – and change radically – we will fail the very people who need our help most.Many will pay the price of a life lived in poverty with the attendant poverty in life chances that brings for their children.So I believe that this journey is one that we can – and must – take together.Giving power back to those best placed to use it.Removing the shackles on innovation imposed by Whitehall.And unleashing the creativity we need at all levels to offer people the dignity of work and the power to take back personal responsibility for their own lives.Thank you. None http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/ministers-speeches/2011/03-02-11.shtml Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP Powerful Ideas 2011-02-03 Department for Work and Pensions “Powerful Ideas”
Content7 December 2010The Rt Hon Iain Duncan SmithSecretary of State for Work and PensionsSpeech to Institute for Public Policy ResearchTuesday 7 December 2010[Check against delivery]IntroductionI’d like to thank IPPR for the invitation to speak to you about welfare reform.It’s important that we have a debate about this.We currently have:5 million people on out of work benefitsone of the highest numbers of children in workless households in the whole of Europeand 2.6 million individuals on incapacity benefits, of which around 1.6 million have been in receipt of benefits for more than 5 years.And the costs of welfare dependency are unsustainable – the welfare bill has risen by over 40% in the last decade or so.ComplexitySo let me start with an analysis of why we’re in this situation.First, the system is immensely complex.A host of benefits, premiums, and allowances interact with each other in a myriad of ways.And different benefits are delivered by different agencies, making it difficult for people to know who to contact and when.It’s no wonder the guidance manuals for advisors run to thousands of pages.Even my officials debate the exact number of benefits – it depends on whether you are counting premiums, additions and so on or not.Disincentives to WorkOnce they are on benefits, one of the first questions people ask is whether they will be better off in work.Too often they find that the answer is no, or only just.This is because, after a small disregard, benefits are tapered away at a very high rate.For example, certain lone parents can lose 96 pence of every pound they earn.Currently around 130,000 people face a marginal deduction rate of more than 90%.Even worse, around 600,000 individuals face a Participation Tax Rate of over 90%.For some people choosing not to work is a rational choice.Long term dependencyAnd then there is the challenge of long-term dependency.Many people on Incapacity Benefit suffer from temporary conditions, and could be supported to return to work.But instead many have remained on the benefit for years, self-esteem often damaged and skills often rendered obsolete.And we shouldn’t forget that, in 2007/2008, almost half of all claimants who underwent a Personal Capability Assessment for Incapacity Benefit did so by paper-based assessment – they remained on benefit without their condition being assessed in person.This isn’t about being ‘tough’ on claimants by making them attend face-to-face interviews.It’s about helping them to keep in touch with the labour market and access the support they need.And there’s another issue we need to tackle back along the line – we need to do more to stop people falling out of work in the first place and on to sickness benefits.Principles of reformSo we needed to take a fundamental look at the support being provided – and that is what we have done.In a sense this is about creating a contract with people.We have to make the system simple.We have to make work pay.We have to help the most disadvantaged to find and take work.And in return, we expect them to take the work when it is available.Universal CreditFirst, make the system simple and make work pay.The Universal Credit is at the heart of this.The Universal Credit will be tapered away at a clear and consistent rate – around 65% before tax – making it easier for people to see how their earnings will change as they move into work.Clarifying the taper rate will mean that in the future politicians will have to have a more open debate about where they believe the taper level should be set.Bear in mind that, right now, some people currently lose 96p in every pound they earn.The Universal Credit will also use variable disregards to allow for different groups, such as lone parents and those with disabilities.We estimate that the Universal Credit will improve work incentives for around 700,000 people currently in low-paid work, and will pull around 850,000 children and working-age adults out of poverty.We are now developing our delivery plan for the Universal Credit.We expect to start introducing the Universal Credit from 2013, testing the system in the Spring before beginning roll-out in October.From October 2013 all new claims for out-of-work support will be treated as claims for Universal Credit.And from April 2014 to October 2017 we will work through existing cases.This will be given the highest priority in my Department, and we are already deploying a strong management team and our most capable and experienced people onto the programme.There has been speculation about the IT which will be used to deliver this programme.But the fact is the scale of the IT delivery is similar to that for Employment Support Allowance, which was successfully delivered on time and within budget.DWP and HMRC are working closely together to ensure the IT required to support Universal Credit is delivered on time, and that customers and employers are transitioned to the new systems in a co-ordinated way.The timescales we are working to were endorsed by a number of leading IT practitioners at a recent workshop, where the overwhelming view was that with appropriate governance the IT is deliverable in 2013.The Work ProgrammeTackling incentives is important, but it is only one part of the story – we must also offer appropriate work support.That is where the Work Programme comes in.We are creating an integrated programme, making the best use of the private and voluntary sectors.Providers will be paid an attachment fee when a claimant starts on the programme.Thereafter, they will be paid by results.We will pay a job outcome fee, rewarding those who manage to get claimants into work.And, perhaps most importantly, we will pay a sustainment fee, paid to a provider for managing to keep someone in work.Too often we’ve seen too much churn of people in and out of work. We need to support people as they develop the work habit.Claimants will be referred to the Work Programme at different times according to the level of support needed.For example, we expect the majority of customers to be referred after a year, but to make sure we limit wage scarring in the young those aged 18-24 will be referred after 9 months.Those most in need of support, for example ex-offenders, will