LITRG urges an integrated approach to welfare reform

Published on 10 November 2005

In our evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee of MPs on the proposed reform of incapacity benefit, LITRG calls for a comprehensive integrated approach involving tax, social security and employment services, to help promote employment for disabled people.

We also warn that with higher employment levels, further improvement - bringing in more severely disabled people - will require more intensive on-going specialist support. Quick fixes will not work.

In particular, it will be very difficult to encourage severely disabled people back into work without tackling the barrier created by a frozen income support disregard.

While efforts are undertaken to help disabled people get work, enabling those who fall sick or disabled while in work to retain employment is of particular importance. The so-called 'Fast Track' mechanism in working tax credit aims to help people who return to work with reduced earning capacity because of their illness, but we argue that it is too slow and bureaucratic to be of any real assistance. Reform is needed.

Background

The House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee is carrying out an inquiry into the reform of incapacity benefits and the Pathways to Work pilots. A Green Paper, originally scheduled for the summer, is now planned for later in the autumn.

Depending on the date of publication, the Committee hopes to begin holding evidence sessions around the middle of November, to run until the House rises in December.

To view the text of LITRG's written evidence, follow the link below.

(10-11-2005)

Contact: Robin Williamson (Tel: 0844 579 6700 Fax 0844 579 6701)

LITRG evidence on the proposed reform of incapacity benefit