This report, published on the eve of the second reading of the Welfare Benefits Up-Rating Bill 2012-13, reveals that the government’s welfare benefit uprating legislation is based on bogus claims and is a poverty-producing bill that will further exclude the poorest workers, jobseekers, carers and disabled people from the mainstream of society.
The report finds that:
- The bill is poverty-producing and means that both absolute and relative child poverty will increase (chapter 1, Lindsay Judge)
- Contrary to arguments made by Ministers, welfare spending on workless families has been falling and most Jobseekers Allowance claimants find new jobs within months (chapters 2 and 4, Declan Gaffney, Tracy Shildrick and Rob MacDonald)
- The bill puts the economy at risk by failing to protect the economy’s ‘automatic stabilisers’ (chapter 3, Jonathan Portes)
- Contrary to popular perception, benefit fraud is at its lowest ever recorded level and the ‘scrounger’ stereotype is grossly inaccurate (chapter 5, Ben Baumberg)
- The government must focus on the root causes of social security and tax credit demand and prioritise progress on full employment, living wages, affordable housing and affordable childcare (chapter 6, Alison Garnham)