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Economics & Social Policy Publications
Some 48,530 children are now in a care system that is letting many of them down and is in radical need of reform.Fostering Aspirations makes a number of recommendations to increase the number of carers and improve the quality of care children receive.
Parenting Alone calls for more support to help lone parents with young children into work. The report finds although the number of lone parents working is higher than in the 1990s, 650,000 – or 1 in 3 – are still unemployed. It recommends more intensive support for lone parents when their youngest child is 3 or 4 and measures to stabilise the income of those moving from benefits into work or to higher paid work.
Public sector workers in the North East, Merseyside and South West of England earn as much as £3,200 more than their equivalents in the private sector. The variation in pay has arisen because of the system of national pay bargaining, which means that workers are paid the same amount regardless of where they live. The paper recommends abolishing national pay deals and moving to a system which can reflect local labour markets and reward performance.
Cultures of Dependency says that in the future employment support must better understand the pressures that families, social networks and communities put on unemployed people. Devolving power and money would allow individual Jobcentres to pilot new innovative ways of delivering local personalised support to help people find a job. Support could also be targeted at whole families, peer groups or estates in order to tackle serious barriers to work like a poor work ethic or family problems.
Capping Welfare argues that post 2015, cutting Winter Fuel Payments or TV licences for pensioners is ‘simply tinkering around the edges’. Cuts to these pensioner perks would save at most £3 billion even if there were completely removed. In contrast, the State pension costs are set to rise by some £40 billion in today’s terms the next 50 years. This would mean younger generations saddled with enormous financial burdens.
The Work Programme is not doing enough to help those furthest away from the labour market. Route2Work says that paying private and voluntary providers to help people back into work is a sensible approach to reducing unemployment. However, there needs to be a new complementary scheme that encourages and rewards charities, social enterprises and small-scale providers to help the most vulnerable people.
Better Public Services: A Roadmap for Revolution, calls for a number of changes in the way services are delivered which puts power firmly in the hands of the public.
Policy Exchange’s response to the DWP’s labour market interventions consultation, Slow Progress says that there must be greater conditions for in-work claimants to ensure that they are doing all they can to increase their hours and earnings. The introduction of Universal Credit this year provides the government with an opportunity to ensure that workers reliant on state benefits are explicitly asked to do more to find more work where possible.
Outcomes, Not Just Incomes says that nearly one in five children (2.3 million) across the UK are living materially deprived lives and are not included in the government’s headline measure of relative income poverty. This is despite £170 billion of expenditure between 2003 and 2010. The report identifies a number of problems with the existing measure of child poverty and recommends a new Child Poverty Bill that would measure social poverty as well as household income.