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Welfare Reform: Challenges, Impacts and Evidence

Social & Welfare
Tuesday 13 November 2012

Presentations from the day are available below.

When the post-war UK Welfare State was established, it heralded a step change in securing the provision of health care, income, housing, disability support and education. A National Insurance system was intended to provide a safety net for those in need, coupled with universal benefits from healthcare free at point of delivery, to child benefit.

Over 60 years later the way people live, the industrial base of the country, expectations and political attitudes have moved on. Advocates of welfare reform talk about overcoming welfare dependency, incentivising work, and better targeting of resources to support the most needy - all in the context of squeezed public finances. The Coalition Government has focussed on two key issues with the current system: work incentives are poor; and the system is too complex. The Welfare Reform Act received Royal Assent in March 2012 and is intended to address these issues by changing the way that provision is determined and administered.

This event brought together national and local perspectives to consider the challenges and opportunities associated with welfare reform policy and implementation. It looked at the potential impact on individuals, the agencies that work with them and the wider economy. And it considered the role of evidence in informing decision making in that framework.


Policy Challenges around Welfare Reform  
Alex Marsh, Head of School of Policy Studies, University of Bristol did not use slides for his presentation, but you can read his write-up via this link
Welfare Reform and the Benefit Cap 

Alan Sullivan, Managing Consultant, Universal Credit Programme, Department for Work and Pensions.

Delivering Welfare Reforms

Ian Savigar, Divisional Director, Customer Services, Bath & North East Somerset Council (Universal Credit Pilot Area).

Impact on the Labour Market

Chris Evans, Director, SWO Skills & Learning Intelligence Module.

All in it together: Impact on Housing, Communities and Social Housing Tenants

Paul Smith, Head of Enterprise and Intelligence, and Julia Frost, Customer Insight Team Leader, Aster Group.

Bristol City Council Insight Modelling

Tracy Dodds, Insight Design Manager, and Tim Fletcher, Customer Insight Manager, Bristol City Council.

Impact of Welfare Reform: Making the Connections

Kathryn Byfield, Policy Specialist (Community Intelligence), Cornwall Council.


Alex Marsh (Head of the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol)

Alan Sullivan (Managing Consultant, Universal Credit Programme, DWP)

Ian Savigar (Divisional Director, Customer Services, Bath & NE Somerset)

Chris Evans (Director, SWO Skills & Learning Module)

Paul Smith (Head of Enterprise & Intelligence, Aster Group)

Tracy Dodds (Insight Design Manager, Bristol CC) & Tim Fletcher (Customer Insight Manager, Bristol CC)

Kathryn Byfield (Policy Specialist, Cornwall Council)