More analysis of the cumulative impact of welfare reform needed says new report

1 May 2014

The UK’s main advisory body on social security matters has recommended that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should carry out more analysis in order to properly assess the cumulative impact of welfare reform, but has accepted that this would be a difficult task.

In the report, The cumulative impact of welfare reform: a commentary, the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) recognises that disabled people in particular are likely to be affected by welfare reform because they are more likely to be claiming a range of benefits across the system, and so the reforms could “successively reduce household income”. It added that those claimants receiving disability-related benefits are less able to enter work, or move to lower-cost housing, as a response to cuts in social security.

MPs and disabled activists have been demanding that ministers carry out a cumulative impact assessment (CIA) to find out how disabled people have been hit by the totality of the government’s welfare reforms and cuts since 2011.

So far, DWP has refused to say whether it accepts the findings of the committee or if ministers still believe that a CIA cannot and should not be carried out.