The Great Welfare Debate
Crisis conference 2013
Freshfields, Monday 13 May
Full agenda with breakout session details
The welfare system in the UK has long provided a buffer between poverty, unemployment and homelessness.
Since its inception, however, debates have raged on the purpose, impact and cost of welfare.
But with cuts to housing benefit and other changes hitting home, homelessness rising and Universal Credit looming large, 2013 marks a particularly pivotal moment.
This conference addressed some of the big questions of the day.
- Don Foster MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government
- Dame Anne Begg MP, Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee
- Mark Easton, BBC Home Editor (Chair)
- Alison Park, Head of Society and Social Change (including British Social Attitudes Survey) at NatCen
- Karen Buck MP, PPS to Ed Miliband
- Richard Johnson
- Gill Brown, CEO of Brighter Futures
- Matthew Oakley, Head of Economics and Social Policy at Policy Exchange , former MD of Serco Welfare to Work
Breakout sessions throughout the day featured seminars on the latest welfare related research and policy proposals, along with workshops on practical ways to help homeless and vulnerably housed people cope with changes and cuts to welfare.
- A. The cumulative impact of welfare reform
Dr Peter Kenway, Director of the New Policy Institute
- B. Welfare reform on the private rented sector: impacts and mitigations
Susanne Bjork, Private Renting and Housing Development Officer, Crisis
Jon Leighton, Service Manager, Framework
Lawrence Blanc, North Devon Smartmove
- C. The impact of welfare reform on local authorities
Louise Russell, LB Tower Hamlets
- D. Supporting Central and Eastern European people into employment
Alicja Falska, Work and Learning Coach, Crisis
- E. Universal Credit
Cathy Payne and Gemma Brown, Universal Credit Policy Division, Department for Work and Pensions
- F. Vulnerable clients and the WCA
Tom Pollard, Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer, Mind
Michael Fothergill, Project Manager, Crisis Welfare Network
- G. Conditionality, sanctions and the claimant commitment
Tessa Gregory, solicitor, Public Interest Lawyers
- H. Keeping Work
Juliette Hough, Research Manager, Broadway