HL Deb 25 June 1997 vol 580 cc165-6WA
Earl Russell

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will commission research on the experience of those who suffer disentitlement to social security benefits and in particular whether the percentage of those in employment six months later is higher or lower than of those who were able to remain on benefit.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham)

Since October 1996 jobseeker's allowance (JSA) has been the main benefit for unemployed people.

The current inter-departmental programme of evaluation includes major national surveys of unemployed claimants before, and jobseekers after, the introduction of the new policy. The surveys enable us to look at labour market outcomes after six months and include small numbers of claimants who were disallowed benefit.

In addition, an in-depth study of a few claimants disqualified or disallowed from unemployment-related benefits was undertaken before the introduction of JSA. We expect to publish the findings in July. A similar study will be carried out to shed light on the attitudes and decision-making of claimants and jobseekers who were sanctioned under the JSA regime.

Our aim is to modernise social security and we intend to undertake a fundamental review of the social security system. We will be examining all our future research requirements in the context of that review.