One In Five for Sunday 7 November 2010
Back in August, the Government's Welfare Working Group released its first Summary Paper 'Long term benefit dependency: the issues'. It's a first draft of its thinking, on what it sees as major problems besetting the approach to people on benefits like sickness and invalid's. The Welfare Working Group has copped its fair share of criticism. An alternative non-government think tank - Welfare Justice - has been doing the rounds, unhappy with what it describes as a ministerial obsession with getting people off benefits. And the Summary paper has been panned in some circles as long on destination, but short on how to get there. Welfare Working Group chair Paula Rebstock (above right) says she's happy to cop the flak. But she says it's unfair to judge the Summary paper by its lack of solutions. Paula Rebstock says it was never the intention for this publication to canvas answers to the problems. That's because it was first necessary to come up with some agreement as to what the problems are. And Paula Rebstock believes that's been largely successful.