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Overview

In this document, Oxfam GB addresses the major issues raised by the coalition government’s consultation paper: 21st Century Welfare. This consists of three main aspects: an assessment of the principles underpinning the proposals; an analysis of the proposals that are made; and an analysis of crucial elements of welfare reform that are absent in these proposals. This response summarises and signposts the key findings from the documents that are attached to it, which are: Struggling with the System, Oxfam’s paper outlining our position on welfare reform, published in June 2010; An analysis of the gender impact of the reforms outlined in A Gender Perspective on 21st Century Welfare Reform; commissioned by Oxfam; Summaries of consultation meetings with Oxfam partners in England and Wales on the proposed government reforms. These summaries reflect the unfiltered views of our partner organisations, and although they have informed our response, they are not the views of Oxfam GB; To Banker, From Bankies: Incapacity Benefit, Myth and Realities, a report supported and funded by Oxfam and published in April 2009, which analyses the impact of welfare reforms on the people of Clydebank, in West Dumbartonshire, Scotland. It is particularly instructive on the experiences of Incapacity Benefit claimants undergoing retesting – with lessons that must be applied to the planned retesting of Disability Living Allowance claimants.

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