Deputy Director Sam Bowman discusses new ASI report "Time for Time Limits: Why we should end permanent welfare" in a comment piece for City AM:
Most talk of welfare is about how much we spend. Far too little is about how we actually spend it, but this is what really determines whether it does what we want or not.
Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) is a very small part of the £217bn per year we spend on welfare, costing around £5bn annually. But in interaction with in-work benefits like Working Tax Credits, it can be one of the crucial factors in a person’s decision whether to take a job or keep looking for something better.
The difficulty is that we can only cut JSA so far before it stops being capable of giving people a short-term safety net in between unexpected periods of unemployment. And as a new paper from the Adam Smith Institute (“Time for Time Limits”) argues today, this is where we can learn quite a lot from reforms abroad.