Work and Pensions Committee

Spending Review inquiry

Inquiry status: Concluded

Due to the general election on 12 December 2019 the Committee has now closed this inquiry. Following the dissolution of Parliament on 6 November, all Select Committees will cease to exist until after the general election. If an inquiry on this subject is held in the future, the Committee may refer to the evidence already gathered as part of this inquiry.

Scope of the inquiry

The Work and Pensions Committee has launched a new inquiry examining DWP’s spending priorities and how it makes its spending decisions, in light of the announcement of a forthcoming cross-government Spending Review.
We are inviting ideas and “model budgets” to suggest what DWP’s spending priorities should be – and what trade-offs it might have to make – for the next three years. The benefits freeze is due to end before next year’s Budget.
The Committee will be looking at DWP’s spending priorities and how DWP makes its spending decisions. We’ll also consider how DWP plans to achieve its own performance and customer service objectives, and at its use of caps and freezes and how they relate to its spending decisions.
We will also be looking more at how DWP uses evidence to inform its plans, and what it knows about how it can spend its budget most effectively.

Rt Hon Frank Field MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

“The Government’s strategy for reducing the budget deficit has been paid for by cuts, cuts, and cuts again in benefits for the poor. We will be putting this centre stage in our review of the Government’s spending plans, and we’ve asked experts of all kinds to set out a different kind of budget. Will the Government promise to consider implementing the model DWP budget we get back?”

Send us your views 

The Committee is inviting evidence aimed at focussing on the type of spending choices that DWP has to make.

The Committee is inviting responses to the first question to be in the form of a “model budget” for DWP: what the Chancellor could announce from the Despatch Box in the Autumn Budget. It could be a costed policy statement, or a diagram of spending priorities. Or of course it could be a written proposal, but include at least rough estimated costs of ideas for where DWP’s money should be spent for the three years from April 2020.
The rest of the questions address particular aspects of the Department’s spending decision process. Individuals or organisations are invited to send answers to any or all of the questions below.

We would welcome evidence from people with lived experience of the DWP’s policies (for example, by claiming benefits) and from people or organisations with experience of supporting claimants.
You can respond as an individual, a group or an organisation. You don’t need to answer all of the questions.  You could look at one policy or benefit only, in your answer. The deadline for sending your answers or model budgets is 19 July 2019.

Terms of reference: Committee invites ideas for DWP “model budget”

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