COMMONS

Committee invites ideas for DWP “model budget”, as Government looks at spending plans

07 June 2019

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.

Chair's comments

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 spending choices that DWP would have to make. You can submit your answers here.

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 and model budgets is 19 July 2019.

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.
 

  1. What should DWP’s spending plans and priorities for the next three years be, and what trade-offs should it be willing to make in its spending plans? (As above, we are particularly inviting submissions to this question in the form of a ‘model’ DWP budget – any of the rest could be too!)

  2. What resources does DWP need to achieve its performance and customer service objectives?

  3. Some payments and deductions are not up-rated by inflation each year – or are subject to caps or freezes. How does this affect DWP spending decisions and intended outcomes?

  4. How well does DWP use evidence to inform its spending decisions? Does it have the evidence it needs to understand how to spend its budget most effectively?

  5. DWP can undertake analysis using its internal data and Departmental analysts.

-  Is this capacity used in the most effective way to inform spending plans and decisions?
- How could this be improved?

Further information 

Image: PC

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