Making Welfare Work for Wales

Poverty Mother on ipad with two children
Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash
ProjectsNovember 4th, 2015

Social security benefits play a huge role in the welfare and well being of people in Wales.

Around one in six people of working age receive some form of benefit from the Department of Work and Pensions, and many more receive help through Tax Credits. The cash injection is worth about £10 billion each year.

This project identified areas of ‘poor fit’ between the benefits system and the needs and circumstances of people in Wales, and explored possible solutions including the potential for some elements of the benefits system to be devolved.

The project was funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation as part of its UK anti-poverty strategy. It was completed on 31st March 2016 and launched on 29th June 2016.

Key outputs:

Keynote discussions

Leanne Wood AM, Leader of Plaid Cymru, 16th November 2015

Project launch with keynote speaker Leanne Wood AM, leader of Plaid Cymru, with contributions from:

  • Sarah Stone, Samaritans
  • Tony Graham, Trussell Trust
  • Cath Stenson, Bron Afon Community Housing.

Watch the video of Leanne Wood’s speech below or read the event report here.

The second of three discussions on how the social security system could change to fit the needs and circumstances of Wales, with keynote speaker Owen Smith, MP for Pontypridd, and Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and guest panellists:

  • Deri ap Hywel, Director, Wales, Working Links
  • Jennie Bibbings, Campaigns Manager, Shelter Cymru
  • Ian Thomas, Chief Executive, Age Cymru

Watch the video of Owen Smith MP’s speech below. or read the event report here.

Craig Williams MP, Member of House of Commons Select Committee on Work and Pensions and House of Commons Welsh Affairs Committee on 4th March 2016

The third in our series of discussions on how the social security system could change to fit the needs and circumstances of Wales, with Craig Williams, MP for Cardiff North, Member of the Work and Pensions and Welsh Affairs Select Committees, and guest panellists:

  • Catherine A’Bear, Rehab Jobfit
  • Gwendolyn Sterk, Welsh Women’s Aid
  • Cerys Furlong, Director, Learning and Work Institute Wales

Watch the video of Craig Williams’ speech below or read the event report here.


Making welfare work for Wales: Should benefits for people of working age be devolved?

The project’s final report explores the potential for devolving working age benefits in Wales. It focuses on unemployment benefits and services, disability and sickness benefits, and Housing Benefit. It considers how well they are working for claimants in Wales now, and how social security interacts with devolved policy areas.

Download the report (including an executive summary) here.

Can welfare work for Wales? Baseline report

A short report that highlights the scale of benefits expenditure and number of claimants in Wales for each of the major benefit groups.

Download the report here

The Spending Review & Changes to Benefits: the u-turn that wasn’t

A presentation by Victoria Winckler on the implications of the Spending Review on welfare in Wales, hosted by the Wales Public Services 2025. Click here to view the slides or read the seminar reports on:



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