Pressure from the Treasury meant changes were pushed through parliament “without meaningful analysis of impact or interactions with other parts of the benefit system”, says SSAC Chair Paul Gray.
Pressure from the Treasury resulted in welfare changes being pushed through parliament “without meaningful analysis of impact or interactions with other parts of the benefit system”, according to the Chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC).
In a damning report on how the government develops new welfare policies, SSAC Chair Paul Gray says top-down pressure from the former Chancellor George Osborne to meet Budget deadlines meant legislation was being rushed without proper analysis or scrutiny.
In a foreword to the report, Mr Gray writes: “On the basis that primary legislation was to be debated in some detail in Parliament, the Government was not required to bring the majority of these provisions to SSAC.
“Consequently, the amount of secondary legislation presented to us in the first few months of the reporting year was lighter than usual.
“By contrast from September onwards a number of sets of regulations were presented to us for scrutiny – most with their origins in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget proposals for reducing benefit expenditure.”
He continues: “The Committee has observed that legislation required to deliver policies announced by the Chancellor during his Budget or autumn statements is often developed at pace to meet challenging deadlines set by HM Treasury.
“This has regularly resulted in secondary legislation being presented to us without meaningful analysis of impact or interactions with other parts of the benefit system.
“The absence of evidence underpinning some of the Government’s policy choices has been a significant concern to us over the past year, and we hope that the Government will adjust this aspect of its approach to policy-making in the coming year.”