Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Should the DWP be disbanded?

The institutions central to the operations of the political economy should not be seen as entities that are created at one point in time and can then be assumed to operative effectively afterwards… the operative force of many institutions cannot be taken for granted
– from Peter Hall and David Soskice, An Introduction to Varieties of Capitalism
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was created in 2001. We should ask whether now is the time to disband it.

I ask this as a question of long-term policy and the administration of a significant part of Britain’s political economy (or “state”), rather than a short-term campaigning question designed to score political points. However, it would have the political advantage for whoever achieves power in 2015 of drawing some sort of line under what have proven to be poorly motivated and poorly executed welfare reforms since 2010...