Skip to content

Analysing the impact of the UK government's welfare reforms in Wales

Related Links

Reducing poverty, particularly persistent poverty, in some of our poorest areas and communities is at the centre of the Welsh Government’s policy agenda.
Tell us if you want any of the documents on this page in an alternative format.
Our Ministerial Task and Finish Group on Welfare Reform has commissioned a programme of research to assess the impact of the UK government’s welfare reforms in Wales.

Stage 1

The Stage 1 report was published in February 2012. The main aim was to analyse the existing evidence on the cumulative impact of the tax and benefit changes on individuals and households in Wales. This looked at: 

  • the number of individuals potentially affected by the changes
  • the expected monetary impact on household incomes (spatially and by income group and family type)
  • impact on poverty
  • effects on work incentives
  • an initial assessment of wider economic and social impacts.

Stage 2

The Stage 2 reports were published in February 2013. This stage was undertaken via a combination of internal and external work.

The internal work, undertaken by Knowledge and Analytical Services, has estimated the direct effects of the main welfare reforms on household incomes in Wales, and provides a more detailed assessment of the wider economic and social impacts of welfare reform (building on the Stage 1 research) and potential implications for devolved public services in Wales.

The external work, undertaken by Stuart Adam and David Phillips at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), has analysed the impact of the welfare reforms on income and labour supply in Wales. This report is available on the Institute for Fiscal Studies' website (External link).

Stage 3

The first part of the Stage 3 research, published in July 2013, has assessed the impacts of the welfare reforms on those with protected characteristics (e.g. gender, age, disabled people, and race and ethnicity) while the second part, published in February 2014, has assessed the impact in local authority areas in Wales.

Further research

Following the completion of the 3 stage research programme, the Ministerial Task and Finish Group reviewed future research requirements. It was agreed that the research undertaken by the IFS (as part of Stage 2) to assess the impact of the welfare reforms on incomes in Wales would be updated and extended. This now includes reforms announced up to and included in Budget 2014, and the tax changes as well as the benefit changes.

This research, published in July 2014, is available on the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ website (External link).

The Group also agreed for research to be undertaken on the impact of benefit sanctions. This report, published in November 2014.

Following the significant welfare cuts announced in the UK government’s Summer Budget 2015, analysis has been undertaken to assess the potential impact in Wales. This also covers the impact of the tax reforms and changes to the national minimum wage for those aged 25 and over. This analysis is contained in two reports. The first report, published in September 2015. The second report, published in November 2015, is available on the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ website (External link).