William Eichler 27 April 2016

Welfare cap creates better understanding of Whitehall spending, NAO says

Welfare cap creates better understanding of Whitehall spending, NAO says image

The welfare cap is encouraging a greater understanding of spending across government, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).

The cap, which is a limit on the amount of state benefits a household can claim in one year, has increased departments' oversight of spending on benefits and tax credits, according to the NAO.

The National Audit Office, the body responsible for scrutinising public spending, says the level of attention to spending forecasts has increased across government and at the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

It offers OBR warnings over tax credits as an example. The OBR announced last year that the cap was breached owing to the government's decision to reverse some of its proposed reforms to tax credits.

The NAO does warn, however, that there is a risk the current scope of the cap may create an incentive for the Government to keep claimants on Jobseeker's Allowance instead of encouraging them into work and increasing entitlement to in-work benefits.

The auditors also found several areas in which analysis and forecasts could be improved. At the moment, interactions between benefits are not dealt with systematically and the OBR is not always given enough time to review all forecasts.

Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said: ‘Forecasts will always be uncertain but when spending is projected to be close to or over the cap, weaknesses in forecasts may affect policy or operational decisions.

‘All departments involved should therefore move quickly to improve their processes.’

Time for a council tax precept to fund CCTV image

Time for a council tax precept to fund CCTV

The crisis in funding for CCTV systems is not being addressed by the government or the police and is leading to the curtailment of this vital service in local authorities across the country. How can we ensure that communities that want this service continue to receive it, asks Tom Reeve.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior infrastructure engineer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£45.834 - £56.141
You’ll lead the building, testing and monitoring new and existing services both on-prem and in the cloud. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Infrastructure engineer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£37.772 - £46.999
This is a great role in a vibrant and growing team; we’re looking for people who have some experience in infrastructure engineering... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Solutions Architect

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Solutions ArchitectPermanent, Full TimeCompetitive SalaryLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Growth, Investment and Tourism – Dover District Council

Dover District Council
Competitive Salary
In this role, you will find significant and nationally important physical, economic and cultural assets with the capacity to... Dover, Kent
Recuriter: Dover District Council

Monitoring Officer / Assistant Director Legal, Registration & Electoral Services

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£90,205 per annum         
This is an exciting time to join Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and an opportunity to make a real difference. Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue