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DWP should be axed, says think-tank

Most of the work of Amber Rudd’s department could be carried out more effectively by other Whitehall ministries, according to a report by Demos.

Tom Pollard, the report’s author, spent 18 months at the DWP on secondment from mental health charity Mind. By the end of his time there he concluded that the “DWP is institutionally and culturally incapable of making the reforms needed to achieve […] a shift in outcomes for ill and disabled people, or for ‘harder-to-help’ groups more widely”.

A DWP spokesperson said: “This report is completely misguided and we have no plans to reduce functionality at a time when unemployment is at its lowest, welfare reforms are rolling out across the country and millions are saving for a private pension for the first time. Jobcentres are a local presence yet benefit from a national framework. DWP supports around 20 million people to get into work and save for their retirement, as well as giving stability to those who cannot work, and will continue to do so as one responsible organisation.”

Read Demos - Pathways from Poverty: A case for institutional reform