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The takeup of benefits: lessons from the UK.

Spicker, Paul


Paul Spicker


Henk Van Hootegem


The issue of take-up has had a prominent role in the consideration of benefits in the UK, and there is a considerable amount of information available about the issues and problems. As time has gone on, however, the comfortable certainties about why people do not claim benefits have come to seem less and less secure. At first it was supposed that a reluctance to claim was the legacy of the stigma of the Poor Law; then it was a problem of means-testing; then, as the emphasis fell increasingly on selective benefits and targeting, it became a matter of trying to ensure that benefits operated more efficiently. None of this is clearly consistent with the evidence we have, and while it is tempting to point the finger at the quality of that evidence, we may have to accept simply that we understand the problems less well than we thought we did.


SPICKER, P. 2017. The takeup of benefits: lessons from the UK. In Van Hootegem, H (ed.) Poverty and ineffectiveness of rights. Bruges: Die Keure [online]. Available from:

Online Publication Date Jun 30, 2017
Publication Date Jun 30, 2017
Deposit Date Jul 2, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jul 2, 2018
Publisher Die Keure
Book Title Poverty and ineffectiveness of rights
ISBN 9782874034565
Keywords Benefits; UK; Reluctance; Stigma; Claims
Public URL
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