Despite positive steps at expanding the welfare state to reduce inequality in British society, the Working Family Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, revised since 1999, have been seeped controversy. What intentions did the Government have when it formulated this policy? To what extent was the implementation process a success or a failure? Seeking to address these questions and many more as they relate to social assistance reform in the United Kingdom, the following will provide a thorough yet concise overview of the issues surrounding these controversial measures. With an eye to providing a thorough understanding of social assistance reform in the United Kingdom, we now turn to an overview of the impetus to implement the Working Family Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit (Redston, 2006).
Unemployment is an issue which is frequently in the news and is becoming more and more a cause for concern due to the ramifications of the global credit crunch and ensuing economic crisis across the world. According to the Daily Mail, the true cost of unemployment in the United Kingdom stands at an astonishing £61 billion per year (Daily Mail, 2007). Seeking to encourage people to work, even if their salaries were low, the British government has implemented numerous measures to encourage a productive labour force. With the aim of addressing income inequality through welfare reform, the United Kingdom undertook an overhaul of the social assistance system and the means through which low paying individuals in Britain could claim tax benefits as part of the recent reform. Under the assumption that low income workers deserved tax credits from the central government, current Prime Minister Gordon Brown undertook a thorough review of the credit tax system under the stewardship of Tony Blair and sought to establish a means test for social security benefits. Accordingly, the Working Tax Credit