Presented by Professor Christina Beatty, Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University This seminar is part of the Cardiff WISERD Lunchtime Seminar series. If you are an external guest, please contact us (029 2087 9338) to confirm availability of places. For further information please contact

Welfare reform has been a defining feature of contemporary UK Government policy and is central to the deficit reduction plan.  The intention is to create a welfare system which is fit for the 21st century: ‘fairer’, simpler and providing a transitional support system in times of need. The stated aim is to incentivise work whilst protecting the most vulnerable.  In reality, since 2010 welfare reform has become synonymous with welfare cuts. Taken as a whole, reduced entitlement and restricted eligibility across a range of working age benefits means these reforms are set to deliver the largest reduction in the income of the UK’s poorest families in modern times.  Policy documents have paid scant attention to the cumulative impact of the reforms as a whole or the spatial distribution of the financial losses incurred.  Britain’s economic geography is, however, key to understanding the uneven impact of welfare reform. Evidence will be presented on the impact of welfare reform across the country, by household types and tenure. The extent to which areas facing the brunt of welfare reform are the same places that have experienced the destruction of industrial jobs since the 1980s will also be examined.  The legacy of the past, therefore, continues to impact on communities in older industrial Britain today.