Review of the Supplementary Welfare Allowance

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Background to the Review

In 2000, given the changing nature of the scheme, the rapidly increasing levels of expenditure and the range of changes then being proposed in relation to individual aspects of the scheme it was decided that a fundamental appraisal of the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme, aimed primarily at improving customer service and administrative efficiency was required. This appraisal was carried out under the Department's series of Programme Evaluation reviews, with all aspects of the scheme examined.
In view of the extensive terms of reference for the review, the complex nature of the scheme and its numerous component parts, each with its own individual purpose, it was decided to carry out the review in two phases. The report of Phase I of the Review was published in December 2004 and:
  • outlined the background to the scheme,
  • gave an overview of the current scheme,
  • identified the objectives of the scheme,
  • outlined the trends in recipient numbers and expenditure,
  • considered the relevance of the scheme objectives in the context of the various Governmental and Departmental strategies, and
  • highlighted the issues identified for further consideration by the Group in relation to each component part of the scheme.

Phase II

The second phase of the Review commenced in February 2005 and is an in-depth examination which:
  • considers the issues raised in Phase I of the report,
  • examines the efficiency of the scheme,
  • examines the effectiveness of the scheme,
  • examines the validity of the objectives,
  • and in light of the above, as appropriate, makes a series of recommendations in relation to the future of the scheme.


The reports from both Phases can be downloaded from this page.​

Last modified:04/01/2013