Welfare reform investigated at University

A lecture to celebrate the extensive research that Robert Gordon University Professor Paul Spicker has completed on reforming welfare is to take place at the Aberdeen institution next week, on Tuesday 6 October at 6pm.

The Professorial Lecture, entitled ‘Reforming Welfare: What is happening to social security?', will explore what the social security system was supposed to do, how it has changed, and where the programme of welfare reform is taking it.

Professor Spicker explained: "Historically, the British social security system was a cornerstone of the welfare state. It was supposed to leave behind the old idea that welfare was only for the poor, and this worked, but recent policy has come to focus increasingly on poverty and unemployment, and this ‘catch all' approach is leaving gaps."

Professor Spicker holds the Grampian Chair of Public Policy at the University and has written widely in the field of social policy. He has published thirteen books, several shorter works and over 70 academic papers.

He has undertaken a wide range of applied research projects, including studies of poverty in Scotland, homelessness, police complaints, and work on public consultations. His research has also included study related to the care of old people, benefit delivery systems, psychiatric patients, housing management and local anti-poverty strategy.

In 2007, Professor Spicker was appointed a Special Adviser to the House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee for their report on the simplification of social security benefits.

He added: "The government's programme of welfare reform is attempting to introduce a common structure that will cover all claimants of working age and I don't believe that this is an effective way of dealing with the problem."

The lecture will take place at the Faculty of Health and Social Care Building, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen, with the lecture beginning at 6pm and followed by light refreshments. For more information and to book your place, please contact Barbara Jones, Events Manager, on 01224 262034 or