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This report offers a view on ‘welfare reform’ in recent years from the perspective of the Clydebank Independent Resource Centre (CIRC). It is being written at a crucial moment in the history of welfare in the UK. The Welfare Reform Bill currently going through Parliament represents, in the words of the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC), “a major departure from the principles … that have underpinned UK social protection for almost 60 years”. The plan is to “shake up the benefit system”. The “architect” behind the plan is a former banker, David Freud. He is the banker referred to in the main title of the report. He is also the person to whom ‘the bankies’ (people from Clydebank) are addressing themselves – though of course they are simultaneously, and every bit as importantly, addressing themselves to the politicians who appointed him as their key adviser.
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