Resolution CM/ResCSS(2011)19
on the application of the European Code of Social Security
by the United Kingdom
(Period from 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010)

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 6 July 2011
at the 1118th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)

The Committee of Ministers,

In the exercise of the functions conferred upon it by Article 75 of the European Code of Social Security (hereinafter referred to as the “Code”), and with a view to supervising the application of this instrument by the Contracting Parties;

Whereas the Code, opened for signature on 16 April 1964, entered into force on 17 March 1968 and since 13 January 1969 has been binding on the United Kingdom, which ratified it on 12 January 1968;

Whereas, when ratifying the Code, the Government of the United Kingdom stated that it accepted, in addition to the parts which must be applied by every Contracting Party (Parts I, XI, XII, XIII and XIV), the following parts of the Code:

- Part II on “medical care”,

- Part III on “sickness benefit”,

- Part IV on “unemployment benefit”,

- Part V on “old-age benefit”;

Whereas the Government of the United Kingdom has subsequently, on 19 July 1982, accepted Part VII on “family benefit”;

Whereas, in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Article 74 of the Code, the Government of the United Kingdom submitted its 42nd annual report on the application of the Code, for the period from 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010;

Whereas, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 74, that report was examined by the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, at its 81st meeting in November and December 2010,

Notes and thanks the Government of the United Kingdom for providing information on the issues raised by the Committee of Ministers in its previous resolutions, as well as for sharing with it the ideas for radically changing the United Kingdom benefit system. On 30 July 2010, the Department for Work and Pensions published a consultation document “21st Century Welfare”, which outlines a number of alternative approaches to benefit simplification, including a single integrated universal credit, which could replace the current income-related benefits and tax credits for people of working age; a single unified taper, which would apply a single taper rate to an overall benefit entitlement, rather than to individual benefits; other options such as a single working age benefit, a family allowance and a negative income tax model; as well as a modern automatic benefit payment system, which would reduce mistakes and fraud and will mean that beneficiaries need to spend less time filling out forms when a job ends. In parallel, the Committee of Ministers also notes the radical austerity measures decided by the new government in the aim of fiscal consolidation, which should lead to an unprecedented reduction in welfare support and public employment in the next four years;

Finds that that law and practice in the United Kingdom continue to give full effect to the provisions of Parts II, III, IV and VII of the Code and that they also ensure the application of Part V, subject to receiving the statistical information on the level of old-age pensions;

Decides to invite the Government of the United Kingdom to prepare a detailed report on the Code, which is due in 2011, indicating the impact of the new design of the United Kingdom benefit system and of the effective and planned cuts in social spending on the application of each of the accepted parts of the Code.



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