Books reviewed by James Woodward

Delivering Benefits in Old Age,
the Take up of the Minimum Income Guarantee

Delivering Benefits in Old Age, the Take up of the Minimum Income GuaranteePaul Dornan
Ashgate publishers, 2006, 254pp hdbk, £50,
ISBN 0 7546 4688 2

This is a very specialised book though extremely well researched and written. It takes as its subject the low level of take up amongst entitled pensioners of the pension credit initiatives implemented by the Labour Government. It highlights gaps in understanding and explores the strengths and weaknesses of the theoretical base, drawing on European theory and applying it to the U.K. A number of trends are analysed to explore the impact that they have had on the proportion of pensioners entitled to the minimum income guarantee (MIG) - why it is taken up at the rate it is.
The book offers practical advice about how best to improve the policy.

While reading this carefully argued text I kept reflecting on some of the human stories behind those statistics. There continues to be a significant minority of older people who live in poverty. Our experience of old age depends, in part, on our social-economic status. The Leveson Centre's commitment to this dimension of social policy is a key area both in its thinking about older people and in encouraging a range of practical responses to combat injustice and poverty especially amongst older people. In order to be informed in this debate we need the expertise of Dornan to enable the debate to be informed. Social action continues to be an important dimension of those of us concerned about age and older people.

James Woodward