Attendance Allowance: The evidence and the options for local government

Professor Stephen Pudney spoke about his recent research at the launch of a new report by the thinktank The Strategic Society Centre exploring evidence on Attendance Allowance, and the government’s proposal for transferring it to local authorities.

The event at the House of Commons was attended by representatives from charities, local authorities and think tanks, with contributions from

  • Neil Coyle MP, Work and Pensions Committee
  • Professor Ruth Hancock, University of East Anglia
  • Professor Stephen Pudney, University of Essex
  • James Lloyd, Director, Strategic Society Centre
  • Simon Bottery, Director of Policy and External Relations, Independent Age

The report was supported by ESRC Impact Acceleration funds for the Universities of East Anglia and Essex.

The government has proposed transferring Attendance Allowance from the DWP to local authorities, as part of its plans to reform local government financing and give councils new spending responsibilities.

Attendance Allowance is a cash payment that currently supports around 1.24 million older people in England with the costs of living with a disability, regardless of their financial means or whether they receive any care.

In this way, the Attendance Allowance system reaches significantly more people than the local authority adult social care system, represents a different type of public spending and rests on a profoundly different underlying philosophy.

While the government has promised to protect existing recipients, moving Attendance Allowance into local government would represent a historic change affecting millions of older people in future.

This report reviews academic research on the reach and distributional effects of Attendance Allowance, and evaluates the pros and cons of options for transferring it to local authoritie

Read the full report here


Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest