Welfare reform refers to improving how a nation helps poor people. In the United States, the term was used to get Congress to enact the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, which further reduced aid to the poor, to reduce government deficit spending without coining money.
The recent actions taken towards reforming the welfare system in Britain begin with 1997's New Deal Program. The Labour Party focused on increasing employment through requiring that recipients of aid actively consider seeking employment. This movement is similar in ideal to a workfare system. The Labour Party also introduced a system of tax credits for low-income workers.
The most recent act on welfare reform in Great Britain is the Welfare Act of 2007. The act provides for "an employment and support allowance, a contributory allowance, [and] an income-based allowance."
Beginning in the mid-1970s, a deficit in the program began to appear. The deficit saw peaks at 27.75% of the social insurance budget in 1992. This led to a major push by the government to cut back spending in the welfare program. By the end of the 1990s the deficit had been almost completely eradicated. The often large deficits that the program has endured has led to a tremendous amount of opposition to the program as it stands.