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Universal Credit roll out meant the cost of administering our council tax support scheme was becoming unsustainable. Policy in Practice’s modelling gave us the data our Members needed to understand the risk of ‘doing nothing’. They were able to agree to an amended scheme that will deliver a cost neutral solution for 2019/20 and minimise the impact on our most vulnerable customers.
With welfare reform, rising living costs, job insecurity and the roll-out of Universal Credit, it is a time of real change for low-income Londoners. The response from policy makers needs to be right if we are to prevent many thousands of people from being pushed into real financial hardship because of the changes.
This project is unique in the way that it examines household benefits data for over half a million Londoners and allows that data to be linked over time.
I decided Policy in Practice’s Benefit and Budgeting Calculator was something we really needed. It’s enabled us to provide a consistent approach to assessing affordability. We’ve been able to give our customers an online tool which lets them take control of their finances and liaise with us electronically, without the awkwardness or challenge sometimes faced in person.
We believe that, with the right support, most people can find work and build a career. We chose to work with Policy in Practice because their unparalleled expertise in simplifying the welfare system, as well as their Benefit and Budgeting Calculator, allows us to deliver innovative services to jobseekers across the entire Southern region.
The Policy in Practice LIFT Dashboard has allowed us to draw together previously disparate databases into one easily accessible platform. It maps our data against future predicted changes in inflation of household goods and predicted welfare changes and gives the team an easily accessible platform to see what residents’ situations are.
We asked Policy in Practice to help us model our Council Tax Support scheme to give Members confidence that all options to reduce cost while supporting residents were covered. We also wanted to learn from other LAs who’ve already rolled out UC and we knew an external consultant was the best way to do that.
The LIFT Dashboard allows Cornwall Council to take a more focused approach to assisting those impacted by welfare reforms, and improves on our previous, slightly scattergun, approach. This extra focus allows us to have a greater impact on vulnerable residents in Cornwall without increasing resources.
The Motor Neurone Disease Association is the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on improving access to care, research and campaigning for people living with MND. We want to understand how the introduction of Universal Credit will affect people living with MND, their carers and their families, in order to inform the advocacy, advice and support we provide around this issue. Policy in Practice’s expertise and insight will help us to ensure we can continue to provide the best possible support to all those affected by MND who are impacted by the transition to Universal Credit.
We believe that, with the right support, most people can find work and build a career. We chose to work with Policy in Practice because their unparelled expertise in simplifying the welfare system, as well as their software, allows us to deliver innovative services to jobseekers across the entire Southern region.
The Children’s Society commissioned Policy in Practice to examine the barriers and solutions to the sharing of data on new born children in local authority areas. Their report delivered practical guidance, based on real-world practice on the ground. Policy in Practice were a pleasure to work with, they were effective, diligent and timely and we would definitely work with them in the future.
Deven understood what our needs were and listened to how we intended to use the calculator as part of our pilot. His detailed knowledge of the current benefit system and Universal Credit, combined with his technical expertise to build online tools of this type, made him the ideal person to work with.
Policy in Practice has helped Oxford to develop a budgeting tool that helps our advisors to have better, outcome-focused conversations with our residents. They have made DHP applications more effective, as well as more efficient, reducing the dependence of our residents on discretionary housing payments.
Faced with a big funding gap Lambeth must make cost reductions. We commissioned Policy in Practice to give us clear, trustworthy information to evaluate proposed CTS scheme options and consult with affected groups. They’ve done this and more, by also showing us where our welfare support can be best targeted.
We needed to put CTRS scheme options together quickly. Policy in Practice won because of their clear and unique approach, experience, detailed understanding of welfare reform impacts and excellent team. The fact that the work has been produced in such a short space of time, and to such high quality standards, is particularly impressive.