Deven Ghelani is a thought leader in the area of welfare reform. He has worked on Universal Credit since its inception and has written extensively on welfare policy, government spending and employment.

His publications include ‘Outcome-based Government’, a guide to maximising returns from public spending and ‘Creating Opportunity, Rewarding Ambition’, an analysis of entry-level employment.

For media enquiries contact:

Deven Ghelani
CEO and Founder, Policy in Practice
07863 560677
deven@policyinpractice.co.uk

Media coverage

Sunday 25 March, The Observer

Coverage by Michael Savage, Policy Editor, of our analysis on the impact of Universal Credit on self employed low-earners who are set to lose £344 a month.

Read here

Sunday 25 March, The Mirror

Article by Dan Bloom about our analysis of Universal Credit and self employed earners.

Read here

Wednesday 21 March, 24housing

Article by Bill Tanner about the analysis we’ve been commissioned to do by Riverside, St Mungo’s, YMCA and The Salvation Army. We will identify practical solutions to make Universal Credit (UC) work more effectively for vulnerable people who depend on supported housing.

Read here 

Wednesday 15 November, Talk Radio

Deven speaks to Julia Hartley-Brewer about the impact of Universal Credit on families with children, ahead of the budget on 22 November.

Listen back here

Wednesday 25 October, Sky News

Deven speaks to Dermot Murnaghan following the vote in Parliament to pause the implementation of Universal Credit.

View here

Thursday 12 October, Talk Radio

Deven Ghelani speaks to Julia Hartley-Brewer about Universal Credit in the wake of several criticisms directed at it

Listen back here

Sunday 8 October, BBC Radio 4, MoneyBox Live

Deven speaks to Paul Lewis about Universal Credit, following the announcement about advances at the Conservative Party conference 2017.

Listen back here

Friday 29 September, BBC Radio 4, PM

Deven Ghelani responded to Louse Casey’s call to pause Universal Credit by recommending specific and immediate action the government could take to support households struggling with the six-week wait.

Listen back here

Monday 18 September, BBC Radio 5

Deven Ghelani spoke to Adrian Chiles and outlined the original intent behind Universal Credit and the challenges faced in its implementation. He called for properly funded local support to help households that are struggling.

Listen back here

Sunday 10 September, The Observer frontpage

Coverage of our analysis on the cumulative impacts of welfare reform for the LGA highlighted the additional squeeze on low income households, caused mainly by the benefits freeze.

Read here

Sunday 2 April 2017

Policy in Practice analysis was featured on the front page of The Guardian, ahead of new changes to the benefit system taking effect.

Our analysis of the impact of the new child tax credit rule shows that a third child born to low income families will miss out on up to £2,780 of tax credit support in April, affecting 8,000 families each month. Furthermore, out analysis finds that more than 2 million low-income families are at risk of being hit if they have a third child, 70% of whom are in work.

The measure is set to save the government £1bn per year by 2020, helping it to meet its stated objective to reduce the public deficit and rebalance the finances of the welfare state. There is no evidence that the policy will have any impact on birth rates.

Read Welfare shake up to hit children and the bereaved

Tuesday 4 April 2017

Deven Ghelani was interviewed on Russia Today, talking about how families with over 3 children will bear the brunt of austerity burden.

View Families with over 3 children will bear the brunt of austerity burden

Sunday 30 April 2017

Deven Ghelani guested on BBC One’s The Big Questions to discuss Is Welfare Reform Working?

Deven Ghelani, CEO Policy in Practice, appeared on The Big Questions presented by Nicky Campbell from Manor Church of England Academy in York to debate Is Welfare Reform Working?Click to watch here (until Sun 28 May 2017)

Monday 21 November 2016

Policy in Practice analysis was featured on the front page of The Guardian, ahead of the Autumn Statement.

Our analysis of 187,000 households across the UK found that policies including cuts to universal credit and the four-year benefit rate freeze, coupled with rising rents and higher inflation, would see low-income working families typically lose £48.90 a week by the end of the decade.

Read ‘Just about managing’ families to be £2,500 a year worse off by 2020 – study

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Deven Ghelani was quoted in Millions affected by universal credit cuts to be partly compensated by chancellor in The Guardian.

He said: “£3bn would make universal credit broadly as generous as the tax credit system is today – essential for a government that wants to make work pay.

“Investing in the work allowance puts more money in the pockets of lower earning households, while a lower withdrawal rate may help the prospects of those looking to progress in work.”

Read  Millions affected by universal credit cuts to be partly compensated by chancellor

Wednesday 21 September 2016

Deven Ghelani guested on BBC Radio 4’s Money Box programme talking about Universal Credit in the gig economy.

Money Box Live: Tax and benefits – keeping up with the way we work now? Click here

Monday 11 November 2015

BBC Radio 4’s World at One: Deven Ghelani interviewed about tax credits by Martha Kearney Click here (interview starts at 10:50)

Monday 26 October

The Spectator: Exclusive: tax credit reform leaves low-paid facing tax rates of up to 93% Click here >

The Guardian: Working tax credits: two-thirds will be worse off in 2020, research says Click here >

The Telegraph: Tax credits: George Osborne waters down tax credit reforms after Lord defeat Click here >

The Independent: Tax credit cuts will leave the low-paid facing a 93 per cent effective tax rate Click here >

Channel 4’s Fact Check: FactCheck Q&A: the tax credit crunch Click here >

The Sun: Osborne’s reforms will leave two thirds of tax credit claimants worse off, research reveals Click here >

Radio 4’s World at One: Deven Ghelani: Government was brought in to ‘make work pay’ by The Spectator Click here >

BBC News: Policy in Practice on the tax credit vote for the BBC News Channel – Deven Ghelani Click here >

RT Question More: Policy in Practice on tax credit vote Click here >

September 2015

Housing Technology: Policy in Practice Launches UC Budgeting Toolkit Click here >

Monday 14 September 2015

Government Computing: Wayra start-ups bid to increase Whitehall traction Click here >

Tuesday 11 August 2015

BBC London Radio: Deven Ghelani spoke to Penny Smith and Paul Ross about proposed changes to the welfare system Click here >

Saturday 1 August 2015

UK Housing Online: Policy in Practice Launches the First Integrated Benefit and Budgeting Toolkit for Housing Associations & Local Authorities Click here >

Wednesday 29 July 2015

IT Director: Policy in Practice Launches the First Integrated Benefit and Budgeting Toolkit for Housing Associations & Local Authorities Click here >

Virtual-Strategy Magazine: Policy in Practice Launches the First Integrated Benefit and Budgeting Toolkit for Housing Associations & Local Authorities Click here >

Thursday 13 July 2015

LBC 97.3: Deven Ghelani spoke to Nick Ferrari about the Labour leadership contest Click here >

Friday 10 July 2015

The Telegraph: The Living Wage sounds good but tax cuts are better Click here >

Friday 10 July 2015

The Spectator: Thanks to George Osborne work is about to pay less Click here >

Tuesday 7 July 2015

The Spectator: Five tricks that George Osborne may pull in his Budget tomorrow Click here >

Press releases

Monday 26 March 2018

New analysis by Policy in Practice finds that households affected by the Benefit Cap are 3.5% more times likely to move into work when compared to a similar cohort of uncapped households.

  • The analysis found no correlation between the cap and movement into temporary accommodation
  • Local support has emerged as key to plugging the gap created by changes to the benefit rule
  • Policy in Practice used local authority data to track the living standards of 574,000 Londoners over two years

They found that 11,413 families affected across 19 London Boroughs were affected by this policy when it was fully rolled out across London in February 2017. This fell by 23% over the first six months to 8,828:

  • 37% of households moved off the cap by taking a job or increasing hours worked
  • 29% avoided a reduction in benefit entitlement by moving property
  • 28% are no longer present in the dataset, partly due to moving out of their borough.

For full release click here
Read How has the Benefit Cap affected Londoners? blog post here

Sunday 25 March 2018

Using administrative data collected from 19 London Boroughs, and following their incomes over two years, Policy in Practice have found that:

  • 78% of self-employed households on low-income in London report earnings below the National Living Wage, and are set to become £344 per month worse off under Universal Credit’s MIF
  • 91% of London households currently report earnings below the MIF. 78% have been reporting earnings from self-employment for 13 months or more – longer than the proposed grace period – and would thus be affected by the MIF should UC be rolled out today
  • The average gap between their level of earnings and the MIF threshold is £845 per month, the equivalent of an additional 26 hours per week, at the hourly rate of £7.50. (NLW)

Current benefit system rules compensate for reported earnings below the national minimum wage through Tax Credits and/or Housing Benefit. Under Universal Credit’s MIF, earnings are assumed to be at the National Living Wage or above. This means that self-employed people who report earnings below the minimum wage will lose out.

For full release here
Read What choices will self-employed people have under Universal Credit? blog post here

Wednesday 21 March 2018

New research, commissioned by Riverside, St Mungo’s, YMCA and The Salvation Army, could challenge current government thinking that housing costs for supported housing cannot remain within the welfare system. The study will seek to identify practical solutions to make Universal Credit work more effectively for vulnerable people who depend on supported housing.

The study has been triggered by the Government consultation on changes to the way supported housing is funded in the future.

Undertaking the research is an independent company called Policy in Practice, run by Deven Ghelani who helped create Universal Credit while working at the Centre for Social Justice.

Read full release here

Wednesday 20 September 2017

A new report launched today finds that lenders could consider lower income families for a loan if they had access to additional information on earnings and payment history, collected by government. Lowering the income threshold for a loan from £15,000 to £12,000 could then open up 4.8m consumers to mainstream credit.

There are over 6m families in the UK without access to mainstream credit, who often then resort to doorstep or payday lenders, at high interest rates.

The research, presented to the Financial Inclusion Commission, shows that 76% of social tenants have an improved credit score when their rental payment data is shared, which could make them eligible for mainstream credit.

The report, Credit where it’s due: Overcoming the barriers to mainstream credit with data, investigates how benefits data held by local authorities can help families with ‘thin’ or no credit files to access mainstream credit. It finds that publicly held data can improve the credit-scoring process in three ways: verifying the identity of the consumer; assessing credit-worthiness; and establishing if the loan is affordable.

For full release click here

Monday 3 April 2017

New child tax credit rule means a third child born to low income families will miss out on up to £2,780 of tax credit support in April, affecting 8,000 families each month.

From Thursday 6 April 2017 the amount of Child Tax Credit support available to families across the UK will be limited to two children. The measure will affect all households with two or more children that have an additional baby after this date.

New independent analysis by Policy in Practice finds that more than 2 million low-income families are at risk of being hit if they have a third child, 70% of whom are in work.

The measure is set to save the government £1bn per year by 2020, helping it to meet its stated objective to reduce the public deficit and rebalance the finances of the welfare state.

There is no evidence that the policy will have any impact on birth rates. Policy in Practice will track the impact on birth rates in the coming months but find that many potential parents are unaware of the changes.

104,000 third or additional children will be born to these families in the next twelve months. The 8,000 babies born in April will miss out on up to £2,780 of tax credit support.

For full release click here

Monday 21 November 2016

New analysis finds the cumulative impact of welfare cuts will hit low income families both in and out of work on average by £41.45 per week by 2020.

Working households are hit hardest at £48.90 per week, with families and local authorities left struggling to plug the gap.

Fresh analysis on the cumulative impacts of reforms announced by the Cameron and Osborne administrations on over 180,000 low income households shows exactly how hard these families will be hit.

Policy in Practice analysis shows how the freezing of benefit rates from 2015 will hit the pockets of low-income households hardest by 2020, even more if inflation increases as expected due to Brexit.

Low income households in work – those ‘Just About Managing’ – will lose even more on average – £48.90. This is mainly due to cuts in Universal Credit and the rising cost of private rents.

For full release click here

Friday 4 September 2015

Universal Credit Software Specialist, Policy in Practice, today announces that is has secured follow on investment to enable further growth.

Already backed by Telefonica’s Wayra, investment has now been secured from tech entrepreneur Martin Leuw, welfare to work industry expert Sean Williams and public sector advisor and author Alexander Stevenson. The latest funding has been matched by social investment from the Big Venture Challenge, Unltd and the Big Lottery.

For full release click here >

Wednesday 29 July 2015

Policy in Practice (www.policyinpractice.co.uk) the UK’s leading social policy software and consultancy business, has announced the launch of a Universal Benefit Toolkit.  Aimed at housing associations and local authorities, this intuitive online range of universal benefit calculators and budgeting tools streamlines the calculation of benefit entitlement.

For full release click here >

Thursday 9 July 2015

New analysis from Policy in Practice looks at the combined impact of measures in the budget, and finds that many low earning households will be worse off in 2020.

For full release click here >