Budget 2021: Our policy analysts Sam Tims, Alex Clegg and Zoe Charlesworth look at the announcements and what they mean for welfare.
New COVID-19 analysis finds low sick pay may undermine Test and Trace
New research by Policy in Practice shows that low sick pay may undermine Test and Trace as people on low incomes could lose £100’s of pounds if they are asked to self isolate. Some households who are asked to self isolate will struggle to bear the immediate financial costs of relying on Statutory Sick Pay. If their loss of earnings is too great, they may feel they need to return to work, and thereby risk spreading COVID-19.
Evidence into how well DWP has responded to the Coronavirus pandemic
Policy in Practice responded to a survey by the Work and Pensions Committee about how DWP responded to the Coronavirus pandemic. In our submission we shared highlights from our work supporting thousands of claimants from late March to early April 2020. In addition to our evidence, we make three main recommendations to make the benefit system more supportive to claimants, and better able to support the country through this pandemic. We call for the savings limit in Universal Credit to be suspended for the next twelve months, the two-child benefit limit and the benefit cap to be suspended (or at least increased to £2,500 per month) for the duration of the pandemic and the increased generosity of the welfare system to be maintained after April 2021.
The impact of COVID-19 welfare support measures on household income report
Policy in Practice has analysed the impact of the new measures announced by the government to show how they will help households hit by Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result of the changes to Universal Credit, the number of households in receipt of Universal Credit whose bills are higher than their monthly income will fall from 16% of households to 10%. The average increase in Universal Credit awards as a result of changes coming into effect from April 2020 will be £98/month, an increase of 7.3%.
The impacts of the three main changes announced up to Friday 20 March 2020 are examined.
Autumn Budget 2018 analysis
Policy in Practice analysed the impact of the budget changes. Our analysis found that almost 250,000 low-income households would move from being worse off under Universal Credit, compared to legacy benefits, to being better off as a result. We also found that Universal Credit does not appear to have a statistically significant impact on employment rates. That said, there is more evidence that any significant impact is more likely to be positive rather than negative.
Impacts of the Benefit Cap
Giovanni Tonnutti of Policy in Practice presented to the Work and Pensions Committee on the impacts of the Benefit Cap. We also released a press statement that half of households are failing to escape the Benefit Cap. Our Low-Income Londoners study found that for every claimant who managed to move off the cap, there is more than one household who is stuck under the cap for six months or longer. Read our news release here.
Autumn Budget 2017: Briefing option papers on Universal Credit
The briefing papers were created with feedback from practioners and analysis by Policy in Practice. The options in the papers were discussed with DWP and offer a range of suggestions that would ease the transition for the seven million households who will be receiving Universal Credit in the coming years.
Read our 3 reasons why the £20 uplift to Universal Credit should be retained, and the related analysis we presented to the APPG on Poverty.
Administering the Covid Winter Grant Scheme has put councils under pressure. LIFT’s new poverty indicators can help identify eligible families.
We look at what the Spending Review 2020 means for low income families, and the organisations that support them.
Read a review of our evidence to the Scottish Social Security Committee on the role of Scottish Social Security in Covid-19 recovery.
Policy in Practice’s recommended changes to Universal Credit published in Work and Pension Committee report
Changes to Universal Credit suggested by Policy in Practice are included in the Work and Pensions Committee’s new report. We review it here.
New analysis into how to fund Free School Meals finds that it will cost the government 60% less than parents to feed their children during school holidays.
Deven Ghelani was interviewed on LBC about the Winter Economy Plan following the Chancellor’s announcement. Listen back and view his tweet thread.
Read our evidence for the Work and Pensions Committee on the changes in the world of work. Here we look at the new era and the role of the benefit system.
New research shows that low sick pay may undermine Test and Trace as people on low incomes could lose £100’s of pounds if they are asked to self isolate.