Ahead of a debate in parliament today, Heidi Allen MP, newly of The Independent Group, gathered welfare specialists from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Trussell Trust, Citizens Advice and the Resolution Foundation to discuss issues related to the benefit freeze and Universal Credit, hosted at Policy in Practice’s offices at Millbank.

Households out of work have lost 4% of their income to date, yet could gain 2.4% if the freeze is lifted a year early.

This post builds on the excellent aggregate analysis on the impacts of the benefit freeze by Resolution Foundation, which you can read here.

Policy in Practice carry out new analysis to highlight the impact of the freeze on individual families

Benefit Freeze Analysis

Key Findings

  • Households not expected to work lose the most as a percentage of their income through the freeze.
  • However, those in work could lose out even more in cash terms as tax credits have also been frozen.
  • A lone parent with two children, living in Birmingham has lost £725, and will gain £435 if the benefit freeze is lifted.
  • A single person on Housing Benefit is £358 worse off, and is set to lose a further £215.
  • A couple with two young children in Birmingham will be affected by the Benefit Cap, and won’t benefit unless the Benefit Cap threshold is also raised.

Deven Ghelani, Director of Policy in Practice, said:

Our work with frontline advisors tells us that lots of people don’t have the financial resilience needed to cope with moving onto Universal Credit. A five week wait for benefits, or even an interest free advance, can push people who are just about managing now into debt down the line.

Ending the benefit freeze a year early would help millions of people who are struggling to make ends meet.

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