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.

Register for an upcoming webinar

TitleDateStart TimeDurationRegister
LIFT platform refresher training Join your LIFT account managers, James Rawlins and Paul Garlick, for resfresher training on getting the most out of your LIFT platform.

In this session James and Paul will show you the main features of your LIFT platform.

In addition, they will show how, using insights from your own administrative data, you could use LIFT to decide who to distribute your Housing Support Grant.

Join this session to hear:

- How other local authorities are using LIFT to identify households to target for their Housing Support Grant
- How you can use your LIFT to identify households to target, based on your local challenges/decisions
- How you can best maximise benefit take up campaigns while distributing your Housing Support Grant

Whether you are an experienced LIFT user or you are just getting started with the platform we are very happy to answer any questions you may have.

People who should attend

- New team members who need an introduction to using LIFT on a regular basis, either new or already experienced
- Team members who already use LIFT regularly but who need a refresher on all the features and functionality
- Team leaders who are deciding how the Housing Support Grant will be spent

To help us tailor the refresher session please tell us what areas of LIFT you'd like to focus on in the registration form.
19/10/202111:00 BST1.5 hours
How Kent County and district councils collaborate with data to tackle poverty Covid has turned our world upside down. Many residents in Kent, as elsewhere, have experienced financial hardship whilst, for organisations, the pandemic has been the catalyst energising them to work differently.

In summer 2020 Kent Districts and Communities Recovery Cell set up a group to focus support to residents at risk or already experiencing financial hardship because of the pandemic. Residents unused to facing financial hardship suddenly needed help to navigate support and advice systems. The group knew that things are likely to get worse for Kent's residents before they get better as furlough ends and families who were just about managing are tipped over the edge.

In a first for local government, Kent county and district councils have boldly chosen to collaboratively share their data to get powerful cross-county insights that will drive their poverty prevention activity. The information will help them to target of a wide range of campaigns to residents such as employment support, free school meal take-up, public health interventions, housing initiatives and benefits take up.

Importantly, the project has transparency built-in so that councils can very easily benchmark with each other to identify and share best practice in a safe, collaborative way.

Join this webinar to hear:

- Kent County Council's vision for greater collaborative working with districts
- Folkestone and Hythe District Council's impact achieved so far from data-led poverty prevention campaigns
- How councils can use data to target the new Housing Support Grant most effectively

We will be joined by guest speakers, Zena Cooke, Corporate Director Finance at Kent County Council and Jane Worrell, Revenues and Benefits Senior Specialist at Folkestone and Hythe District Council.
21/10/202111:00 BST1.5 hours
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