Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Universal Credit: A policy under review

Tue Sep 16 09:33:00 BST 2014

Professor Paul Gregg is part of an expert panel which has completed a review into Universal Credit, the system set to replace certain benefits in parts of the UK.

The expert panel was brought together by Resolution Foundation to review the current design of Universal Credit and its likely impacts and propose changes that would make the policy more likely to support people to get into and progress in work.

Universal Credit is a new type of financial support for people of working age who are looking for work or on a low income. The scheme is being introduced gradually and started in  April 2013 set to be completed by 2017. The scheme works by using a new simpler, single monthly payment for people in or out of work, which merges together some of the benefits and tax credits currently being received.  The sceme will replace Income Support, Housing Benefit and Child Tax credit among others.

The review found that the government had not considered enough the changing structure of the labour market, specifically ongoing low pay and the rise in self-employment. These factors could in fact lead to a rise in the future costs of universal credit.

The think-tank raised the concerns as it prepared to launch a commission to consider potential changes to universal credit.

Read more information about the paper 'Universal Credit: A policy under review' on the Resolution Foundation website.