We’re pleased to announce Professor Jane Millar, Professor of Social Policy at the University of Bath Institute for Policy Research (IPR), and Fran Bennett, Senior Research and Teaching Fellow at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford, have both been appointed as specialist advisers to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee’s inquiry on Universal Credit.

Jane Millar and Fran Bennett currently lead the ESRC-funded project ‘Couples balancing work, money and care: exploring the shifting landscape under Universal Credit’, which examines the ways couples with children make decisions about work, care and household finances in relation to changes under Universal Credit.

They join the inquiry as specialist advisers to provide expert advice to the committee, who are charged with considering economic affairs and have launched this inquiry to investigate the economic impacts of Universal Credit.

Jane Millar explains:

Universal Credit is a major reform to the UK social security system, bringing six existing benefits and tax credits into one single system, including people both in and out of work. This will affect millions of people, when fully implemented”.

The inquiry will consider whether Universal Credit is meeting its original objectives; if the policy assumptions reflected in its design are appropriate for different groups of claimants; and the extent to which it meets the needs of claimants in today's labour market and changing world of work.

On their appointment, Fran Bennett adds:

We are looking forward to working on this key inquiry, which will examine Universal Credit a decade after it was first proposed.