From education to employment

Universal Credit: The future of benefits?

Universal Credit is a benefit for working-age people, which combines six existing benefits payments into one payment.

Launched in 2013, there are now about 5 million households claiming Universal Credit in the UK. What was the thinking behind this new policy? Has it been successful? And how has COVID affected the trajectory of Universal Credit?

This week, Paul speaks with Charlotte Pickles, Director of Reform and a member of the Social Security Advisory Committee, and Tom Waters, Senior Research Economist at IFS and expert on benefits. 

What’s happened to benefits through the pandemic?

There has been significant analysis of the furlough scheme in the wake of COVID-19, but far less attention has been paid to the welfare system and how benefits are being affected by the pandemic.

The temporary increases to working age benefits implemented this year take total welfare spending to record levels, though the UK’s support system is still thin by international standards.

This episode, we speak to Robert Joyce, IFS Deputy Director and Head of our Income, Work and Welfare sector, about how COVID-19 has impacted the UK’s welfare system and what might happen to benefits in future. 

Go beyond the 24-hour news cycle and get objective, independent analysis from the researchers behind the work. Hosted by Institute for Fiscal Studies Director, Paul Johnson. Every second Wednesday.

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