The roll out of Universal Credit will lead to a postcode lottery of winners and losers

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Welfare & Tax Reform

On welfare reform, something is moving in the undergrowth. It’s called Universal Credit. The new benefit will amount to £53 billion by 2020-21, with almost half of families with children entitled to it.  Only the State Pension will be bigger. Implementing this mammoth policy is the key task facing the new Secretary of State for … Continued

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Help to Save: an idea whose time has come (again)

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Debt & Savings

‘Support for savers’ was meant to be one of the key Budget themes. Until recently it seemed likely that the Chancellor would be announcing a radical shake-up of pension saving. But in the face of fierce of opposition from industry, the media and many backbench MPs, the Treasury has now ruled out any changes to … Continued

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Universal Credit’s future depends on whether it’s the economics or the politics that comes first for the Treasury

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Welfare & Tax Reform

Incentives matter. That was one of the central assumptions behind the creation of Universal Credit. As well as creating a simpler benefits system (a good thing in and of itself), the purpose of the new benefit is to drive up employment by providing a clearer financial incentive to enter and progress in work. But incentives … Continued

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Tone down, phase in or transition to: the options facing the Treasury on tax credits

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Welfare & Tax Reform

Following developments in the House of Lords, we’ve entered a new phase in the tax credits debate. Whatever the constitutional rights and wrongs, everyone can agree that the ball is firmly back in George Osborne’s court. Indeed last night he promised to look again at the changes. The real question now is to what extent … Continued

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National Insurance cuts: far from being the silver bullet for tax credit changes they miss the target

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Welfare & Tax Reform

It was another busy weekend in the debate on the changes to tax credits that are set to be introduced next April. More suggestions about how the Government might ameliorate the impact on low income working families have been set out. In particular there’s been a bit of focus on the role National Insurance changes (specifically on … Continued

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