Let it go Chancellor. Why Philip Hammond should revisit the benefit freeze in next month’s Budget

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Tax and Welfare

The weather might be un-seasonally warm just now, but millions of household budgets are in the grip of a four-year freeze that’s about to get colder still. For decades, the government’s default position has been to uprate the value of working-age benefits each April in line with the rate of inflation prevailing in the previous … Continued

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

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Tax and Welfare

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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Housing, Wealth and Debt

‘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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Tax and Welfare

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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