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Expert review of Universal Credit: The panel

Universal Credit represents the most significant transformation of our welfare system, merging six separate in and out of work benefits into one. While the principles of simplification and making work pay are widely supported, questions remain about UC’s ability to deliver on these original intentions. Some of the initial policy choices made about UC, coupled with subsequent revisions over the last few years, have led to concerns that the incentive to get into work and then progress is being blunted. However, much of the current debate on UC relates to IT and implementation challenges rather than these underlying policy choices.

Points of consideration:

  1. The scope of benefits that are integrated as part of UC compared to those that have been excluded and how these choices affect work incentives.
  2. The financial incentives to enter and progress in work created by UC’s allowances and taper rate and how these interact with tax policy.
  3. The design and likely success of in-work conditionality for both employees and the self-employed, given the untested nature of the approach.
The Resolution Foundation has brought together a highly regarded panel of experts to consider the extent to which changes are needed to ensure that UC can meet its initial and widely supported objectives. The panel members include:


mike brewer
Mike Brewer
Professor of Economics, University of Essex
paul gregg
Paul Gregg
Professor of Economic and Social Policy,
University of Bath
grainia long
Grainia Long
Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Housing
emma stewart
Emma Stewart
Director, Timewise Foundation
Nick Timmins
Nick Timmins (chair)
Public policy expert and historian of the welfare state
giles wilkes
Giles Wilkes
Economist, former Special Advsior to Vince Cable
ian mulheirn
Ian Mulheirn
Director of consulting, Oxford Economics
james mccormick
Jim McCormick
Scotland Adviser, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
vidhya head shot thumbnail
Vidhya Alakeson (co chair)
Deputy Chief Executive, Resolution Foundation
The project will estimate the combined impact of any proposed changes on the likelihood of people moving into and progressing in work. The panel’s final recommendations will be published in early 2015.
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