Professor Len Shackleton's comments quoted on BBC News homepage

Pressure is mounting on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend the £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit beyond the end of March. However, while many people are indeed under significant financial pressure, IEA Editorial and Research Fellow Professor Len Shackleton warned against "across-the-board benefit increases" at a time when the government is borrowing "a hair-raising ... Continue reading
As calls to extend the temporary increase in Universal Credit payments beyond March gather pace, IEA Director General Mark Littlewood made the case that increasing welfare payments in the long-term would require savings to be made elsewhere in order to balance the books. Speaking on BBC Newsnight, Littlewood explained "we have to be realistic about ... Continue reading
Responding to calls to extend the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift, Professor Len Shackleton, Editorial and Research Fellow at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “Having spent so many billions over the course of the pandemic, it will be of little surprise if the Chancellor gives into demands to keep the £20 a ... Continue reading
Not since Fyre Festival have images of pitiful meals whipped up such a furore. But the pictures of food parcels for children eligible for free school meals plastered across social media and shared thousands of times on Tuesday certainly won’t have elicited the same schadenfreude as the “$12,000” cheese sandwich. The initial image, posted by ... Continue reading
In a recent letter, Pope Francis suggested that we consider the provision of a “universal basic wage”. Published on Easter Sunday 2020 and issued to “Brothers and Sisters of Popular Movements and Organizations”, the letter said: “Street vendors, recyclers, carnies, small farmers, construction workers, dressmakers, the different kinds of caregivers: you who are informal, working ... Continue reading
State welfare systems do not change in a fundamental way very often. When they do, it is often in the aftermath of a major crisis, such as a war or natural disaster. Wars and natural disasters shake up the status quo and create political space in which ideas and policies that would not get traction ... Continue reading
Coronavirus will bring to a head discontent with the welfare system and strengthen support for a Universal Basic Income, says Dr Stephen Davies in a new briefing paper Major crises have often triggered radical reconstruction of the welfare system; It is very likely that the Covid-19 pandemic will amplify discontent that has been growing for ... Continue reading
58 per cent! This is the “statistic of the year” according to the Royal Statistical Society. It is the share of those in relative poverty that are in working households. This statistic was entered into the RSS competition to find the statistic of the year by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. There are two fundamental ... Continue reading
Universal Basic Income (UBI) is gathering increasing support from both the political left and right but there is no clear consensus over what the best model might look like, argues a new report from the Institute of Economics Affairs. ‘Universal Basic Income: The State of Play in the UK Today’, written by IEA Head of ... Continue reading