Annabel Denham writes for The Spectator

In an op-ed for The Spectator, IEA Director of Communications, Annabel Denham, highlighted that Covid has exposed some weaknesses with the UK's welfare safety-net, mainly Universal Credit (UC). Although UC has incentivised people to work with automatic tapers on increased income, the five week wait for payment means many have struggled to get by during ... Continue reading
Welfare
Reform of social care has been in the news a lot in recent times, and not just because of Covid patient-dumping by the NHS into state and privately funded care homes. It is moving up the political agenda, and the Government has supposedly been testing the waters for a hike in National Insurance Contributions to ... Continue reading
The UK’s Welfare Reform Act 2012 allows Department of Work and Pensions ‘work coaches’ to compel unemployed Universal Credit claimants, under threat of a financial ‘sanction’, to apply for jobs chosen by the coaches. Heralding the Act, its architect Iain Duncan Smith, then Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, suggested that some unemployed benefit ... Continue reading

Mark Littlewood writes for The Times

In his bi-weekly column for The Times, IEA Director General Mark Littlewood turned his attention to the growing divide between the economic prosperity of younger and older people. Mark argued that the lockdown strategy, albeit justified in some cases, severely impacted the prospects of the younger generation. Whereas pensioners' incomes has been protected by the ... Continue reading

Len Shackleton quoted on BBC News

The Chancellor is under pressure to extend the £20 uplift in Universal Credit (UC) payment beyond March this year at the Spring Budget next week. However, Professor Len Shackleton, Editorial and Research Fellow at the IEA, said the top-up did not distinguish between people in need after losing jobs due to lockdown and longer-term benefits ... Continue reading

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
Welfare
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