Credit where it’s due? Assessing the benefits and risks of Universal Credit. Interim report of the Resolution Foundation expert panel review of UC
The government’s plans for Universal Credit (UC) were first
set out in November 2010, and its concept has received broad cross-party
support. But the process of implementation has been dogged by a series
of delays – the OBR now anticipates that it will not be fully rolled out
until at least 2020, potentially 3 years later than originally planned –
causing some to question whether the policy will ever be delivered.
The Resolution Foundation review – launched in 2014 – takes
as its starting point the assessment that UC retains the scope to
deliver significant benefits, but that its design requires careful
reappraisal to ensure that it still meets the aims originally set out.
The review brings together a highly regarded panel of experts to assess
the design of UC and determine whether it will meet its key goals of
simplifying the benefits system and providing stronger incentives to
enter and progress in work. A final report will be published, with
policy recommendations after the election.
This interim report sets out the challenges facing UC as
identified by the review, and the areas most in need of attention. We
present new analysis of the impact that UC will have on incomes and
incentives to work, point towards potential risks and improvements, and
draw out the key questions that will be addressed in the final report.