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The benefit cap: the police and practice

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Deven Ghelani was invited to talk about the the impact of the benefit cap through the use of administrative data at a webinar organised by the University of York on Thursday 26 November 2020.

He was joined by a range of speakers, Dr Kitty Stewart, LSE and Dr Donald Hirsch, Loughborough University and Claire Hall, Child Poverty Action Group, to name but a few.

For more information visit www.policyinpractice.co.uk, email hello@policyinpractice.co.uk or call 0330 088 9242.

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The benefit cap: the police and practice

  1. 1. Policy in Practice Deven Ghelani The benefit cap: the policy and practice Thursday 26 November
  2. 2. www.policyinpractice.co.uk A team of professionals with extensive knowledge of the welfare system. We’re passionate about making social policy work We help over 100 local authorities use their household level data to identify vulnerable households, target support and track their interventions Our benefit calculator engages over 10,000 people each day. We identify the steps people can take to increase their income, lower their costs and build their financial resilience Policy in Practice: What we do
  3. 3. www.policyinpractice.co.uk Our first project was on the Benefit Cap www.policyinpractice.co.uk In 2013, councils were supported through USDL finding and access to JCP provision to support capped households into work. “I was struck by the level of need in households we previously weren’t in contact with at all” Councils no longer have ready access to information on who is capped, and have fewer resources to support capped residents.
  4. 4. www.policyinpractice.co.uk Capped households April 2013 - May 2020 www.policyinpractice.co.uk
  5. 5. www.policyinpractice.co.uk More households are hit by the Cap www.policyinpractice.co.uk A family with two children in London would be capped. This calculation uses my own circumstances (two children, 2 and 5). If I were out work I would be capped.
  6. 6. Are capped households more likely to enter work? www.policyinpractice.co.uk Our evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee (here) compared employment outcomes for capped households against those who fell below the cap There are some successes: ● Capped households are 21% more likely to enter work However, we also found that: ● for every 1 child whose parents moved into work, 8 more were stuck on the cap for six months or more, and living closer to destitution On this evidence, the policy appears to be failing on its own terms.
  7. 7. www.policyinpractice.co.uk ● Work is no longer an option for many ● Households whose support is already limited by the cap see no increase in support ● People who previously worked for a year are protected for nine months. ● Once this protection ends, new households will become subject to the benefit cap. Benefit cap and COVID-19 www.policyinpractice.co.uk Our analysis in May 2020 showed the benefit cap will limit the beneficial impact of the government’s April 2020 COVID-19 increases in benefit support
  8. 8. Looking ahead www.policyinpractice.co.uk If the benefit cap is to stay in place, local authorities should be enabled to do more ● Locally held administrative datasets can identify capped households. ● Better information sharing, particularly on capped UC households, can get support to parents faster. ● Tools can engage and empower parents to improve their financial situation. ● The benefits of employment needs to be weighed against increased arrears, higher temporary accommodation costs and ultimately on children’s outcomes
  9. 9. Thank you www.policyinpractice.co.uk Deven Ghelani Director and Founder of Policy in Practice deven@policyinpractice.co.uk @Deven_Ghelani hello@policyinpractice.co.uk www.policyinpractice.co.uk @policy_practice 0330 088 9242

Deven Ghelani was invited to talk about the the impact of the benefit cap through the use of administrative data at a webinar organised by the University of York on Thursday 26 November 2020. He was joined by a range of speakers, Dr Kitty Stewart, LSE and Dr Donald Hirsch, Loughborough University and Claire Hall, Child Poverty Action Group, to name but a few. For more information visit www.policyinpractice.co.uk, email hello@policyinpractice.co.uk or call 0330 088 9242.

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