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Lords committee launches new inquiry: the economics of Universal Credit


The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, chaired by Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, today invites written contributions to its new inquiry into the economics of Universal Credit.

The Committee will examine whether Universal Credit is meeting its original objectives and whether the policy assumptions reflected in its design are appropriate for different groups of claimants. 

It will also examine the extent to which Universal Credit meets the needs of claimants in today's labour market and changing world of work.

The Committee is seeking answers to the following questions:

  • How well has Universal Credit met its original objectives?
  • What effect has fiscal retrenchment had on the ability of Universal Credit to successfully deliver its objectives?
  • Were the original objectives and assumptions the right ones for ensuring adequate and fair social security for all? If not, how should they have been different?
  • Which claimants have benefited most from the Universal Credit reforms and which have lost out?
  • How has the world of work changed since the introduction of Universal Credit and does Universal Credit's design adequately reflect the reality of low-paid work?
  • If Universal Credit does not adequately reflect the lived experiences of low-paid workers, how should it be reformed?

Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee, said:
 
“Our Committee will consider if the original objectives of Universal Credit are still fit for purpose and able to provide adequate and fair social security. We will then make our recommendations to Government in due course.
 
“To inform our work we want to hear from as broad a range of people as possible. If you have a view on Universal Credit, look at our call for evidence and let us know what you think.”
 
The deadline for the submission of written evidence is 29 February 2020. 
 
Click here to read the call for evidence and find out how to submit evidence.
 
In the last two years the Economic Affairs Committee has published reports on social care, High Speed 2, measuring inflation and post-school education. Following the publication of these reports the Government announced a review of its own social care policy and an independent review of High Speed 2.
 
The Committee's post-school education report called for a change to how student loans are recorded in the public finances. Within six months of publication the Office for National Statistics did just that and reclassified as public spending the amount of student loans expected not to be repaid.

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