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Today in politics: Universal Credit inquiry and RLA research

Today we examine the news that the House of Lords has launched an inquiry into the economics of Universal Credit, with RLA research cited in a new Commons Library paper on homelessness.

Universal Credit inquiry

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has launched an 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?
  • Were the original objectives and assumptions the right ones? How should they change?
  • What have been the positive and negative economic effects of Universal Credit?
  • What effect has fiscal retrenchment had on the ability of Universal Credit to successfully deliver its objectives?
  • 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? 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?

Written submissions are due by 29th February, with the RLA currently preparing its response outlining the impact of Universal Credit on landlords and tenants in the PRS. Keep your eye on our social media channels and news site for more information. 

RLA research

The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper providing statistics on statutory homelessness in England and explains local authorities’ duties to assist homeless households. 

The paper includes an overview of, and comment on, government policy in the area, with the most recent statistical release covering the period between April and June 2019. 

It cites RLA research showing that the rise in the number of people becoming homeless from the PRS is largely as a result of welfare reforms such as the recent freeze on LHA rates.


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