New LIFT Dashboard screens give more insights on low-income households
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analysis, policy news and updates from Policy in Practice
In this issue

  • Who's missing out on benefits in your area?
  • How the budget changes Universal Credit
  • Is Universal Credit getting more people into work?
  • Exploring Universal Credit and self employment with the London Assembly
  • Poverty research: last call for participants
  • Secure your spot for our January Steering Groups
  • Croydon nominated for Guardian Public Service award
  • Webinar: Social policy in 2018
  • Free training and latest blog posts
Who's missing out on benefits in your area?
Households may not be claiming all the support available to them. This month DWP published updated estimates of the take-up of the main income-related benefits nationally which showed that over £10 billion in benefits is unclaimed.

We've built a new Benefits Take up screen for our LIFT Dashboard to show take up at a local level. The screen gives clients insights that they can use to proactively identify people on low incomes who are eligible for benefits but who aren't in receipt of them.

The example below uses redacted data from a local authority, for illustration.

Contact to take a look
Benefits take-up with teh LIFT Dashboard
Budget 2018: how will the incomes of people on Universal Credit be affected?
In the Autumn Budget 2018 Chancellor Philip Hammond gave a £1.7 billion boost to support under Universal Credit, together with an extra £1 billion to help households migrating to the new benefit.

In response, Policy in Practice published its findings on the impact some of these changes will have on the incomes of low-income households nationwide.  We find that fewer households will be worse off under Universal Credit although many households that now gain were already better off under Universal Credit. The impact of the changes across different household types is uneven:

  • Employed households are the big winners
  • Self-employed households will still lose significantly
  • Households with children are more likely to be better off
  • Disabled and ill households are not supported by the budget
  • Overall, working households will see some benefit from Budget 2018

Read our analysis here

We've built a new screen in our LIFT Dashboard to give local authorities insights, using their own administrative data, of what the transition to Universal Credit means for their low income households. The example below uses redacted data from a local authority, for illustration.

Contact to take a look
Are UK people
better off under universal Credit?
Report: Is Universal Credit getting more people into work?
One of the key promises made of Universal Credit is that it is more effective at getting people into work than the old benefits system. Yet not much work has been done to evidence this, with the most recent impact assessment on the employment effects of Universal Credit published by DWP over a year ago.

Policy in Practice was recently commissioned by the Local Government Association to measure the employment impact of Universal Credit through the use of longitudinal household-level data.

This month we published the findings from our analysis.

Read Is Universal Credit getting more people into work?
Download The impact of Universal Credit on employment outcomes

Evidence: Exploring Universal Credit and self-employed at London Assembly
Universal Credit is likely to favour those with regular earnings compared to those whose incomes fluctuate. This could impact on the sort of flexible self-employment open to, say, single parents, carers or the disabled who have conflicting and unpredictable demands on their time.

This month Policy in Practice’s Zoe Charlesworth and Ben Fell were invited to give evidence to the London Assembly Economy Committee to explore the impact of new measures facing self-employed Londoners who's incomes vary from week to week.

Request our analysis of self employed workers and Universal Credit

London poverty: last call to join new research study
In a unique research project funded by Trust for London we're tracking the living standards of low-income households over two years using anonymised benefit data from London boroughs.

We then model the expected changes in income and expenditure in the years ahead, giving participating councils insights on the shifting income, employment and poverty profiles of their low income residents.

We want more London Boroughs to join Wave Two. It is free to take part and you’ll learn how the living standards of low-income households in your area compare to the rest of London. Recruitment closes shortly so contact us urgently to join.

Contact us now to join
Secure your spot today for our New Year Steering Groups
Wednesday 23 January 2019 will be a lively customer day at the Policy in Practice’s Millbank Tower home as we host not only our LIFT Dashboard Steering Group (morning), but also our Benefit and Budgeting Calculator Steering Group (afternoon).

Join us to meet fellow LIFT Dashboard and Benefit and Budgeting Calculator customers. Shape our development roadmaps and quiz the Policy in Practice team. Get new ideas to take back to the office, hear the challenges others have resolved, ask your peers for advice and provide feedback to us. Places are limited so secure your spot today.

Register for the LIFT Dashboard Steering Group (10:30 - 13:30 with networking lunch)

Register for the Benefit and Budgeting Calculator Steering Group (14:30 - 17:30 with networking drinks)

LIFT Dashboard Steering Group
Case study: the story behind Croydon Council's nomination for a Guardian Public Service Award 2018
Congratulations to Policy in Practice customer Croydon Council for reaching the finals of this year's Guardian Public Services Award. Whilst the glassware didn't head their way on the night, we're very proud to have played a part in helping the team achieve such impressive impact to date.

Called Gateway, Croydon's award winning programme uses tools, including a LIFT Dashboard developed in partnership with Policy in Practice, to help identify households at risk and target tailored support to people before they reached crisis point.

Impact achieved by the Gateway programme:
  • £4 million of costs avoidance savings made
  • Over 2,000 families avoided homelessness
  • 217 people were helped into work

Uncover the Croydon story here

Croydon Team at Guardian Awards
Speaking engagements in London and Scotland
Earlier this month Deven Ghelani was invited to speak amongst experts in the panel session titled 'Innovation, devolution and austerity: What's next for London government?' at the London Conference.

Deven shared:

  • Getting a bang for your buck is key; using data derived evidence to prove the business case for support interventions targeted to low income households is essential

  • The Greater London Authority is well placed for top-down devolution of funding; driving the change needed to tackle the capital's challenges happens at a borough level

  • London's local authorities have the data to make a difference; many, but not all, are already doing so via our pan-London research

At the Scottish Labour Local Government Conference, our Policy and Operations Analyst Megan McLean talked about how our measure of financial resilience helps to identify greatest need. Megan is pictured below with Scottish Labour Party Leader, Richard Leonard.

Megan McLean with Richard Leonard
Next webinar
Webinar: Social policy: what we learnt in 2018 and what this means for 2019
Wed 12 December, 10:30

Join us for a review of the social policy analysis we delivered for clients in 2018. We’ll recap on key findings we uncovered and discuss what this means for local organisations in 2019.

More details

Free training webinars for our customers
We run free introductory training webinars for all our customers. Scheduled every month and lasting 45 minutes, the online sessions go through the main features of the Benefit and Budgeting Calculator. Perfect for introducing new users or refreshing existing users.

Our next online training session is Wednesday 12 December at 12:00 - 12:45. Register below.

Benefit and Budget Calculator Training
Future speaking engagements
Public Policy Exchange: Making Universal Credit Work
Wed 5 December, central London.

Hear Paul Howarth speak for Policy in Practice on Managing the Impact of the Reform: Supporting the Most Affected Households. 

More details

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