Local Authorities and Welfare Reform


Policy in Practice supports local authorities to prepare for the Universal Credit pilots, helps councils to design sensible council tax schemes under current constraints and the Universal Credit calculator has been used to carry out analysis on the impacts of welfare reform within a local cohort.

Have you begun to consider how Universal Credit will impact your claimant base? Do you know how your local authority team is going to manage the transition to local council tax support, local welfare (Social Fund) and changes to housing benefit?

If you are a welfare professional, contact us, or join the Welfare Reform Club.

We are helping three of the local authorities involved in Universal Credit pilots to

  • Overcome the challenge of the benefit cap
  • Design sensible local welfare schemes, cost-effective and transformative council tax and social fund support

CASE STUDY: Council Tax Support

Policy in Practice and Welfare Reform Club were tasked to help design a localised council tax scheme for a major city authority.  The local authority want to deliver on the policy objective of welfare reform: supporting people into work, but feel bounded, like all authorities, by financial, political and administrative constraints.

The Welfare Reform Club have responded by identifying five potential schemes that minimise the impact on work incentives. We are now modellling these schemes using the Universal Credit Calculator.  This generates dynamic charts to help decision makers understand visually the impact of schemes on different support-dependent households work incentives, as well as calculate its financial impact on those households.  We also consider the financial and administrative impacts on the authority on collection costs and council tax takings.

CASE STUDY: Social Fund

We bring together best practice from the social fund and from the new localised support schemes that are being developed to help local authorities deliver cost-effective and transformative local welfare support schemes.  We add value by advising on key metrics to monitor the impact of local grants on households – do they get to the root of the problem or do the household need more support later on?  Performance measurement is critical to improve the effectiveness of future schemes.

CASE STUDY: Universal Credit

We worked with three local authorities, helping all of them to be shortlisted for involvement in local government Universal Credit Pilots.  We now support local authorities in the delivery phase by providing high quality project support.  The pilots give local authorities an in-depth understanding and a clear, confident voice in the delivery of future welfare support.

With over sixty years of experience in welfare policy and practice between us, our team has an  in-depth insight into central and local government objectives for current reforms. We have over forty members and work with a half-dozen local authorities, enabling them to make well-informed and well-advised critical decisions.

We help a number of local authorities manage the risks of local welfare support cost-effectively.  We have a proven track record in the design and delivery of welfare policy, so contact us to see how we can help your local authority.

Contact us to learn more.

PS – Another key benefit for our clients has been to help them to work more effectively with delivery partners and stakeholders, uniting them behind shared local objectives.

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