The landscape of social security policies in the UK has changed considerably over the past few decades, the most notable change being the introduction of Universal Credit in 2010. One group particularly affected by these changes is that of young claimants under the age of 25.
What is the impact of the UK social security system on young claimants? Centrepoint, UK’s leading charity for homeless young people, asked Oxera to answer this question. This assessment is part of Centrepoint’s research project looking at how homeless young people access the social security system and their experience of it.
Our report sets out economic analysis of the impact of the social security system in the UK on people under the age of 25 who are claiming Universal Credit. We study the effects on young people in two different ways.
- The first analysis is backward-looking, focusing on the effect of the change in the real value of social security entitlements for under-25s over the last three decades.
- The second analysis is forward-looking and considers six policy recommendations put forward by Centrepoint for changes to the social security system. The analysis identifies the costs and benefits that would be associated with such changes to the social security regime, providing a cost–benefit analysis of each policy.
This report, alongside Centrepoint’s research, has been submitted to the UK government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.