After the intense sleep deprivation from the incessant snoring of a ten person hostel room, it was comforting to come back to a sole bed in London.
Much of my week involved assisting the Head of Economic research for an upcoming interview on recent problems in assessments of tax credits. There was a recent scandal involving people having their benefits frozen and being investigated for fraud. Whilst found to be innocent, they survived on high interest loan to cover their expenses. While this case was concerning, it struck up a debate that the new assessment procedures were being unfair on low income families in a time where there has been significant corporate tax avoidance. This kind of debate passes over the fact that the assessment mechanism for tax credits in the UK is about allocating the correct amount of money to recipients. In the year 2013/14, 880,000 people were identified as being underpaid. If the government were to remove this assessment procedure, that these people would struggle to claim their benefits. It would hardly be fair on the lower classes to allow some people to abuse the welfare system at the expense of the poor.
The weekend also brought the opportunity to see the Cirque Du Soleil, I hadn’t even intended to see the show until Wei told me she had a spare ticket. I was completely blown away at the theatrics! Seeing people jump through hoops 2 meters in the air, watching a woman assemble 20 large branches with her foot into a leaf formation, whilst balancing it on her head and seeing some insane see-saw jumping several meters into the air. It was an amazing spectacle that I would recommend to anyone.