General Election 2024
Universal Credit

The cost of poor health

What does rising health-related benefit spending mean for the UK and its next government?

Thursday 20 June 2024

Health-related benefit spending is rising – particularly among children and younger adults – and this increase is forecast to accelerate in the years ahead. With record numbers of people claiming disability benefits, incapacity benefits or both, there are serious questions to answer about what lies behind this trend and its impact on the health of … Continued

The state of welfare

How has Britain’s safety net changed since 2010 and what comes next?

Thursday 13 June 2024

Britain’s welfare system has undergone a major overhaul over the past decade, with major reforms as well as major cuts. In more recent years it’s faced unprecedented pressures, from the Covid-19 pandemic to the cost-of-living crisis. The social security system is at the heart of many general election debates, and this one looks set to … Continued

Universal Credit
Living standards

In credit?

Assessing where Universal Credit’s long rollout has left the benefit system, and Britain

Monday 15 April 2024

Universal Credit, announced back in 2010 and introduced in 2013, will be fully rolled out by whoever wins the next election. The benefit has been on a rollercoaster over those years – with the IT underpinning it causing major teething problems, and later success in processing unprecedented numbers of claims during the pandemic. In the … Continued

Beyond Beveridge

Have social security shifts prepared us for economic change?

Wednesday 19 January 2022

The modern welfare state is approaching its 75th anniversary, but continual reforms and wider economic change mean that it bears little resemblance to the system first envisaged by William Beveridge. And it faces new challenges, with Covid, Brexit and net zero – coupled with rapid demographic and technological change – set to reshape our economy … Continued

Living standards
Social care

Post-pandemic, post-Beveridge?

Assessing the case for redesigning the welfare state

Thursday 29 April 2021

Millions of us have been supported by social security during the pandemic, which has provided a living standards lifeline amid a deep economic shutdown. But the inadequacy of the UK’s benefit system has also been exposed. The Chancellor had to invent whole new kinds of income protection overnight and boost the basic level of benefits, … Continued


The safety net in action?

Universal Credit’s role in the crisis and the recovery

Wednesday 27 May 2020

Universal Credit (UC) has been rolled-out very slowly since 2015. But that all changed when coronavirus struck. Since mid-March over two million new claims have been made, a surge far in excess of anything experienced during the financial crisis. UC is the UK’s primary safety-net benefit, but this is the first time it has been … Continued

Economy and public finances
Political parties and elections

Beveridge mark II?

The future of social security

Tuesday 26 November 2019

From a new ‘triple-locked’ state pension to big welfare cuts for young families and the roll-out of the Universal Credit, no area of the state has undergone such a radical transformation over the past decade as social security. That transformation is set to continue in the next parliament too, as Universal Credit is extended to … Continued

Back to the Future: The outlook for retirement 15 years on from the Pensions Commission

Monday 27 November 2017

In the autumn of 2002, Chancellor Gordon Brown announced a Pensions Commission to explore the outlook for pensioner incomes if the system continued unaltered and to make recommendations for improving that outlook. 15 years on, its recommendations – including auto-enrolment into low cost pensions and a more generous but delayed state pension – have become … Continued

Creditworthy? Making Universal Credit fit for purpose

Tuesday 31 October 2017

The scale of change that Universal Credit is bringing to our welfare system means that the rollout was always going to bring to light implementation challenges. These need to be addressed, but we also need to focus on the bigger question of how Universal Credit measures up against the big labour market challenges Britain faces … Continued

Taxing times: Does a new government mean a new tax policy?

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Raising the personal allowance and reducing corporation tax were two signature plans of the last parliament, and the new Chancellor has inherited plans to go even further. But with fewer people paying tax, and businesses paying lower rates of tax, is our tax system fit for purpose to fund public services and reduce the deficit? … Continued

Is a Universal Basic Income the future of the welfare state?

Monday 9 May 2016

Can the welfare state survive in an ever more competitive global economy? What would a reformed welfare state look like? Could a Universal Basic Income system be a long term solution? Following the global financial crisis deep cuts to welfare budgets have become a default policy response for policymakers around the world. As such, debates … Continued

Can we afford to care? The future health of social care

Thursday 12 November 2015

The combination of rising demand, reduced funding and increasing costs stemming from the National Living Wage are set to put an already stretched social care sector under further strain. What additional public funding is needed to maintain social care provision in its current form over the parliament and beyond? Could closer health integration create efficiencies … Continued

Benefiting everyone? Making Universal Credit fit for the next decade

Monday 8 June 2015

Over eight million households will be eligible for Universal Credit when it is fully up and running. But with the UK labour market having transformed in recent decades, is this once-in-a-generation reform being designed to deal with current and future welfare challenges, such as growing in-work poverty? Will it achieve its goals and prove to … Continued

Today’s workers, tomorrow’s retirement problem

Wednesday 11 February 2015

The proportion of people saving into a workplace pension is rising again after decades of decline. But too few people are saving enough for an adequate retirement income. How can people be persuaded to save not spend when wages are already stretched? Are there cheaper, fairer alternatives to the £35bn spent on pension tax relief? … Continued

Tax cuts in tough times – who really gains?

Monday 1 December 2014

The three main political parties have all pledged to cut taxes with the stated aim of helping low and middle income households in the next parliament. But who really benefits from these policies and how much will they cost? The Resolution Foundation presented new analysis of the distribution of gains under the different parties’ approaches, and … Continued

Universal Credit – how do we make it work?

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Universal Credit represents the most significant transformation of our welfare system, merging six separate in and out of work benefits into one. While the principles of simplification and making work pay are widely supported, questions remain about UC’s ability to deliver on these original intentions. The Resolution Foundation has recently kicked off an independent review … Continued

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