The design of the welfare system is of vital importance in providing support to families and ensuring that work pays. With the ongoing introduction of Universal Credit, perhaps the most far-reaching welfare reform in 70 years, the need to get the right interaction between benefits, taxation and support for services such as childcare is more pressing than ever. Our work examines the impact of the current benefits system on the living standards of UK families, and explores practical improvements that could be made in the future.