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New report by IPPR and Changing Realities: quick policy fixes to create a modern social security system fit for purpose

A new report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and Changing Realities has examined short-term goals to shift the focus of the social security and employment system in the UK to protect people from poverty and open opportunities for sustainable good quality work.

The recommendations in the report would bringing improvements to the social security system which could lift one million people throughout the UK out of poverty overnight and make work pay for thousands of people on Universal Credit.

“Snakes and Ladders: Tackling precarity in social security and employment”.

“Snakes and Ladders” sets out a package of reforms which would pull the UK’s social security system into the 21st century, including a series of ‘quick win’ policies which would make an almost immediate difference.

These include:

  • Increasing the core entitlement for all households on Universal Credit by £50 per month, with an equivalent for those on legacy benefits. This alone would lift 350,000 people out of poverty.
  • Removing the two-child limit and benefit cap to tackle child poverty and restore the link between entitlement and need.
  • Introducing a second-earner work allowance and reducing the taper rate to 54 per cent to support parents, tackle the gender pay gap and improve work incentives so that work always pays.
  • Tackling the five-week wait by introducing two weeks of backdating for new claims, to reduce claimant debt in the system with additional reforms to how debt is collected.

According to analysis by IPPR, the first three measures would lift an estimated 1 million people out of poverty, at a cost of around £12 billion, boost economic activity and bring extra growth to the UK economy.

Two of the report recommendations align with key asks of the Cliff Edge Coalition which is campaigning in Northern Ireland to resolve the five-week wait in Universal Credit and mitigate the two-child limit – changes which are urgently needed to lift thousands of people in Northern Ireland out of poverty.

You can read the full report “Snakes and Ladders: Tackling Precarity in Social Security and Employment Support” here.