A number of major disruptive forces will transform life in the UK and globally in the 2020s and beyond, creating a new set of social risks.

In the Covid-19 crisis, government financial assistance has been the decisive factor in protecting businesses and livelihoods, but it has fallen short. We can learn from the response to this crisis to create the stronger welfare settlement we will need to tackle new social risks and prevent inequality from growing.

The economic shock resulting from the pandemic follows a ‘great risk shift’ experienced by people in the UK over recent decades. It is clear that we need to ‘future-proof’ our welfare state, but historically, welfare states in the UK and across Europe have remained ‘frozen’ in the face of new social risks. It is for this reason that IPPR is launching a major new Future Welfare State Programme.