Despite rising employment, more than 3.5 million people are not in work and are claiming benefits, which is about the same as in 1997 when the Labour government came to power. At the same time, levels of benefits have not kept pace with rises in earnings and there is a strong correlation between a child living in a workless household and a child living in poverty. The Government will meet neither its employment aspiration nor its target to end child poverty by 2020 if it continues on current form.
Now is the perfect moment for a new approach to welfare. Sixty-five years after the publication of the Beveridge report it is time to retire old solutions (with enormous thanks and respect) and to tackle afresh the types of questions Beveridge was addressing: what do we want from the welfare system as a whole and how can we construct a system that is feasible, workable and affordable?
State of the North 2024: Charting the course for a decade of renewalThe North’s communities are ambitious for a better future, but face systemic and pronounced inequalities. Gaps in power, wealth, opportunity, and health result in shorter, sicker, less fulfilling lives.
No home left behind: Funding a just transition to clean heat in ScotlandHow can we ensure that investment in clean heating in Scottish homes drives a just transition, sharing costs and benefits fairly?
The asylum backlog: Job done?This blog post sets out how the department must now grapple with a new set of backlog challenges.