Fabian Society

Research to develop a living standards action plan






December 2023 – June 2025




Project Summary

This project would draw on existing policy work and expert interviews with current and former policy makers to develop a plan to implement and evaluate reforms to social security, low pay, insecure work, employment participation and controlling essential costs.


Living standards for low-to-middle income households are barely higher than 13 years ago. Food bank use has soared, and unacceptable levels of insecure work, economic inactivity and social deprivation persist. There is a need for a comprehensive, deliverable plan to change this, grounded in the political, economic and organisational constraints a post-2024 government will face.

Project Overview

The project aims to support a UK government elected in 2024 to significantly increase living standards for low-to-middle income households during the next parliament by producing a strategy that covers goals, communications, prioritisation, government processes and institutional machinery.

The action plan will examine and make recommendations on cross-government strategy, including:

  1. Persuasive public communication and terminology
  2. Effective citizen engagement and co-design (including with beneficiaries)
  3. Goals and measures of success
  4. Evaluation, prioritisation and sequencing of policy solutions