UK Safety Net Briefing

abrdn Financial Fairness Trust

January 2024

The UK benefits system has always had its shortcomings, with benefit rates that are not related to evidence of need, serious obstacles and delays in adminsitration and some people falling through the net of income protection that it seeks to provide. But today, all these features have become so pervasive that benefits are falling woefully and systematically short of protecting citizens against hard times.

This preliminary paper from Professor Donald Hirsch summarises aspects of the “safety net” in the UK. It argues that the current system is not only inadequate but also unfair. A forthcoming, paper will consider the issue in greater detail and suggest principles that a future government should adopt to start to create a fairer system.

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