Our social security system should protect families from harm, keeping their heads above water, but families' different circumstances can make it complicated to get a complete picture of how well social security does this. This briefing pulls a range of indicators together to assess the adequacy more clearly:
- Section 1 looks at key outcome indicators of inadequacy, from large surveys by DWP and academics.
- Section 2 views six illustrative families on UC and compares their incomes to three ‘yardsticks’: destitution, poverty and the Minimum Income Standard (MIS). The Appendix contains general assumptions used for our illustrative families.
- Section 3 briefly considers income replacement levels, including making international comparisons.
This gives a consistent picture of an inadequate system that is failing to protect families, or give them the stability needed to escape poverty.