By reusing current budgets in welfare to work, childcare and adult skills, along with building more affordable homes across all tenures, the Chancellor could secure a sustainable long-term plan towards a prosperous and poverty free UK, which will see him deliver on his ambition of a high-wage low-welfare economy.
JRF has identified the following measures which would support those on low incomes and help drive a high-wage low-welfare economy:
- Retain the existing capital investment in low cost rented housing, rather than 'refocusing' it on low cost home ownership tenures which aren’t affordable for those in poverty.
- Replace the current Affordable Rent regime with Living Rents. In exchange for an annual £3bn in government investment this would cut the housing benefit bill by £5.6 billion a year by 2040 as well as improving affordability for tenants.
- Make ring fenced funds available to pay the National Living Wage to eligible care workers.
- Streamline the current wide range of childcare subsidies into a single system to support the best possible employment and development outcomes.
- Change the high level incentives in employment support and skills development services so that support is targeted at those that need it most, and providers are rewarded for supporting people to move into sustainable jobs and increasing their earnings over time.