Strengthen social security for a stronger economy

The UK is currently in a deep recession, with further restrictions and lockdowns likely to increase in the near future because of coronavirus. The £20 lifeline supports a just recovery.

This briefing outlines why it is so important for the Government to stimulate the economy, and which policy tools are most effective. It makes the case that social security should be considered as one of these effective tools.

Social security is a vital lifeline that keeps us afloat when we need support, but it can also boost consumer spending in a more targeted way than other policies. The Government chose to use it in this way at the start of the crisis with a welcome, but temporary, uplift of £20 a week to Universal Credit (UC) and Working Tax Credit.

This lifeline should not be cut while the economy is still grappling with a recession. Not only will it cause an immediate and devastating loss of income for millions of families, it will also take money out of a weak economy. We recommend the Government keeps the lifeline by making the temporary £20 a week uplift permanent, and extending this uplift to people on legacy benefits.

  • The Government must keep the social security lifeline to support the economic recovery by making the £20 uplift to the standard allowance of Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit permanent, and extending it to legacy benefits.

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