The future of the left since 1884

Poverty and social security: where next?

What should a future government do to mend social security and tackle poverty in the decade ahead?


The UK is scarred by poverty and our social security system is in crisis. At the start of the 2020s, 15 million people are on course to live in poverty. So where do we go from here?

In this series we ask how a future government should set about mending social security and tackling poverty over the next 10 years. We need a long-term plan that considers what we want to achieve in the coming years – and what that should mean for manifesto promises at the next election.

These articles are part of a wider project examining poverty and social security in the decade ahead, which also includes listening events with people living in poverty, a half-day summit and a Fabian Society research report. The project is a partnership with Age UK, the Children’s Society, Crisis, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the TUC.


  1. Where next?

    Andrew Harrop introduces our blog series on what a future government should do to mend our social security system and tackle poverty in the decade ahead.

  2. Causes, not consequences

    John Veit-Wilson says abolishing the causes of poverty will not cost the country more money than it has or can afford, but political will is essential.

  3. A female face

    Mary-Ann Stephenson looks at how our social security system could be different if it were based around the needs of women living in poverty.

  4. Missing morality

    Reverend Paul Nicolson argues any effective social security system must first be guided by moral principles.

  5. A timely lesson

    Raji Hunjan and Marc Francis call on Labour to remember the principled stand George Lansbury and his colleagues made during the Poplar rates rebellion and argue for the renationalisation of our social security system.

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