The future of the left since 1884

Security for everyone: The public case for non-means-tested benefits


This report examines the future of non-means-tested benefits for working-age adults and children. We present findings from an online citizens’ jury, a representative survey of British adults, microsimulation modelling of policy reforms and a consultation with experts.

Our evidence indicates that consensus can be built to strengthen non-means-tested benefits as a supplement to an adequate means-tested system. In particular, we show that following the Covid-19 pandemic there is new interest in improving payments when people stop working.

The citizen’s jury recommended a new system of earnings-related unemployment insurance modelled on the Covid-19 furlough scheme. We also propose increases in non-means-tested benefits for people who are sick, disabled or caring; and a review of benefits paid to cover the extra costs faced by disabled people.

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Josh Abey

Josh Abey is a senior researcher at the Fabian Society.


Andrew Harrop

Andrew Harrop is general secretary of the Fabian Society.


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