15 million people in the UK are expected to be living in poverty in 2020 including 2 million pensioners and over 4 million children. Where Next? calls on the next government to introduce an urgent ‘rescue’ package immediately after the general election followed by a sustained increase in spending.
In the first year of a new government, ministers should spend up to £6.5 billion on a one-off increase of £5 per week on key benefits for working-age adults and children
Over four years the report calls for an increase in spending of £45 billion over existing plans which would provide the resources to transform social security, providing the money to raise spending on working-age adults and children by up to 40 per cent
The report calls for a large share of the extra spending to be funded by freezing the thresholds for income tax and national insurance. In the first year, this would generate £4.5 billion in revenue which would pay for most of the costs of a one-off rise in benefits. Over 4 years a freeze would generate £20 billion in higher revenues. The remaining £25 billion (of the £45 billion package) would come from returning social security spending as a share of GDP to 2015/16 levels.
Where Next? calls for a social security system for children and working age adults that is closer to the pension system and based on a mix between means-tested, universal and contribution-based benefits. It sets out detailed plans for turning universal credit into a new household benefit by raising payment values, ending existing toxic policies and fixing design flaws.
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