Department for Work and Pensions

Policy Statement

We will ensure that all British Citizens, no matter what their circumstances, have sufficient income for the necessities of life and the opportunity to earn more for luxuries.

Performance Reporting

An annual analysis of numbers of people living at various income levels with initiatives taken and planned to improve.

Strategic Initiatives

Set up annual reporting

There are several data sources for such a report.  The approach will be to start with a “quick and dirty” analysis and then apply continual improvement.  Absolute accuracy is not required for the purposes of planning initiatives.

1 year: We will produce an initial report with conclusions and suggested initiatives

5 years and longer:  We will continually improve – both the report and the conditions of those citizens at the poverty end of the scale

Consultation on what type of Welfare State we want

Stand on your own two feet or have Nanny State look after all your needs?  Or something in between?  We need once and for all to decide how far the people of this country want the Government to get involved in their lives.  It’s a big question and it must be handled thoroughly in a balanced way so that people understand the issues and are clear on their choices.  The result will drive the design of Welfare State services for several decades.

Year 1:  We will use samples and focus groups to identify the issues and to formulate the draft options which will be the subject of consultation.

Year 2 or 3:  We will carry out the consultation.  The first stage will be an airing of the draft options to allow them to be refined.  Any campaigning during the consultation will be orderly and informative with an absolute ban on the sort of hype we saw in the Brexit referendum campaigns.  We will ensure that there is a clear consensus for the approach adopted.

Test and possibly implement Universal Basic Income in lieu of all benefits

Means testing of benefits is complex and expensive.  It would be cheaper and more effective to give every British citizen, whether they need it or not, a Universal Basic Income (UBI) sufficient for basic food and shelter.  No luxuries.  Then those that need it have it and those that don’t will pay extra tax but on average less than the UBI they receive.  Everyone is better off, the needy get the benefits without question.  But this is such a major change we will not proceed without adequate public support.

1 Year:  We will set up a programme to introduce UBI – work out the details such as how to treat children and permanently disabled, how to dismantle the existing benefit system, when to introduce UBI

5 years: We will conduct a trial.  When we have a working system we will implement it if opinion testing demonstrates that there is a consensus to proceed.

Create a customer-centred unemployment service

A fulfilling job gives a sense of purpose and is a key element of well-being.  Each long-term unemployed person has been let down by society.  We will put in the resource required for a thorough investigation of the skills and abilities of each unemployed person in order to identify training needs and to allow him or her to find a fulfilling career.  And we will introduce incentives for employers to train and give hard-to-place workers a start.  We will aim eventually for zero long term unemployed.  Again a big change requiring approval by referendum.

1 year: We will set up a review to formulate proposals for the referendum question

5 years: We will implement the proposals if approved by referendum.

Tackle inequality

This is tricky and we don’t yet know exactly what needs to be done.  But we do know that inequality is a major cause of unhappiness and so we will address it.  It is strongly connected to the rise of consumerism and solutions are likely to include an element of well-being (rather than standard of living) initiatives such as the promotion of and acclaim for philanthropy and altruism.  Universal Benefit Income might be a key tool to tackle the problem.

5 years:  We will commission a study of inequality, its causes its impact on well-being.  We will then make proposals for future action.

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