The government should take lessons from thorough planning and make income insurance a permanent feature of a radically reformed welfare system, the think tank said.
The Resolution Foundation, which focused on the needs of low- and middle-income families, said that emergency measures during the pandemic protected living standards, but highlighted pre-crisis deficiencies in the welfare state.
In one report, the think tank said that policies such as dormancy and similar plans for many self-employed workers meant that average household income was largely unchanged in 2020, despite the largest decline in national production over the three centuries.
The Solve Foundation said that protecting income was possible by radically restructuring the welfare state in a very short amount of time and at significant costs. Dormant spending, self-employed support, and an increase in universal credit (UC) of 20 per week cost 82 billion over the past year.
While the unprecedented nature of the Corona 19 crisis was the driving force behind the massive increase in spending, the think tank said this reflected two important flaws in the welfare state.
One inadequacy, evidenced by the fact that one in four families receiving UC prior to the pandemic, reduced food intake or stopped eating patterns, was the low level of basic safety nets for families.
The Resolution Foundation calls for increasing the level of support under 25 years of age (cost 950m) and increasing the sub-element of UC to 5 per week (cost 1.4 billion) beyond maintaining 20 boosts per week at a cost of 7 billion. Said it could be included. .
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The second weakness, according to the think tank, is that people who have experienced a period of unemployment do not have income insurance that is linked to their previous income.
For three months, a permanent shift to an income insurance system where unemployment assistance is paid at 80% of previous salaries will be relatively inexpensive when jobs are plentiful and will cost $900 million per year based on the unemployment rate in 2019. However, during periods of sharp increase in the unemployment rate, such as in 2009, costs will increase significantly to 3.25 billion.
The report says income insurance means that people who lose their jobs in a future recession will be automatically protected without the need to rely on the government to redesign unemployment aid in any crisis.
Resolution Foundation chief economist Mike Brewer said: It’s not enough to simply go back to the old system after going through what the country has been through.
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