The term ‘social security’ used to mean just that. Everyone knew there was a safety net if they fell on hard times or became unable to work or look after themselves. These days that’s not so certain.
Whilst it’s imperative to control welfare budgets, instigating arbitrary caps without dealing with the underlying causes of poverty is irrational, as is the imposition of benefits sanctions on people who have no other form of income.
The Green Party looks to explore the concept of a non-means tested national income, paid to everyone in place of our current benefits and basic tax allowances regimes, as a fairer way to ensure we all have enough money to live on whatever our circumstances.
Not only would this be simpler to understand and easier to administer, it would act as a springboard rather than a cushion, lifting people out of the poverty trap where it makes more sense to live on handouts than move into paid employment.
It may seem a radical move, but in the face of a further squeeze on public finances, it could prove a more equitable solution than piling yet more pressure on to some of the most