Social security, including Universal Credit and the wider tax and benefit system, play an important role in providing support for people when they need it and tackling poverty and inequality.
The social security system is a vital safety net which should both provide security, and offer opportunity. Social security should incentivise employment, provide support for those who need it, and help to reduce poverty and inequality.
The introduction of Universal Credit has been a major reform to our social security system. It aims to bring together in-work and out of work benefits in an effort to simplify the system, and provide support both for people to enter employment and to progress in work. However, its introduction coincided with a long freeze in working-age benefits, and there have been concerns about some of the rules and operation of Universal Credit in practice.
We use evidence to help inform the design of the social security system, and we evaluate the impact of policy in the area.