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Bright Blue, the independent think tank for liberal conservatism, is conducting a call for written evidence to inform the development of a project exploring the future of social security system after COVID-19.

The written evidence which Bright Blue receives will make a vital contribution to our literature review and policy formulation, which will shape and inform a final report that will be published later in 2021.

Bright Blue’s project is examining the effectiveness of social security reforms that were introduced during the early stages of the pandemic, considering what principles and approaches should guide future policies on social security, and aiming to develop a policy programme which can be supported by public and policymakers from across the political spectrum that will strengthen the UK’s safety net in the long-term.

All submissions should be sent to Anvar Sarygulov (anvar@brightblue.org.uk) by Monday 21st  June 2021 at 18:00. Respondents should not feel obligated to answer every question – only the ones relevant to their organisation’s field of expertise.

The key questions that we would like submissions for written evidence to answer are as follows and fall into three categories:

  • Experience of UK social security reforms since March 2020
    1. Which low income groups have had most significant improvements in their financial resilience as a result of the changes to existing benefits since March 2020?
    2. To what extent did changes to existing benefits address issues which people on low incomes faced before March 2020?
    3. To what extent have the Job Retention Scheme and the Self-employment Income Support Scheme been effective in preventing people from falling into financially adverse circumstances?
    4. How does the UK’s social security reforms compare to pandemic responses to protect livelihoods in other developed countries, especially in regards to the generosity of, comprehensiveness of and eligibility for income-replacement schemes?
  • Contribution-based social security systems
    1. To what extent is the current design of the Contribution-based/New-style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Employment Support Allowance (ESA) effective at providing sufficient social security?
    2. Which non-British systems of contributory-based social security would your organisation consider effective in protecting people’s incomes during spells of unemployment?
    3. What lessons can be learned from the Job Retention Scheme and the Self-employment Income Support Scheme for implementation of contribution-based social security in the UK?
    4. What kind of financing models of contributory-based social security are most likely to be fiscally sustainable?
  • Building popular support for social security systems
    1. Which specific aspects of non-British social security systems, which are not present in the UK, would your organisation consider both popular and effective in their country of origin?