As the economy returns to growth and unemployment begins to fall, the focus for policy makers will soon shift from emergency response to the next phase of welfare reform. Using lessons from the recession, this report proposes an approach based around the concept of Liberation Welfare. Its driving aims are to give people power, increase their security and embed reciprocity across the welfare system. This approach recognises that people are the principal agents of change in their lives, but also that government has an essential role in shaping the conditions in which they are lived.
This collection contains ideas addressing a range of challenges including disability, families, homelessness, assets, skills, housing, benefit and addictions. What unites them all is the view that the 'rights and responsibilities' approach of the 1990s has run its course. To illustrate what Liberation Welfare could mean in practice we propose four core ideas: a job guarantee for anyone at risk of long term unemployment; a more progressive savings vehicle to encourage people to self-protect against income shocks; a commitment that no-one who works hard lives in poverty; and a more personalised approach to support and expectations in the welfare system.