Squaring the Circle

This paper is the second in a series investigating how we can promote financial security and wellbeing at a time of declining living standards and constrained public spending. The British welfare state is confronted by three interconnected and intractable problems: declining public support; relative ungenerosity (particularly for those on middle incomes); and imposing too high a cost to the Exchequer. In order to sustain and rebuild public support for a welfare settlement, the Government must find ways of addressing these tensions between generosity, reciprocity and public trust.

Squaring the Circle looks at the role that policymakers can play in addressing these tensions, through driving financial literacy, promoting the take-up of products that boost financial security and highlighting the everyday financial risks to which we are all exposed. The previous paper in the series, Duty of Care, looked at the role of employers, and subsequent papers will be focused on employees and other key stakeholders, including trade unions and disability groups.