Covid19 and Social Security

World of Diversity
Image of people with food boxes
David Price


The Covid 19 crisis caused most havoc among those who were already vulnerable. Among other things, it highlighted weaknesses in the UK’s social security system. Food bank usage, which was already increasing, soared. Before the pandemic, extreme poverty, including destitution, was increasing significantly. This appears to be a result of the social security policies pursued in the 2010s, such as Universal Credit, the freeze in the level of benefits from 2016-19 and an oppressive sanctions regime for benefits. Policies have been driven by austerity, neo-liberal slimming of the state and a desire to crack down on welfare dependency. In the Second World War, influenced by Beveridge and Temple, public opinion demanded a much fairer post-war society. Similarly, the pandemic offers an opportunity for us to develop an unstoppable movement towards greater equality and the elimination of poverty.

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