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Improving social security

We want to see a social security system that guarantees nobody has to go without essentials.

The problem we're trying to solve

Our social security system should support people whenever there's a need or circumstances change to prevent them from falling into poverty. But we’re a long way from that right now.

The current system of social security doesn’t provide enough to cover the basics of living in London. Even worse, it actively pushes people deeper into poverty through punitive features like the two-child limit, the benefits cap, the bedroom tax, sanctions and unreasonable conditionality.

We need to end these practices and start the process of rebuilding a proper safety net for Londoners.

How change will happen

Change will need to be hard fought. It will rely on effective campaigning by broad coalitions working towards a common goal. This campaigning will need to be built upon a solid evidence base, and people with lived experience will need to be at the forefront. It will require shifts in public attitudes towards social security, as well as political courage.

Change will require work at both the national and local level. This means that the voice and experience of Londoners will need to contribute towards research and campaigns focused on London, as well as the wider UK.

What we will fund

We want to fund campaigns, research and policy work focused on improving our social security system so that it better meets the needs of Londoners.

Examples could include:

  • User-led campaigns and community organising approaches to build the power and influence of Londoners with direct experience of the social security system. The focus could be on poor decision making by local authorities or DWP, tackling barriers to accessing financial support, improving local welfare assistance schemes, promoting cash first approaches or making the case for ensuring benefit levels meet needs.
  • High-quality research from user-led groups, academics, think-tanks or civil society organisations that highlight the impact on Londoners of punitive measures such as the two-child limit, the benefit cap, conditionality or sanctions.
  • Trialling new ways of delivering social security, for example, new approaches to local schemes.
  • Specialist and infrastructure organisations working to build the capacity of user-led and frontline organisations to campaign on and influence social security and deliver high quality advice.

What we're funding

Examples of work we've already funded in this area.

Ready to apply for funding under this goal?