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NEF responds to MPs’ report on benefit levels in the UK

New Economics Foundation gave evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee inquiry into benefit levels last year

The government should guarantee every household can afford its essentials costs to reduce poverty and improve wellbeing, the New Economics Foundation (NEF) has said in response to a report on benefit levels from a cross-party group of MPs.

The Work and Pensions Committee has today [Thursday 21 March] called on the government to benchmark benefit rates against what people need and introduce an uprating guarantee”.

NEF has said the government could go even further by guaranteeing every household has an income which allows it to meet its essential costs.

Tom Pollard, Head of Social Policy at NEF, who gave evidence to the committee’s inquiry in September, said:

It is hugely welcome to see a cross-party committee of MPs call for benefit rates to be benchmarked against a proper assessment of what people need to meet their basic costs. For far too long, benefit rates have been completely divorced from the reality of the day-to-day costs people face, contributing to growing rates of poverty and poor health.

Rather than incentivising people into work, current benefit rates leave many unable to look beyond a daily struggle to make ends meet.

However, we would like to see the next government go further and institute a guarantee that every household has sufficient income to at least meet its essential costs. As well as dramatically reducing poverty and helping to improve people’s health and wellbeing, this would provide everyone with the foundational security to work towards a better future for them and their families.”


James Rush /


The New Economics Foundation is a charitable think tank. We are wholly independent of political parties and committed to being transparent about how we are funded.

Tom Pollard, Head of Social Policy at NEF, gave evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee’s inquiry into benefit levels in the UK in September last year.

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