Britain is going through the most radical upheaval of the benefits system since its foundations were laid at the end of the 1940s. In Broken Benefits, Sam Royston argues that social security isn’t working, and without a change in direction, it will be even less fair in the future.
Drawing on original research and high-profile debates, this much-needed book provides an introductory guide to social security, correcting misunderstandings and exposing poorly understood problems. It reveals how some workers pay to take on additional hours; that those who pay national insurance contributions may get nothing in return; that some families can be paid to split apart; and that many people on the lowest incomes are seeing their retirement age rise the fastest.
Broken Benefits includes real-life stories, models of household budgets, projections of benefit spending, and a free online calculator showing the impact of welfare changes on personal finances. The book presents practical ideas of how benefits should be reformed, to create a fairer, simpler and more coherent system for the future.
Sam Royston is The Children’s Society’s expert on the UK benefit system and welfare reform. He leads on child poverty and early years’ policy work.
He became passionate about delivery of a more effective benefits system whilst working in welfare rights advice. In 2010 he moved into providing policy advice to charities and is currently Director of Policy and Research at The Children’s Society.
Sam drafted amendments to the Welfare Reform Bill during its passage through Parliament. He has also given evidence to a number of Parliamentary Select Committee inquiries. He has written widely on the impact of the Government's welfare reforms on children and families and attracted widespread attention in the national media.
Part One: The State of Welfare;
What are benefits for?;
How did we get to this state?;
Mapping it all out;
21st century welfare;
Part Two: Decimation - cutting 10% of the social security budget;
Making work pay;
In sickness and in health;
A place to call home;
Won't somebody think of the children?;
Untouchables? - benefits for the elderly;
Part Three: Future welfare;
Dismantling social security?;
What does a good system look like?;
Making the change.