The benefits system is a fundamental part of our welfare state, supporting millions of households at any given moment, and helping many of us through periods of low income or high need. Our society would look very different without it. And as the challenges facing our economy and society evolve, so do the requirements, effects and priorities of the benefits system.

At this online event, as part of the IFS Deaton Review of Inequalities funded by the Nuffield Foundation, we presented and discussed findings from major new work on the topic. Questions addressed included: How has the UK benefits system changed over the past few decades? Why has it changed in this way, and how does it compare to other countries? What are its effects on poverty and inequality, employment, hours worked and wages, and the experiences of those who use the system?

The event was chaired by Paul Johnson, and featured talks from:

  • Robert Joyce, Institute for Fiscal Studies
  • Ruth Patrick, University of York
  • Nicholas Timmins, The Institute for Government and The King’s Fund

This event is funded by