Tax in reverse: Financial support and social security during COVID-19

Stuart MacLennan, Luke Graham

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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This chapter examines the principles underpinning the UK Government’s tax and benefit design in response to COVID-19. Since 2010, a central theme underpinning tax and benefit design has been the avoidance of fraud. For those seeking to receive benefits in the UK, this has resulted in a focus on benefits eligibility as opposed to immediacy of need. Consequently, throughout the last decade, this restrictive approach to the receipt of benefits has negatively impacted the enjoyment of the right to social security. COVID-19 has, however, challenged these underpinnings and the UK Government’s COVID-19 financial support packages have paid less heed to the need to avoid fraud. Rather, the immediacy of need triumphed. Consequently, during COVID-19 the financial support policies which were made available were less restrictive and more generous than existing social security provision. From the perspective of the right to social security, this shift must be praised. The pandemic, therefore, offers the potential to powerfully rebut the assumptions upon which a decade of social security austerity has been founded. In turn, the cruciality of social security in response to the pandemic may contribute to improved social security structures in the UK and the right to social security can serve as an important yardstick in informing our future social security structures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Pandemic, Security and Human Rights
Subtitle of host publicationComparative Explorations of COVID-19 and the Law
EditorsBen Stanford, Steve Foster, Carlos Espaliu Berdud
ISBN (Electronic)9781003176824
ISBN (Print)9781032010250
Publication statusPublished - 29 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Routledge

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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