4. Invest in a caring social security system which is based on dignity and autonomy

What needs to happen?

A caring economy requires a caring social security system that prevents poverty; reduces inequalities, safeguards dignity and autonomy; shares costs across the population; protects us against risks to our livelihoods and wellbeing in the different stages of our lives, and supports both paid and unpaid work. A caring social security system helps to ensure people fulfil their capabilities and live a meaningful life.


  • Ensure that dignity is safeguarded by withdrawing punitive and unreasonable sanctions
  • Enhance autonomy by enabling individuals to establish their own claim to benefits
  • Improve and extend individual non-means-tested benefits to replace means-tested benefits wherever possible
  • Ensure benefits to meet the additional costs of caring for children and of living with disabilities are non-means tested and reflect the real level of these costs
  • Increase Carer’s Allowance for those providing long-term unpaid care
  • Implement a universal basic income for retired people i.e. a non-earnings-related, non-contributory pension for all that genuinely supports a decent standard of living