Evaluation of the Commission on Social Security’s Plan

Evaluating The Plan

This report presents an estimate of the effects of proposals for a Guaranteed Decent Income and increased Child Benefit made by the Commission on Social Security in The Plan for a Decent Social Security System. Throughout the report, a base scenario representing the current social security system is compared to a reform scenario representing the proposal set out in The Plan. The discussion also includes the results of computable general equilibrium (CGE) modelling of the effects of The Plan under scenarios where the programme is unfunded, funded by an income tax, and funded by two alternative wealth taxes.

Key findings

  • The Plan would significantly reduce the relative poverty rate by about 7 percentage points.
  • The net cost of The Plan is about £70 billion per year. This cost could be met by an increase in taxation, which, given the scale of the revenue needed, would likely cause a significant behavioural response.
  • Compared to other proposals for social security reform, The Plan has a cost per person lifted out of poverty of approximately £15,600 compared to about £12,200 for the JRF Essentials Guarantee and £58,600 (£51,900) for a low-cost (high-cost) Universal Basic Income evaluated for Scotland. Comparable figures for the Scottish Minimum Income Guarantee are not yet available.

This report was made possible by funding from Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales.


Hannah is an Associate at the Fraser of Allander Institute. She specialises in applied social policy analysis with a focus on income, poverty, and inequality.

Emma is Deputy Director and Senior Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the Fraser of Allander Institute

Kevin is a Chancellor's Fellow in the Department of Economic with a focus on the use of regional economic models for policy analysis. Areas of interest include; energy and climate change, poverty and tourism.

Ciara is an Associate Economist at the Fraser of Allander Institute. She has a broad research experience across different areas including poverty and inequality, the voluntary sector, health, education, trade, and renewables and climate change. Ciara has an MSc in Applied Economics (Distinction) and a first-class BA Honour’s degree in Economics and Finance, both from the University of Strathclyde.