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The cost-of-living crisis in the UK and Ireland: on inflation, indexation and one-off policy responses

Hick, Rod ORCID: and Collins, Micheál L. 2023. The cost-of-living crisis in the UK and Ireland: on inflation, indexation and one-off policy responses. Social Policy and Society 10.1017/S1474746423000453

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This paper compares social policy responses to the cost-of-living crisis in the UK and Ireland. In seeking to protect citizens from an inflationary shock, a series of fundamental social policy questions arise. What would the aims of support packages be? To what extent should support be universal or targeted? If targeted, did existing policy architectures facilitate or frustrate the targeting of support? As the scale and persistence of the inflationary shock became evident, smaller and near-universal responses gave way to larger support packages with a greater reliance on targeting. Social security systems played an important role in policy responses, though often by passporting one-off payments rather than a strengthening of these core programmes. Passporting led both to improved distributional outcomes vis-à-vis the more universal elements but created new administrative challenges and led to rough justice in some circumstances. The reliance on one-off payments underlined the temporary nature of policy responses.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 1474-7464
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 November 2023
Date of Acceptance: 5 September 2023
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2023 17:32

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