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Solidarity in a crisis? Trends in attitudes to benefits during COVID-19 - new event

Thursday 2 September


Online - BOOK NOW

How has the pandemic affected public opinion on welfare benefits? There were good reasons to think COVID-19 would increase the public’s appetite for social security. The last year and a half has been a time of solidarity in the face of a collective crisis; large numbers of people became unemployed for a manifestly ‘good’ reason; media coverage of welfare has become dramatically more positive; and more and more people have had direct experience of the benefits system.

And yet, the limited evidence collected so far suggests that attitudes have not changed.

In this event, we will explain this puzzle – using new nationally representative survey data, alongside many in-depth interviews with claimants themselves, we will show how attitudes have changed, and how they have stayed the same. Based on our findings, we will ask: how can we frame a better social security system that is grounded in public support?


Dr Ben Baumberg Geiger and Dr Robert De Vries (University of Kent), and Dr Kate Summers (London School of Economics) from our WASD team will present our findings and lead the debate.

Chair: Professor Peter Taylor-Gooby, University of Kent

Who should attend:

This event is open to all, but will be especially useful to:

- Researchers, campaigners and policy audiences working in the area of welfare

- Journalists working on public policy and the political consequences of COVID-19

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Dec 27, 2023

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