Quakers campaign against changes that weaken our social security system.

An effective social safety net based on dignity and compassion is a vital foundation of a just society. Recent changes to our social security system will hit the poorest hardest.

“This is nothing less than economic violence, which challenges our Quaker spiritual commitment to peace."

Meeting for Sufferings minute, minute S/12/03/3, 31 March 2012


#Enough: Our responsibility to meet families' needs

This report outlines how recent reforms are threatening to undermine a founding principle of the welfare state: that the amount families receive in benefits should be sufficient to meet their basic needs.

Quakers from across Britain campaigned against the Welfare Reform and Work Bill. Though the bill was passed and became law in 2016, our work with other church and faith groups helped secure important amendments that protect kinship carers and some adoptive families, among others, from the new rules.

The level of poverty and inequality in Britain is already unacceptably high, and the Welfare Reform and Work Act has made this worse. In a report published December 2017, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation described the four-year freeze in working-age benefits and tax credits as the “single biggest policy driver behind rising poverty, hitting families in and out of work”. Children, large families and people who can't work because of sickness or disability are particularly affected by the changes.

“We are dismayed that the government is giving so little consideration to the long term impacts of spending cuts on whole communities. Under-investment and short term accounting are putting the wellbeing of future generations at risk."

Meeting for Sufferings minute, minute S/12/03/3, 31 March 2012

Further information and resources

Contact us

Suzanne Ismail
Programme Manager, Economic Issues

0207 663 1172