The pandemic caused the deepest recession in the UK in living memory, prompted the largest fiscal policy response outside the World Wars, and has, so far, been followed by an unusually rapid economic recovery. The past two years also reshaped welfare spending and can be expected to continue to do so. So this year’s Welfare trends report puts changes in non-pensioner welfare spending since the pandemic hit – including the furlough and self-employment schemes – in the context of changes during and after the previous three UK recessions of the past four decades.

Read the Welfare trends report