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Solutions
Health and Income and Social Protection

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In order to live a healthy and happy life people need economic security. In Wales, the Socio-economic Duty came into force on 31 March 2021. Public bodies subject to the Duty must, when making decisions of a strategic nature about how to exercise their functions, have due regard to the desirability of exercising them in a way that is designed to reduce the inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage. The Welsh Government has published a progress tracker to support public bodies in meeting the requirements of the Duty. Public Bodies should use the progress tracker for benchmarking how requirements of the Duty are being met; understanding how to take forward improvements to effect meaningful culture change, beyond the requirements of the Duty; and for encouraging reflection and the recording of progress. 

Many organisations have explored potential solutions to the issue of income security and social protection. The Institute of Fiscal Studies produced a report exploring income inequalities in the UK. The report presents options for addressing the effects of rising unemployment, namely reducing the cost of employing people using the tax system; raising public service expenditure and public sector employment; increased funding of (re-)training programmes; boosting out of work benefits; or more fundamental changes to introduce more social insurance into the welfare system. 

The Welsh Government has outlined plans to extend support for care-leavers through a Basic Income pilot in Wales. The pilot is designed to extend support for care-leavers and will provide a test for the stated benefits of basic income, such as addressing poverty and unemployment and improving health and financial well-being. Public Health Wales has produced a Basic Income report which considers a range of evidence and explores the potential impacts on health and well-being. It also looks into the different approaches to policy design and implementation internationally. The report identifies options for policy-makers who are thinking about basic income, such as carrying out economic modelling, placing health and well-being as a core aim of any scheme, and carrying out feasibility studies to understand how basic income could be introduced in Wales.


Useful Resources

GUIDE

Driving Prosperity for All through Investing for Health and Well-being: An Evidence Informed Guide for Cross-sector Investment

This guide by Public Health Wales suggests policy options for priority investment in Wales, based on the best available Welsh and European evidence. The policy options address areas of high burden and costs, as well as demonstrating co-benefits (returns) to the economy, society and the environment, including investing in universal social protection. The guide can be used by policy- and decision-makers across national and local government, the health and social care service, and public bodies in all other sectors in Wales.

Driving Prosperity for All through Investing for Health and Well-being: An Evidence Informed Guide for Cross-sector Investment


GUIDE

How to Make the Case for Sustainable Investment in Well-being and Health Equity: A Practical Guide

This practical guide by Public Health Wales is a tool to improve governance, investment and accountability for health and equity. The guide is intended to help the development of evidence-informed, context-tailored advocacy reports and other relevant documents and tools, enabling healthy policy- and decision-making across different sectors, levels of government and country settings. It aims to prevent disinvestment in health, increase investment in prevention (public health), and mainstream cross-sectoral investment to address the wider determinants of health and equity.

How to Make the Case for Sustainable Investment in Well-being and Health Equity: A Practical Guide


REPORT

A Basic Income to Improve Population Health and Well-being in Wales?

This report by Public Health Wales is aimed at decision-makers considering basic income in Wales. The report introduces the concept of basic income, appraises the existing evidence from pre-existing schemes and trials, and explores what steps Wales would need to consider in developing a basic income proposal that has improving health and wellbeing as a key objective. This report does not make formal recommendations; rather, it aims to provide evidence to inform the debate, to support future decision-making, and shape thinking for further research.

A Basic Income to Improve Population Health and Well-being in Wales?


PAPER

Universal Basic Income Policies and Their Potential for Addressing Health Inequities: Transformative Approaches to a Healthy, Prosperous Life for All

This discussion paper by WHO Europe is based on a broad literature review, including academic literature, policy documents, impact evaluations from Universal Basic Income (UBI) pilot approaches, and other similar programmes. The paper explores the context factors shaping the case and conditions for basic income reform, and discusses some of the controversies and challenges around UBI as concrete policy measures.

Universal Basic Income Policies and Their Potential for Addressing Health Inequities: Transformative Approaches to a Healthy, Prosperous Life for All


REPORT COVID

Placing Health Equity at the Heart of the COVID-19 Sustainable Response and Recovery: Building Prosperous Lives for All in Wales

This report by Public Health Wales places health equity at the heart of a sustainable response and recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic and explores the impact of the pandemic on the socio-economic gap and different sectors in Wales.

Placing health equity at the heart of the COVID-19 sustainable response and recovery


WEBINAR COVID

Confronting Poverty and Income Insecurity During COVID-19 Through Strengthening Social Protection

This webinar is part of a global webinar series by the World Health Organization on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on equity and the social determinants of health. The webinar includes discussions on the global evidence on the role of social protection in mitigating the health inequity impacts arising from poverty and income insecurity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Confronting Poverty and Income Insecurity During COVID-19 Through Strengthening Social Protection


REPORT

The Cost-of-Living Crisis: A Welsh Action Plan

This short report sets out the Bevan Foundation’s proposals for action in the next 6-12 months that will ease the pressure of the cost-of-living crisis for the least well-off. It recommends action on the three areas that are the biggest pinch-points in households’ budgets: housing, energy and food. It focuses on action that is deliverable in the short term, using existing devolved grants and allowances and by working with community organisations, and makes recommendations about using them effectively.

The Cost-of-Living Crisis: A Welsh Action Plan