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The benefits system is an essential part of the social protection Britain has built to protect its citizens and to end poverty in the UK. At the moment, the system simply isn’t achieving this aim. Oxfam is calling for reform of out-of-work benefits to ensure they provide adequate protection for those people who need them, and to help people take up paid work if they are able to. To do this, the system needs to be more flexible, allowing people to take on some paid or voluntary work without losing benefits; it must also respond to the particular circumstances of individuals, taking into account, for instance, their caring responsibilities or the social support they rely on in their everyday lives. The government plans to reform the welfare system in the UK. Oxfam is calling for reform based on the principles and recommendations set out in this paper, to ensure that the benefits system becomes a truly effective tool for tackling poverty in the UK.

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