Social security refers to the variety of forms of personal financial assistance to members of society. Being one of the core responsibilities of state, the provision of social security may be granted as a means of dealing with poverty, as a social protection due to financial vulnerability to circumstances, as redistribution tool of income, and as a means of expression of solidarity (Spicker, 2014, online).
Major types of social security benefits include social insurance, benefits given to low-income individuals and families, disability benefits, pensions for aged people and discretionary benefits.
In UK in particular social security policies are developed and implemented within the scope of Beverage Scheme which is associated with National Insurance accounts for each citizen. Core six principles of Beverage Scheme and National Insurance consist of comprehensiveness, categorisations of insurance, flat nature of benefits and contributions rate, the principle of adequacy and unified administration of National Insurance (Spicker, 2013, online).
Additional social policy programs and initiatives aimed at facilitation of social security in UK include, but not limited to Guarantee Credit, Savings Credit, and Child Benefit.
Development of social policies in relation to social security of citizens in modern times is associated with a substantial challenge which relates to the recent global economic crisis of 2007 – 2009. In other words, the crisis has necessitated budget reductions in many countries with obvious negative effects on the volume of social security spending, and this result in significant social policy problems.
To be more specific, contemporary social policies in relation to social security need to be developed by governments in highly cost-effective manner, and the necessity behind social security reductions need to be communicated to citizens in an effective manner through the application of various communication channels in order to maintain popularity of the government.
This task is highly difficult to achieve because cuts in social security benefits has immediate and direct implications on daily lives of millions of citizens and implementing changes in this area is complex with effects that are difficult to asses.
Moreover, even apart from reductions on the levels of spending for social security, any other reform initiatives in relation to social security is associated with significant difficulties in implementation levels.
Other policy-related difficulties associated with the provision of social protection relate to targeting individuals and families in an effective manner to receive benefits, choosing between horizontal versus vertical distribution of benefits.
State has to play a great role in the provision of social security to relevant individuals and families in the society and dealing with problems associated with the provision of social security in an effective manner. Effectiveness of this role can be increased through formulation of social protection reform initiatives in an appropriate manner and communicating the rationale behind these initiatives through media and other communication channels unambiguous way.
Spicker, P. (2014) “Welfare and Society” Available at: http://www2.rgu.ac.uk/publicpolicy/introduction/contents.htm