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Making a contribution For too long, politicians declined to debate the shift from contributory (and universal) benefits towards means-testing. Philip Collins’s article (“Who benefits?”, June) is therefore welcome. But the very real “tension between equality and contribution” is perhaps not as insoluble as he suggests. Egalitarians reject means-testing as a divisive mechanism that narrows social security’s diverse functions to poor relief. The contributory principle—provided it’s interpreted inclusively and includes unpaid care as contribution—offers stronger social protection, including for women in couples who benefit from individual entitlement. We look to more progressive taxation and national insurance contributions to achieve vertical redistribution.…

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