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Social safety net

A system of available payments in cash or in kind which will keep people’s incomes from falling below some socially accepted minimum level. This needs to cover old age, sickness and disability, and unemployment. It may include benefits in kind for people with special requirements: for example, health care, and publicly provided housing for those without the means or competence to house themselves privately.

Reference: Oxford Press Dictonary of Economics, 5th edt.