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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2009): Welfare state - UK

'Billions could be saved' in public services revamp

D. Brindle

The Guardian, Sept. 30th 2009, p. 2

Results of the first phase of the Total Place programme, where services are delivered on the basis of theme rather than by organisation, show improvements to quality as well as cost reductions. Total Place is being piloted in 13 areas in England. Results were submitted to the Government last week.

Brown fights to regain trust

A. Porter

Daily Telegraph, Sept 30th 2009, p. 1

In a speech to the 2009 Labour Party conference, Gordon Brown unveiled policies that will be at the heart of Labour's 2010 election manifesto, including:

  1. free personal care at home for elderly people with severe health problems
  2. middle classes to lose tax breaks on child care to fund free nursery places for the lower paid
  3. teenage mothers to live in 'supervised homes' provided by the state
  4. patients with suspected cancer to be guaranteed a diagnostic test within a week of referral by their GP.

(See also Daily Telegraph, Oct. 1st 2009, p. 4-5)

Harman unleashes Labour's 'class war' bill

J. Kirkup

Daily Telegraph, Sept. 9th 2009, p. 12

Under the Equality Bill all public bodies will be legally obliged to consider how they can reduce socio-economic inequalities when making decisions about spending and services. The Audit Commission and Ofsted will be expected to monitor how public bodies plan to reduce the class divide. The new legal obligations could trigger significant shifts in the allocation of public spending. For example, Ofsted could be told to make sure that education authorities are targeting resources on children from working class homes.

Social enterprises eye public contracts

Anon

Labour Research, Sept. 2009, p. 23-25

Social enterprises have been embraced by both the Labour government and the Conservative opposition as a solution to the challenge of delivering efficient and effective public services such as health and social care. This article explores the nature of social enterprises and what their expansion could mean for trade unions.

Social enterprise in practice: a UK policy perspective: thought piece from the UK Social Enterprise Coalition

D. Shah

Social Enterprise Journal, vol.5, 2009, p. 104-113

The Social Enterprise Coalition is the UK's national body for social enterprise. It works to influence the policy agenda to improve the environment for social enterprises, to promote and raise awareness of social enterprise, to spread best practice and to build the evidence base on social enterprise. This paper provides an overview of the recent policy background, and suggests some emerging areas for social enterprise research that could be particularly fruitful from a policy perspective.

Towards a more equal society? Poverty, inequality and policy since 1997

J. Hills, T. Sefton and K. Stewart (editors)

Bristol: Policy Press, 2009

As New Labour approaches the end of an unprecedented third term in office, this book asks whether Britain is more equal now than it was in 1997. It provides:

  • Consideration of a broad set of indicators and policy areas affecting poverty, inequality and social exclusion
  • Analysis of policy developments and outcomes in areas including income inequality, education, employment, health inequalities, minority ethnic groups, children and older people.
  • Chapters on migration, social attitudes, the devolved administrations, the new Equality and Human Rights Commission and future pressures.
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