London: TSO, 2010 (House of Commons papers, session 2009/10; HC 451)
From a welfare state point of view, the budget contained the following measures:
Social Policy and Society, vol. 9, 2010, p. 193-205
Responsible citizenship has become a policy focus for both New Labour and the Conservatives. The logic is that responsible citizens make reasonable choices to promote their own welfare and that 'bad choices' arise from the wilfulness of irresponsible people, rather than from the structural distribution of resources, capacities and opportunities. This article explores how the desire to create responsible citizens is experienced by homeless people in a small Dorset town, who are being asked to pay for hot food at a day centre in order to instil in them a sense of responsibility for their own welfare.
A. Bowes and B. Daniel (editors)
Social Policy and Society, vol. 9, 2010, p. 221-309
For several decades, the general acceptance that the state in most developed countries has a role in protecting some potential victims of abuse, notably women and children, has been underpinned by an extensive legislative and bureaucratic framework. More recently, the focus of state concern has broadened to include people considered at heightened risk of harm due to impairment and older age. Evolving legislative and bureaucratic protective responses often parallel those already in place for children. Research into harm and abuse suffered by the various groups has proceeded in silos, with little cross-fertilisation of ideas. Despite the lack of comparative research, policy developments are proceeding on the basis of uncritical transfer of practice between fields. However, solutions produced in this apparently simplistic way likely to be impoverished due to lack of appreciation of the complexity of the problems they address and the failure of debate in the various strands of research to be mutually informative. This themed section brings together researchers who have studied abuse and neglect in a variety of contexts, in an effort to promote mutual learning about these issues across the lifespan and to integrate insights from previously disparate fields.
Public Finance, Feb. 26th-Mar. 4th 2010, p. 24-26
There is a growing political consensus that the answer to public service reform lies in involving citizens and communities more in the provision of services. However, while there is support in principle for society being more involved, the public in general does not believe that individuals, families or communities should be primarily responsible for providing services. While people support getting involved in principle, they are often too busy personally to give up the time. Moreover, people in the most deprived communities most in need of services lack the wealth and social capital to run them effectively.
H. Bochel and A. Defty
Political Quarterly, vol.81, 2010, p. 74-84
The Conservative Party has changed its social policy rhetoric and, to some extent, its social policy positions under the leadership of David Cameron. There is a recognition that the state has a role in responding to social problems, and in that sense the Conservatives have moved away from Thatcherism. This article explores the extent of possible support for Cameron's stance on social policy among three key groups: the public, Conservative MPs and members of the House of Lords. It is concluded that Cameron's ideas will not resonate with a significant group of right-wing, Thatcherite MPs and peers, who come become an irritant to the leadership in the event of a hung Parliament or a small overall majority.
Public Finance, Feb. 26th-Mar.4th 2010, p. 16-17
Co-operatives and mutuals are being promoted by both the Conservative Party and the Labour government as vehicles for delivery of local public services such as education and social care. In the face of public spending cuts due to the recession, they will reduce the cost and size of the local state by shifting responsibility for services away from the council.
Public Finance, Feb. 19th-25th 2010, p. 22-25
Public expenditure will be frozen in real terms over the period 2011/12 to 2014/15. A near 15% cut in capital expenditure on transport, house building, hospitals and other infrastructure is planned. Current spending on the NHS, international development and schools will be protected, and expenditure on social security is expected to continue to rise. Assuming that local authorities will have to protect spending on social services and the police, current spending cuts of over 30% are likely to fall on highways and transport services, fire and rescue, housing, culture, leisure, libraries, public health and central administration. An alternative policy of freezing all spending, current and capital, at 2010/11 levels until 2014/15 might be easier to manage.
Daily Telegraph, Mar. 23rd 2010, p. 12
The prime minister has predicted in a speech that passport offices, job centres and other government agencies dealing face to face with the public could be shut down over a decade. Instead, individuals would deal with the state through personal web pages which would allow them to apply for passports, claim benefits and pay taxes online.