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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2010): Welfare state - UK

Between the estate and the state: struggling to be a 'good' mother

C. Vincent, S.J. Ball and A. Braun

British Journal of Sociology of Education, vol.31, 2010, p. 123-138

This research demonstrates that working class mothers are vulnerable to media and political criticism whether or not they engage in paid work. If they stay at home, they are mostly on benefits, dependent, not economically productive and therefore not 'good' citizens. Moreover, they also fail to live up to the current ideal of intensive, sensitive parenting promulgated by health visitors, Sure Start workers and childrearing advice books. However, if they work, given that they are mostly in jobs with little in the way of flexibility or autonomy, they are open to charges of not spending enough time with their children.

Brown: I will end 'take it or leave it' public services

P. Wintour and N. Watt

The Guardian, Apr. 12th 2010, p.16-17

Labour's election manifesto includes proposals to allow failing hospitals, schools and police forces to be taken over by the private sector. Services will have to be 'personal, accountable and tailored to (users') needs'.

Third sector steps up service provision - but at what price?

D. Williams

Public Finance, Mar. 5th-11th 2010

The fiscal crisis in the UK could lead to charities and social enterprises taking a leading role in the provision of public services such as social care, offender rehabilitation, and substance misuse treatment. However there are concerns about deteriorating pay and conditions of third sector staff, job insecurity due to short term contracts, and underlying financial problems at some large charities.

Town halls to bear brunt of 600,000 public sector job cuts, economists warn

J. Shermain and G. Gilmore

The Times, Apr. 21st 2010, pp.12-13

Economists from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) warn over 250,000 jobs in local government will disappear, plus 100,000 in the NHS and 10,000 in the civil service and quangos over the next five years, no matter which party wins the general election, in order to meet the target for cutting the public sector spending deficit.

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