R.M. Page (editor)
Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, vol. 18, 2010, p. 119-168
This themed section explores how the Conservative Party approached the issues of poverty and social justice from the first Churchill-led government of 1951 to the Cameron-led coalition administration of 2010. It covers the 'One Nation' approach to social policy 1951-1964, the influence of New Right ideas on the Thatcher and Major administrations, 1979-1997, and the more compassionate Modern Conservatism of David Cameron. In the final article, Charlotte Pickles, director of the Centre for Social Justice, explains why she considers British society to be broken and puts forward some possible remedies.
The Guardian, Oct. 28th 2010, p. 1
It was billed as Britain's first easyCouncil, a flagship for the government's town hall spending cuts, but it has emerged that the London Borough of Barnet is spending more trying to find efficiencies than it is actually saving. The borough has tried to innovate through its 'One Barnet' programme which includes paying to develop a system of life coaches to persuade residents to reduce dependence on the state, appointing business consultants to help town hall officials and even opening a library in a branch of the coffee shops chain Starbuck. This move could result in the closure of several library buildings in the borough. The council's funding shortfall is set to hit £15m next year.
The Guardian, Oct. 22nd 2010, p. 1 + p.2
The Institute for Fiscal Studies has contradicted Government claims that its austerity measures will be progressive, that frontline school spending will be protected and that Whitehall departments are not facing deeper cuts than they would have done under Labour.
(See also Times Oct.22nd 2010, p. 8)
The Independent, Oct 21st 2010, p. 6
Sean O'Grady assess whether the cuts are fair to all sections of society - and whether George Osborne's plan will work.
Public Policy Research, June-Aug. 2010, p. 59-63
Under the New Labour governments in office between 1997 and 2010, power was shared between the state and the market. Third sector organisations were squeezed out and found themselves impoverished and powerless. Following the financial crisis of 2008/09, and the MPs' expenses scandal, the Conservatives sought to promote the Big Society as an alternative model. The Big Society stresses civic responsibility and volunteering, support for social entrepreneurs, the mutualisation of public services, and radical localism in civic government. However, it does not address issues around the negative impact of unregulated markets on family life, which makes it difficult for citizens to engage in public life.
London: TSO, 2010 (Cm.7942)
The coalition government's 2010 spending review aims to cut public expenditure by £81bn over four years to eliminate Britain's fiscal deficit. Main measures relating to social welfare provision are:
(For summary see Financial Times, Oct. 21st 2010, p. 1-10; Daily Telegraph, Oct. 21st 2010, p. 4-12; Times, Oct. 21st 2010, p. 6-11)
Daily Telegraph, Oct. 22nd 2010, p.10-15
This special section offers a range of comment on, and reaction to, the coalition government's comprehensive spending review. Universities predict fierce competition for places on degree courses in 2011 as students scramble to beat the planned rise in tuition fees in 2012. Treasury officials have warned that workers may turn down pay rises or even ask for reductions in salary to avoid becoming higher rate taxpayers and losing their right to child benefit. This will reduce the amount of money the government will be able to save through the reform. Local government leaders have warned that deep cuts to council funding will hit front line social services, including child protection and social care for older people. Finally, the Archbishop of York has argued that the deep cuts in investment in communities and vital public services will undermine David Cameron's vision of the Big Society.