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

Comprehensive Spending Review insight

J. Mahadevan and others

Children and Young People Now, Oct. 26th-Nov. 1st 2010, p. 8-11

This special section presents an overview of the impact of the coalition government's plans to reduce public expenditure between 2011 and 2015 on children, young people and families, followed by comment from experts in the field.

Examining the impact of the Open Method of Coordination on sub-state employment and social inclusion policies: evidence from the UK

E. MacPhail

Journal of European Social Policy, vol. 20, 2010, p. 364-378

This article begins by examining the relationship between the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) and the sub-state level as envisaged by the process defined at the Lisbon European Council in 2000 and subsequently outlined in treaties and related policy documents. It then examines the nature of devolution in the UK and the division of competences in employment and social inclusion, before looking in detail at what impact the OMC processes have had on sub-state authorities in the UK in these areas between 1999 and 2007. Based on a range of interviews at EU, UK and devolved government levels, it explores the impact of the OMC on three dimensions of governance: policy, polity and politics. Finally, it concludes by suggesting factors which may account for variances in sub-state responses to the OMC processes.

Generational conflict, consumption and the ageing welfare state in the United Kingdom

P. Higgs and C. Gilleard

Ageing and Society, vol. 30, 2010, p. 1439-1451

The British welfare state is over 60 years old. Those who were born, grew up and who are now growing old under its aegis have enjoyed healthier childhoods and better education than previous generations. Some critics argue that these advantages are at the expense of younger cohorts. The very success of this 'welfare generation' is seen as undermining the future viability of the welfare state, and some argue that the current levels of income and wealth enjoyed by older cohorts can only be sustained by cutbacks in entitlements for younger generations. This paper challenges this position, arguing that both older and younger groups find themselves working out their circumstances in conditions determined more by the contingencies of the market than by social policy.

Osborne to face investigation by the equalities watchdog over cuts

N. Watt

The Guardian, Nov. 26th 2010, p. 16

The chancellor George Osborne is facing a formal investigation by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission to establish whether the Treasury fulfilled its statutory duty to assess the impact of the spending review on women, disabled people and ethnic minorities.

Suspension of belief

D. Corry

Public Finance, Nov. 5th-18th 2010, p. 14-15

The 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review confirmed that revenue funding from central government to local authorities in England will be cut by 26% in real terms between 2010/11 and 2014/15. This article explores options available to councils to cope with the cuts. Reductions in frontline services and staff cuts are inevitable, with more contracting out and greater reliance on the voluntary sector and community groups. Some councils may choose to save money by sharing back office services.

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