Public Administration Select Committee
London: TSO, 2011 (House of Commons papers, session 2010/12; HC 902)
The report warns that the Big Society project is hampered by the lack of a clear implementation plan, leading to public confusion about the policy agenda, eighteen months into this administration. The Government must address the barriers charities and voluntary groups experience in the contracting and commissioning system, which means developing a plan to address roles, tasks, responsibilities and skills in Whitehall departments. The report recommends two major steps Government must take:
T. Ross and G. Paton
Daily Telegraph, Jan. 3rd 2012, p. 2
The coalition government has released further details of its plans to tackle 120,000 problem families. Under the plans, an outreach programme would be delivered by public, private and voluntary organisations. They programme would help people find work and assist with parenting skills, money management, alcohol and drug abuse and housing problems. Organisations running the schemes would be paid by results. They would receive up to 40% of the value of a contract in 'attachment fees' once a family had signed up and agreed an action plan. The remainder of the payments would be conditional on individuals finding jobs or making progress in other areas of their lives. The scheme would be paid for with money from the European Social Fund.
The Guardian, Jan. 3rd 2012, p. 1
Labour called for a radical rethink of the welfare state, arguing that the benefits system had betrayed its founding principles and 'skewed social behaviour'. In a significant redrawing of Labour's position on welfare, the shadow work and pensions secretary, Liam Byrne, argued that the ballooning of the system had provided support that was unearned, and mislaid the original ideal of providing help to those that contribute. Heralding a series of speeches designed to mark out new territory for Labour, Byrne claimed the party must recast the welfare state to meet the original intentions of its founder, William Beveridge
The Independent, Jan. 18th 2012, p. 8
Ed Milliband, the Labour leader, warned unions that he would not back down from his commitment to cut Government spending, despite their threat to cut their funding to the party if he does so.
N. Morel, B. Palier and J. Palme (editors)
Bristol: Policy Press, 2012
This book questions whether the recently promoted European 'social investment' strategy is able to regenerate the welfare state, promote social inclusion, create more and better jobs, and help address the challenges posed by the economic crisis, globalisation, ageing and climate change. To assess the diversity, achievements, shortcomings and potentials of social investment policies, it brings together some of the best social policy scholars and well-known policy experts, connecting academic and policy debates around the future of the welfare state.