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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2012): Welfare state - UK

Coalition sets siege to the public sector

Anon

Labour Research, May 2012, p. 9-12

This article examines some aspects of the Coalition government's record two years after it came to power in May 2010. Its record is one of swingeing cuts and attacks on the public sector, and of attacking workers' rights. Reforms to the NHS and the welfare state have been accompanied by a stream of attacks on public sector pay and conditions, as it bears the brunt of attempts to tackle the budget deficit. Some have argued that the cuts are ideologically driven, with the government using current financial circumstances as an excuse to reduce the size of the public sector by selling off assets to private business.

Female employment: wasted talent, pragmatic fixes?

D. Simmonds

Working Brief, Spring 2012, p. 2-4

This article argues that there is likely to be a halt in the long term upward trend in women's employment rates. It identifies a triple whammy of a weak labour market, higher childcare costs, and some elements of welfare benefit reforms, which will create a "glass ceiling" over women's jobs.

Making fair financial decisions: an assessment of HM Treasury's 2010 Spending Review conducted under Section 31 of the 2006 Equality Act

Equality and Human Rights Commission

2012

The Commission's report considers the extent to which the decision-making by ministers and Treasury officials met legal obligations to consider the impact on equality when completing the Review. It is the first time an assessment of this kind and scale has been undertaken. The Commission's analysis covers the detailed decision making process from start to finish of the Spending Review. It has been informed by unprecedented access to confidential documents from HM Treasury and other government departments and oral evidence sessions with ministers, including the chief secretary to the Treasury, and senior civil servants from the Treasury, Department for Work and Pensions, and Ministry of Justice.

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