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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2001): Welfare State - UK

BLUNKETT WARNING ON FAIRER SOCIETY

M. White

Guardian, Jan 29th 2001, p.9

The Education Secretary has argued that in order to tackle social exclusion and target help at the most needy, perks for the better off, such as tax relief for pensions and university fees, would have to be withdrawn.

FIGHT TO DEATH OVER A THOUSAND CUTS

R. Watson

Times, Jan 24th 2001, p.9

The Conservative and Labour Parties are locked in a dispute over the extent of public spending cuts the Tories would make if elected. The Conservatives claim to have identified £8bn worth of savings, including:

  • £800m saved by cutting benefits for the workshy and forcing lone mothers with children over 11 to work;
  • £400m saved by replacing the New Deal with a cheaper privately run scheme;
  • £160m saved by privatising industrial injuries benefit;
  • £1bn saved in benefit fraud.

KIND HEARTS AND BALLOT BOXES

V. Nash

Public Finance, Jan 12th-18th 2001, p.28-29

Predicts that a Labour government will, in its second term, continue to invest in public goods and services, but will demand that citizens respond with a strengthened sense of individual and community responsibility.

MONEY CAN'T BUY YOU LOVE

K. Downer

Third Sector, issue 201, 2001, p.8

The Chancellor has announced an investment of £300m in the voluntary sector. There is concern, however, that government may be trying to use the voluntary sector to deliver public services on the cheap. Government may also use the threat of withdrawal of funding to intimidate and impose rigid central control on the sector, stifling innovation.

PARTNER SWAPPING

E. Joseph

Third Sector, issue 199, 2001, p.10

Argues for greater involvement of the voluntary sector in public-private partnerships for the delivery of local services and in local strategic partnerships.

RESPONSIBILITY FOR ALL

C. Howarth, P. Kenway and G. Palmer

London: Fabian Society and New Policy Institute, 2001

Argues that the government's crusade against poverty and social exclusion is failing and lacks vision and political leadership. Claims that low pay remains endemic in spite of the minimum wage and that tax credits that boost the incomes of the working poor, merely mask its symptoms. Area based initiatives to improve public services are inadequate because only a minority of poor people live on the sink estates targeted.

SOCIAL EXCLUSION IN WALES

Welsh Affairs Committee

London: TSO, 2000. (House of Commons Papers. Session 1999/2000; HC 365)

Inquires into social exclusion in Wales following devolution. Focuses on areas of social policy which remain the responsibility of the UK government, including social security, taxation, regulation of financial services and management of the Post Office.

TESTING TIME FOR LABOUR'S WELFARE STATE POLICY

N. Timmins

Financial Times, Jan 29th 2001, p.25

The Westminster government has so far insisted that people who can provide for themselves should do so in order to allow resources available to be targeted at those most in need. Savings should help those who have saved to look after themselves in old age, not provide an inheritance for the next generation. This stance is likely to be challenged in the wake of the Scottish Executive's decision to make personal care free to all elderly people in Scotland.

TORIES PROMISE TO CUT CONTROLS ON SCHOOLS AND NHS

M. White

Guardian, Jan 31st 2001, p.13

The Conservatives propose to improve public services by cutting central government control. A new class of school would be created, financed by the state but owned or managed privately. Private health insurance and independent hospitals will be encouraged through tax breaks.

(See also Times, Jan 31st 2001, p.15; Daily Telegraph, Jan 31st 2001, p.28).

WELFARE AND WELL-BEING

J. McCormick

Political Quarterly, vol.72, 2001, p.86-96

Focusing on employment and social security policies, article presents an overview of the Blair government's welfare strategy as it relates to children, people of working age, and retired people.