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

BLAIR hints at tax rises to improve public services

G. Jones

Daily Telegraph, Oct. 17th 2001, p.12

In a speech to public sector workers, the Prime Minister promised that the government would continue above - inflation spending on key public services beyond 2004. He hinted that taxes would have to rise to pay for these higher spending levels.

(See also Financial Times, Oct. 17th 2001, p.9; Independent, Oct. 17th 2001, p.9; Times, Oct. 17th 2001, p.12; Guardian, Oct. 17th 2001, p.15)

A CASE FOR THE PROFESSIONALS

J. Gee

Public Finance, Sept. 14th - 20th 2001, p.25

Introduces the Counter Fraud Professional Accreditation Board (CFPAB) a new professional body accrediting and regulating counter fraud specialists working in the public sector, including the NHS and the Department for Work and Pensions.

COMPROMISE RAISES MORE QUESTIONS THAN IT ANSWERS

N. Timmins

Financial Times, Oct. 8th 2001, p.27

Reports business reaction to government plans to require private companies delivering public services under contract to pay "fair" wages, similar to those in the public sector.

DUNCAN SMITH SEEKS NEW IMAGE FOR TORIES

R. Shrimsley

Financial Times, Oct. 11th 2001, p.9

In his speech to the Conservative Party conference, the new leader Ian Duncan Smith has promised to put public service reform at the heart of party policy. A party policy task force will tour Europe examining health and education systems to gather ideas that might be applied in the UK.

(See also Daily Telegraph, Oct. 11th 2001, p.1 + 15; Times, Oct 11th 2001, p. 17; Guardian, Oct 11th 2001, p.17)

FAMILY VALUES

J. Baggini

Public Finance, Sept. 7th - 13th 2001, p. 22-23

The definition of what constitutes a public service is becoming blurred with increased private sector involvement in delivery. Suggests that the debate should now focus on what the government needs to do to ensure that any essential service is delivered effectively to its citizens.

MJ INCLUSION

Municipal Journal, Oct. 12th 2001, 4 p.

Supplement gives news round up of various local authority initiatives to promote social inclusion and economic/community development. Notes that the Department of Local Government, Transport and the Regions is planning a system of continous monitoring and feedback to assess the impact of the New Deal of Communities Programme. The European Commission and European Parliament are in the process of finalising a programme of community action to encourage co-operation in the field.

OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL: MAKING PROGRESS

Department for Work and Pensions

London: TSO, 2001 ( Cm 5260)

Describes government's progress in eradicating poverty among children and the elderly, building an active welfare state, encouraging lifelong learning, and driving through urban renewal.

PRIVATE CONTRACTORS MAKE WAGES PLEDGE

P. Wintour

Guardian, Oct. 16th 2001, p.12

The Business Services Association, representing 20 of the largest private contractors involved in public service delivery, has agreed to pay newly employed workers equivalent rates to those transferred from the public sector. It is willing to have the pay and conditions its members offer policed by the Audit Commission and the National Audit Office.

PRIVATISATION FATTENS CATS

Anon

Labour Research, vol. 90, Oct. 2001, p.14 - 16

Wages of directors of companies involved in delivery of public services are soaring, while their workers suffer low pay and poor conditions.

PUBLIC INQUIRY: PUBLIC - PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP

J. McHugh

Public Finance, Sept. 7th - 13 2001, p.12

Results of a survey of 458 senior public sector finance managers suggests that staff on the ground are more willing to entertain the idea of public - private partnership than their union leaders.

THE ROLE OF COUNCILS FOR VOLUNTARY SERVICE IN THE SOCIAL INCLUSION AGENDA

S. Pearson and G. Morgan

Sheffield: Sheffield Hallam University, Voluntary Sector Research Group, 2001

Study found a high level of Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) involvement in government programmes such as welfare to work, lifelong learning, community regeneration and crime reduction. However CVS are seriously hampered in such involvement by lack of funding for the time that needs to be devoted to such activities by senior staff and for consultation work with the voluntary and community sector.

SOCIAL EXCLUSION: IS LABOUR WORKING?

G. Craig

Community Care, Oct. 4th - 10th 2001, p.36-38

The Labour government's attack on poverty will only be effective if it ceases to placate the middle classes and adopts an openly redistributive approach towards tackling inequality. Its promotion of paid work as a means of lifting people out of policy will not help the elderly, the disabled and the mentally ill. The strategy's sensitivity to the needs of many of those excluded will continue to be impaired if it fails to ensure their real participation in policy making and service development at the local level.

SOCIAL EXCLUSION: IS LABOUR WORKING?

G. Craig

Community Care, Sept. 27th - Oct. 3rd 2001, p.38-41

Presents a critical appraisal of the Labour Government's record in tackling social exclusion and poverty since 1997. Argues that raising benefit levels in real terms would be a more effective way of tackling poverty than the welfare to work interventions favoured by New Labour.

TORIES ABANDON TAX CUTS IN FAVOUR OF PUBLIC SERVICES

A. Grice

Independent, Oct. 8th 2001, p.13

Oliver Letwin, the Shadow Home Secretary, has indicated that the Conservative Party is ready to abandon its long-standing commitment to tax cuts in favour of more state investment in public services such as health and education.

UNIONS HOLD FIRE AFTER PUBLIC SECTOR PLEDGE

K. Maguirè, A. Perkins and P. Wintour

Guardian, Oct. 2nd 2001, p.12

Reports that unions have suspended their opposition to increased private sector involvement in public service delivery in return for a series of concessions. These include:

  • a three month review of the "best value" regime for contracting out local government services;
  • allowing local authorities to borrow to invest in services;
  • requiring private companies bidding to run public services to pay "fair" wages, similar to those in the public sector.

(See also Times, Oct. 2nd 2001, p.10; Independent, Oct. 2nd 2001, p. 9; Financial Times, Oct. 2nd 2001, p. 6)

UNIONS NEAR TO DEAL ON REFORM OF PUBLIC SECTOR

C. Adams

Financial Times, Oct. 1st 2001, p. 10

Reports that unions are softening their opposition to greater private sector involvement in the delivery of public services. They are now focusing on securing practical safeguards for public sector workers transferred to private providers.

(See also Independent, Oct. 1st 2001, p.13)

"WORK TOGETHER TO BRAVE OUR NEW WORLD"

T. Blair

Times, Oct. 3rd 2001, p.10

Prints an edited version of the Prime Minister's speech to the Labour Party conference. Tony Blair promises more investment in public services such as education and health and better pay and conditions for staff. In return he wants public service reform, including more private sector involvement, more user choice, encouragement of local innovation, and establishment of a national frame work of accountability, inspection and minimum standards.

(See also Guardian, Oct. 3rd 2001, p.4-5)

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