Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2002): Welfare State - UK

AGAINST WORK : A UTOPIAN INCURSION INTO SOCIAL POLICY

R. Levitas

Critical Social Policy, vol. 21, 2001, p. 449-465

Article criticises the Blair government's focus on the economic and moral centrality of paid work. Argues that the link between having a paid job and income needs to be broken so as to ensure an adequate livelihood for all. This will entail a revaluing of the unpaid work of parents and other carers who would receive an adequate income from the state in exchange for the work that they do in the home.

BLOOD ON THE PRODUCTION LINE

A. Arkin

Public Finance, Nov. 16th - 22nd 2001, p. 24-25

Argues that the morale of public sector workers such as teachers and nurses may be low because of:

  • increased workload;
  • loss of professional autonomy;
  • pressure to meet a plethora of centrally imposed performance targets.

These factors are causing staff to leave the public sector in droves.

BROKEN PROMISES AND FAILED DELIVERY HAVE LOST OUR TRUST

H. Young

Guardian, Nov. 29th 2001, p.

Argues that voters are sufficiently anxious about the appalling state of the UK's health and transport services to tolerate tax rises. However previous broken promises and failed delivery of improvements had sapped trust in politicians.

BROWN FORCES BLAIR TO RETREAT ON NHS

T. Baldwin and J O'Leary

Times, Dec 3rd 2001, p. 1

Confusion over tax rises to pay for health services and higher education have emerged from within the cabinet after Tony Blair backed away from his pledge to raise health spending to the European average by 2005. The promise made last year was said to have been spoken in 'broad terms'. Articles goes onto report on Mr Brown's opposition to a hypothecated NHS tax proposed last week and to the idea of universal grants for students financed by a graduate tax which would force him into spending more on public services. Mr Brown has said it was right to have a debate about, "linking the taxes more closely to the services you receive".

(See also Guardian, 3rd Dec 2001, p. 1)

BUILDING A STRONGER FAIRER BRITAIN IN AN UNCERTAIN WORLD : PRE-BUDGET REPORT

H. M. Treasury

London: TSO, 2001 (Cm 5318)

Promises that the basic state pension will rise by at least 2.5% per year, or more if inflation is higher. There will be an increase of at least £100 per year for single people and £160 per year for couples. The Pension Credit will from 2003 provide an extra £600 a year for a single pensioner on the basic state pension with an occupational pension of £1,000 a year. Pensioner couples with an occupational pension of £1,500 a year will get £900 a year extra. There will be a Winter fuel allowance of £200 a year for each pensioner household for the rest of this Parliament. The Wanless report has concluded that the NHS should continue to be funded out of general taxation, but admits that the service will need significantly more investment. Promises that spending on the NHS should continue to be funded out of general taxation, but will need significantly more investment. Promises that spending on the NHS will rise by £6bn in 2002/03, 7% in real terms. On the training front, workers are to get paid leave to learn new skills, with financial compensation for employers. On the social security front, the principle of the working families tax credit will be extended to make work pay for those without children.

CALLING OUT FOR NEW PARTNERS

N. Raynsford

Public Finance, Nov. 9th -15th 2001, p. 28-29

Local authorities have been entering into long term partnerships with private companies to deliver a broad range of services. The government is now encouraging them to consider strategic partnerships with voluntary organisations and other councils as well.

IN AND BEYOND NEW LABOUR: TOWARDS A NEW POLITICAL ETHICS OF CARE

F. Williams

Critical Social Policy, vol. 21, 2001, p. 467-493

Paper argues for a balancing of New Labour's ethic of paid work with an ethic of care. Discusses the different conceptualisations of care, including the universalising approach of research on care and citizenship, the particularising challenges of the disabled people's movement and the making of transnational connections between ethnicity, migration and care. Spells out what issues a new political ethic of care raises and what strategies might flow from them.

LABOUR 'UNDERSPENDING AND IT'S GETTING WORSE'

N. Timmins

Financial Times, Dec 3rd 2001, p. 2

Articles reports on the government's failure to spend the billions of extra pounds announced for health, education, transport and other key priorities. It goes on to discuss past and present trends in government and what this means for the future of some of our key services.

NEW LABOUR: A STUDY IN AMBIGUITY FROM A POSITION OF AMBIVALENCE

R. LISTER

Critical Social Policy, vol. 21, 2001, p. 425-447

Article offers an appraisal of the tensions and contradictions in the New Labour welfare project. Suggests that these can be understood as a product of populist tendency concerned with wooing rather than leading the electorate on the one hand and a pragmatic "what works" approach which avoids a direct assault on structural inequalities on the other. Finally offers some suggestions for a more progressive second term.

NHS AND PENSION SPREE TO COST 5P ON TAX

A. McSmith and G. Trefgarne

Daily Telegraph, Nov. 29th 2001, p. 1-9

Accountants estimate that paying for the extra public investment in the NHS promised by the government, for rises in the state pension and for new tax credits will cost the equivalent of an extra 5p in the pound on income tax. The government has calculated that people will tolerate tax rises if the money goes to improve public services.

(See also Financial Times, Nov. 29th 2001, p.5; Guardian, Nov. 29th 2001, p. 1+26)

SERVICE USERS, SOCIAL POLICY AND THE FUTURE OF WELFARE

P. Beresford

Critical Social Policy, vol. 21, 2001, p. 494-512

Article considers the issue of public and service user involvement in social policy production and practice in relation to the increasing importance of populist approaches to welfare policy and ideology.

SHODDY SERVICES NEED MORE PRIVATE MONEY, SAYS OECD

L. Patersen

Times, Nov. 27th 2001, p.26

Reports on the call by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for New Labour to inject a substantially larger amount of private money into public services. Their report on the UK economy called for money to be invested in education and health services and called on the government to make more imaginative use of the private sector.

THIRD WAY MEETS THIRD SECTOR

J. Hirst

Public Finance, Nov. 9th -15th 2001, p. 18-20

As an alternative to discredited public-private partnerships, New Labour is promoting the idea of social enterprise with voluntary sector organisations being encouraged to take over the delivery of public services such as social care and regeneration schemes. There is, however, concern that voluntary bodies may lose their independence and become little more than an arm of the state.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web