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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2002): Social Security - Overseas

A BETTER DEAL FOR LONE PARENTS

J. Casebourne

Working Brief, issue 131, 2002, p. 8-11

Article compares welfare-to-work schemes for lone parents in the UK and the US. Programmes in the US have a greater element of compulsion, and are therefore more successful in levering people into jobs. However in both countries, the jobs available to this client group are generally insecure and low paid. The UK scheme offers better personalised advice to clients, while the US programme offers higher quality training.

EXPLANING US WELFARE REFORM: POWER, GENDER AND RACE AND THE US POLICY LEGACY

A. S. Orloff

Critical Social Policy, vol. 22, Feb. 2002, p. 96-118

Article shows how race, gender and class relations were all implicated in welfare reform in the US. It focuses on the effective elimination of individual entitlement to social assistance and the institutionalisation of benefits that are either gained in work through the tax system or through the universal requirement for people to enter employment to receive assistance. While the explicit political aim of the reform was to move people off welfare and into work, the effects are profoundly gendered and racialized and remove from poor single mothers the possibility of drawing a benefit while caring full-time for their children.

MUTUAL OBLIGATION, PARTICIPATION AND POPULARITY: SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM IN AUSTRALIA

P. Saunders

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 31, 2002, p. 21-38

Mutual obligation, the idea that those who receive assistance in times of need should be required to "give something back" is the driving force behind the current social security reform agenda in Australia. Results from a national survey of public opinion are used to explore community views on a range of mutual obligation requirements for the unemployed. The analysis indicates there is support for mutual obligation for the young and long-term unemployed, but not for others such as the older unemployed, those caring for young children and people with disabilities. Most people also see mutual obligation as implying action on the party of government to reduce unemployment and ease the plight of the unemployed.

SOCIAL SECURITY IN THE 21ST CENTURY

B. Holmlund, A. Sandmo and E. Steigum (editors)

Oxford; Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2000

This volume offers a series of articles that look at the future of social security. They look at whether the combination of high taxes and high benefits are distorting economic incentives and whether current social security systems of the welfare state can sustain the increasing proportion of pensioners in the population.

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