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

CHILDCARE ALLOWANCE REPLACES PARENTAL LEAVE BENEFIT

Anon

European Industrial Relations Review, no. 339, 2002, p. 19-21

From the beginning of 2002, the existing parental leave benefit provided through social insurance funds in Austria was replaced by a more general childcare allowance provided by the family fund. While the government considers that it has fulfilled one of its most important election promises and regards the new allowance as a milestone on the way to the creation of a more "family friendly" society, the policy's critics view it as an expensive benefit that does not achieve its aims.

MIGRATION, SOCIAL SECURITY AND THE LAW: SOME EUROPEAN DILEMMAS

G. Vouk

European Journal of Social Security, vol. 3, 2002, p. 315-332

It appears that the quality of the treatment of migrants in the social security systems of the host countries is strongly dependent on the immigration policies of the states concerned. It is the perceived desirability of migration which affects the legal position of migrants in social security. This has negative effects particularly for asylum seekers, illegal immigrants and nationals from countries not covered by international social security obligations.

POLDER MODEL UNDER CRITICISM

Anon

European Industrial Relations Review, no. 339, 2002, p. 27-29

The consensual model of industrial relations in the Netherlands combined with a very generous system of occupational disability benefit has led to an extraordinarily high level of sickness absenteeism. Article outlines the debate about disability benefit reform and its implications for the whole industrial relations system.

THE POLLS TRENDS: POVERTY AND PUBLIC ASSISTANCE

G. M. Shaw and R. Y. Shapiro

Public Opinion Quarterly, vol. 66, 2002, p. 105-128

Article looks back over the last five years at the impact of Welfare Reform legislation introduced in 1996 in America. It examines whether changes are reflected in the perceptions of poverty and the role of the government in providing public assistance in the mind of the American public.

REDISTRIBUTION OVER THE LIFETIME IN THE IRISH TAX-BENEFIT SYSTEM: AN APPLICATION OF A DYNAMIC MICROSIMULATION MODEL FOR IRELAND

C. O'Donoghue

Economic and Social Review, vol. 32, 2001, p. 191-216

Paper assesses the redistributive effect of the Irish tax-benefit system over the lifetime using a dynamic microsimulation model. Overall the tax-benefit system redistributes from men to women and rich to poor. However the overall degree of redistribution over the lifetime is less than when income is based on shorter accounting periods such as a year. This is because benefits are based on a contributory social insurance scheme. They replace income during periods of financial hardship, but are based on previous contributions.

TOWARDS A CONVERGENCE OF EUROPEAN SOCIAL MODELS?

S. Chapon and C. Euzeby

International Social Security Review, vol. 55, no. 2, 2002, p. 37-56

For a whole series of reasons European Union social protection schemes are threatened with regression. These include:

  • the emergence of liberal economic ideas;
  • the need to be competitive;
  • the implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact;
  • harsher social and fiscal competition following the introduction of the single currency.

If the EU wishes to avoid the risks of social fragmentation due to the "levelling down" of social protection, it will have to organize a minimum threshold of solidarity.

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