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

CAUGHT IN THE TRAP OF SELF-SUFFICIENCY

R Bennett

Guardian, May 29 2002, p. 18

The philosopher John Locke argued that adults can and should provide for themselves and not depend on other people. Article shows how this viewpoint has influenced modern welfare state reformers.

MAKING SENSE OF SOCIAL CITIZENSHIP: SOME USER VIEWS ON WELFARE RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

P Dwyer

Critical Social Policy, vol. 22, 2002, p. 273-299

Article presents the results of a qualitative study of that explored how users of public welfare benefits and services make sense of New Labour's reforms. A consensus emerged that the state should continue to play a direct role in future welfare provision. People's willingness to accept the principle of conditional welfare rights depended on the context of its imposition. Respondents agreed that access to health care should be unconditional, but that a right to social housing should be linked to certain responsibilities on the part of the citizen. A substantial number of respondents saw the imposition of certain limits to welfare provision, and therefore the exclusion of certain individuals, as a legitimate part of the citizenship package.

RESPONSIBILITY FOR ALL: A NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION

C Howarth, P Kenway and P Palmer

London: New Policy Institute, 2002

Begins by examining the current extent of poverty in Britain and what government is doing to tackle it. Proposes a national strategy for poverty reduction based on three principles:

  • that all sectors should share responsibility;
  • that the vision should be couched in positive terms;
  • that the intended beneficiaries should be involved.

Goes on to analyse the local government, voluntary and private sectors to identify how each could play a part in the strategy, and to discuss the role of central government as an enabler.

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