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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2003): Welfare State - UK

HALF OF ALL POOR ADULTS OWN A HOME SAYS STUDY ON POVERTY

N Timmins

Financial Times, January 8th 2003, p.6

The government's strategy for tackling poverty is missing a key group among the poor, according to a study by York University's Centre for Housing Policy. Despite public perception that people who own their own home are among the better off, in fact half of all poor adults in Britain are homeowners. Regeneration strategies centred on crumbling housing estates normally reach only people who rent. The study calls for traditional thinking about poverty to be recast, especially the way housing tenure is assumed to be a measure of relative advantage or deprivation.

HARNESSING VOLUNTARY WORK: A FOURTH SECTOR APPROACH

C C Williams

Policy Studies, vol 23, 2002, p.247-260

The current UK government is committed to encouraging service delivery by the voluntary sector. However, results of recent nation-wide surveys of volunteering and a case study of voluntary work in rural England show that informal help on a one-to-one basis is more prevalent amongst deprived populations than joining organised groups. Article outlines possible policy initiatives to encourage one-to-one aid, as a complement to the cultivation of formal voluntary groups.

MONITORING POVERTY AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION 2002

G Palmer, M Rahman and P Kenway

York: York Publishing Services, 2002

In 2000/01 there were 13 million people living in relative low income households. This is a fall of 7% since 1996/97, but numbers are still double those of 20 years ago. Three-fifths of people wanting paid work are economically inactive, compared with two-fifths who are officially unemployed. The economically inactive are chiefly lone parents and those who are long term sick. Low pay remains prevalent, with an estimated two million adults paid at or just above the national minimum wage. Those in low-paid jobs are very unlikely to get any work-related training. Two-thirds of heads of households in social housing do not have paid work, the same as a decade ago. The number of households in temporary accommodation has almost doubled over the last five years.

REFORMS WILL NOT PRODUCE TWO-TIER SYSTEM, SAYS BLAIR

A Grice and R Garner

The Independent, January 24th 2003, p.4

Tony Blair has rejected criticism that the Government's education and health reforms could result in two-tier services. Some Labour MPs have attacked the Blair approach as "elitist" because the best hospitals, schools and universities will win more money and freedom.

(See also The Guardian, January 24th 2003, p.14)

THE STATE, THE VOLUNTARY SECTOR, AND WELFARE

J Saunders

Crucible, Oct-Dec 2002 p.222-231

The Labour government is actively seeking to promote delivery of social welfare services by faith and other voluntary groups. Article discusses the difficulties faced by faith and voluntary groups attempting to work in partnership with statutory agencies. These include:

  • the unequal distribution of power within the partnership in favour of the statutory agency;
  • threats to the status and ethos of volunteering;
  • disillusion following state interference in voluntary work;
  • pressure to deny religious principles.

TOP SECRETS

M McHale

Public finance, January 10th-16th 2003, p.21-23

Discusses the distinguishing marks of a high performing public service organisation like a school or a hospital, with illustrative case studies. Successful organisations are ambitious and have clear priorities. They are also aware that continued success is not guaranteed and requires constant hard work.

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