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

BUDGET 2003: BUILDING A BRITAIN OF ECONOMIC STRENGTH AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

H M Treasury

London: TSO, 2003 (House of Commons Papers, Session 2002/03; HC 500)

The aim of the budget was to create a Britain of "economic strength and social justice". The main points were:

  • health - National Insurance contributions would be used to create 20,000 more nurses and 25,000 more doctors;
  • families - each child born from September 1 2002 will get a trust fund of £250, rising to £500 for children from low-income families;
  • pensioners will receive full state pensions during hospital stays of less than a year.
  • winter fuel payment increased to £300 where pensioners are over 80;
  • all pensioners with income below £139 a week to benefit from the new pension credit.

(See also Financial Times, April 10th 2003, 32p special edition; The Times, April 10th 2003, 14p special, supplement; The Independent, April 10th 2003, Special supplement)

GIVING CONSUMERS OF BRITISH PUBLIC SERVICES MORE CHOICE: WHAT CAN BE LEARNED FROM RECENT HISTORY?

Perri 6

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 32, April 2003, p.239-270

Looks at the recent history of consumer choice in nine fields of British public service. Covers choice in some aspects of education, health services and social services. Examines whether consumer choice was achieved and other effects of the policies. Draws lessons for policy makers working to achieve consumer choice.

MAKING THE CONNECTIONS: FINAL REPORT ON TRANSPORT AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION

Social Exclusion Unit

London: 2003

People may not be able to access transport services as a result of social exclusion due to low incomes, age and disability. On the other hand, problems with transport provision can reinforce social exclusion, preventing people from accessing jobs, education, healthcare, food shopping or leisure activities. Report focuses on a range of policies across government designed to address barriers to accessibility. Also explains how a new framework of accessibility planning will be built into Local Transport Plans. This will enable local authorities to assess more systematically whether people can get to key services, and to work together with other agencies on solving accessibility problems.

NEW FUND LIFTS BARRIER TO A BETTER FUTURE

A. Benjamin

Guardian Society, April 30th 2003, p.4

Voluntary organisations working in four key areas of public service will be invited to bid for a share of the sector's £125 investment fund under proposals unveiled today. The future builders fund is designed to remove barriers that prevent charities from getting more involved in service delivery. The money will pay for improving technology and other capital expenditure to support service delivery.

TACKLING DISADVANTAGE: A 20-YEAR ENTERPRISE

D. Hirsch, D. Darton and J. Strelitz

York: York Publishing, 2003

Report considers how poverty could be substantially reduced in Britain over the next two decades. Uses colour charts, graphs and statistical data to focus on family poverty, geographic disadvantage, income poverty, education, housing and long-term care. Does not set out a particular manifesto for action, but illustrates how policy can be oriented in certain clear directions.

TACKLING HEALTH INEQUALITIES SINCE THE ACHESON INQUIRY

M. Exworthy and others

Bristol: Policy Press, 2003

Across most government departments there has been a significant amount of activity related to tackling health inequalities which has addressed most of the recommendations of the Acheson report. Policies were initially disparate and typified by projects, funding "challenges" and one-off initiatives. These are now being brought together more systematically and coherently. Targets and objectives of the interventions are being monitored by new and existing indicators, but further steps are needed to establish meaningful indicators of whether health inequalities are being reduced as a result of policies. Researchers suggest that the use of health inequalities impact assessments needs to be widened, including assessments of likely impact as policies are formulated.

TACKLING UK POVERTY AND DISADVANTAGE IN THE TWENTY - FIRST CENTURY: AN EXPLORATION OF THE ISSUES

D. Darton and J. Strelitz (editors)

York: York Publishing, 2003

Report identifies the most pressing policy priorities for tackling poverty in Britain. Includes chapters on the future of families, housing, long-term care, education, regional disadvantage and income.

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