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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 1999): Welfare State - UK

FIRST STEPS TO A FAIRER SOCIETY

R. Lister

Guardian. Society, June 9th 1999, p. 2-3

Argues that an inclusive society can be built through:

  • stronger employment rights and a decent minimum wage uprated annually;
  • improved childcare provision to enable parents to work;
  • a move inclusive social insurance scheme to replace means tested benefits;
  • redistribution of wealth;
  • greater citizen involvement and participation.

METHOD IN THE ZONES MOSAIC?

D. Walker

Public Finance, June 11th - 17th 1999, p. 24-26

Argues that the Labour government is motivated in its creation of a multitude of local action zones by two ambitions : to reduce social inequality without raising spending on mainstream programmes, and to increase central control of the delivery of local services. The plethora of zones creates serious problems of co-ordination of activities and may give rise to new bureaucracies.

NO MORE SLASH AND BURN

P. Riddell

Public Finance May 21st-27th 1999, p. 24-26

Critical appraisal of Peter Lilley's speech on the limits to free market provision of public services. The implications of Lilleys speech are that the Tories would be doing well to hold down public spending and reduce it slightly in good years. If there is to be universal access to health care, education and welfare services, they will have to be financed out of general taxation. Therefore there is little scope for dramatic reductions in the size of the public sector.

NO ROOM FOR SIR HUMPHREY

A. Milburn

Public Finance, May 21st-27th 1999, p. 19-22

Public Service Agreements are at the heart of the Labour government's drive to modernis public services. Comprising 28 agreements incorporating more than 600 targets, they set out the improvements in services that the government is seeking in exchange for investment made. They are focused on end results such as shorter waiting lists in hospitals, improved literacy and numeracy in schools, reduction in car crime, etc. The targets are demanding but realistic. Sanctions will be imposed on failing institutions, but good performance will be rewarded, in particular with greater freedom and less interference.

PARTNERSHIP FOR SCOTLAND

Scottish Labour Party and Scottish Liberal Democrats

Edinburgh : 1999

Joint policy statement by the leaders of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and Scottish Labour Party, covering education, student finance, health, community regeneration, environment and transport, enterprise and rural development.

YOU AND YOUR SERVICES

Department of Health

London: 1999

Draft guidance for local housing, health and social services authorities in England on drawing up joint charters, based on a national framework outlining local standards for long-term care services. The six key areas for authorities to set local standards and goals for improvement are:

  • finding out about services;
  • understanding users' needs;
  • provision of suitable accommodation;
  • health care;
  • helping people remain independent;
  • supporting carers.
Social services departments will be expected to set up a multi-agency project group, including users and carers as well as representatives of primary care groups, registered social landlords, voluntary organisations and private sector providers of housing, care and support services. Monitoring performance against standards set out in the charter will become routine management practice. Housing, health and social services will be expected jointly to produce an annual report describing progress, and a plan and timescale for improvement.
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