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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2004): Welfare State - UK

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR: WHAT ARE THE LESSONS FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES?

J. Field and E. Peck

Social Policy and Administration, vol.37, 2003, p.742-755

In order to integrate health and social care, the government is promoting the merger of primary and community health services and social services to form care trusts. Article identifies key concepts and explanatory frameworks from the literature on company mergers in the private sector that are relevant to the development of new organisational structures in health and social care.

MONITORING POVERTY AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION 2003

G. Palmer and others

York: York Publishing Services, 2003

The number of people living in low-income households has declined steadily since 1997, due to a fall in the number of households with no one in work. However, over the same period, the number of people in low-income working households did not fall. Out of work benefits to both working-age families with dependent children and to pensioners have risen by 30% in real terms since 1998, faster than earnings. This will have reduced the severity of poverty suffered by some low-income households. In education, progress in increasing the numbers of those with an adequate minimum level of qualifications has stalled, with no advance since 2000. There is also no sign of reduction since 1997 in the health inequalities which leave people with low incomes more likely to suffer serious health related problems. Across the range of indicators, poverty and social exclusion are generally more prevalent in the North East.

THE STRENGTH TO TAKE LONG TERM DECISIONS FOR BRITAIN: SEIZING THE OPPORTUNITIES OF GLOBAL RECOVERY: PRE-BUDGET REPORT DECEMBER 2003

Treasury

London: TSO, 2003 (Cm 6042)

The report sets out steps to be taken to extend employment opportunity for all through measures that focus help on disadvantaged groups, particularly lone parents and sick and disabled people who want to return to work. Reform of Housing Benefit will continue with flat-rate Pathfinders being launched in the social housing sector as soon as possible. Plans are also presented for tackling child and pensioner poverty by increasing the child element of the Child Tax Credit to £180 per year, promoting the provision of employer-supported childcare, and simplifying the taxation of pensions.

THE THIRD WAY AND SOCIAL WELFARE: THE MYTH OF POST-EMOTIONALISM

H. Dean

Social Policy and Administration, vol.37, 2003, p.695-708

The classic welfare state was accused of producing a culture of dependency. Now the "active" approach to welfare sponsored by the New Labour government in the UK is being implicated in post-emotionalism, in which people are alleged to be largely indifferent to the needs of others and committed to their own well-being. Article draws on a recent empirical study of popular and welfare provider discourses to show that popular opinion can accommodate an appreciation of human interdependency, while welfare providers remain committed to a public service ethos. None the less, Third Way thinking is associated with a diminished sense of solidaristic responsibility.

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