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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2005): Welfare State - UK

CHARITIES TO "PICK UP THE PIECES"

S. Gillen

Community Care, Mar. 3rd-9th 2005, p.18

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has always supported the involvement of not-for-profit organisations in the delivery of public services, provided that they do not lose their independence. This stance now appears to be wavering in the face of mounting evidence that government is attempting to direct the activities of the voluntary sector to complement its own policies.

DAWN OF THE SUPER REGULATOR

P. Gosling

Public Finance, Apr. 8th-14th 2005, p.28-30

In his 2005 budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has proposed further reform of government regulatory bodies, reducing the present 11 inspectorates to four. Education and children's services will be covered by Ofsted, health and social care by the Healthcare Commission, local services by the Audit Commission and criminal justice by a new agency. The proposed reforms are intended to reduce the burden of regulation on public services, but the change may prove expensive and disruptive.

LOST IN TRANSLATION

B. Temple, R. Edwards and C. Alexander

Community Care, Mar. 3rd-9th 2005, p.34-35

Article reports research on the views and experiences of those who need interpreters to access social welfare, legal and education services. Results showed that many people preferred using family and friends to professional translators, whom they neither knew nor trusted. Professional interpreters were, however, valued for their knowledge of specialist terms and procedures.

THE PROFESSIONALISATION OF VOLUNTARY ACTION

J. Reader

Contact, no.144, 2004, p.14-30

Churches are currently seen by government as a potential source of voluntary action to deliver certain social welfare services that the State wishes to offload. However, the services are targeted and access to them is controlled by strict eligibility criteria. Volunteers are increasingly being paid and expected to conform to professional standards. These developments conflict with the Christian ethos of giving freely to all without hope or expectation of reward.

SERVICES OUTSTRIP IRAQ AS MUSLIM GRIEVANCE

A. Klaushofer

Public Servant, issue 24, Apr. 8th 2005, p.13

Muslims are becoming increasingly disaffected with the New Labour government because public services such as education and housing are failing to meet the needs of their community.

THE SOCIAL EXCLUSION DEBATE: STRATEGIES, CONTROVERSIES AND DILEMMAS

J.S. Davies

Policy Studies, vol. 16, 2005, p.3-27

Article explores New Labour's approach to combating social exclusion since 1997. It looks at New Labour's liberal political economy and its strategy for delivering equality of opportunity through human capital building, public service reform, democratic renewal and income redistribution. Concludes that New Labour has a sophisticated strategy for promoting social inclusion. It is embedded in a liberal political economy which has been wedded to an ethical communitarianism characterised by a politics of obligation or responsibility.

SPENDING POWER: HOW LABOUR HAS TAKEN THE WELFARE STATE TO A HIGHER PLATEAU

N. Timmins

Financial Times, April 20th 2005, p.15

The government's record on services such as health and education is crucial to its credibility with voters. When 18 years of Conservative rule ended in 1997, the declared aim of Labour was to produce a modern welfare state. Eight years on, as it seeks a third term on May 5th, arguably it has reshaped spending on the welfare state at least as much as any postwar government. The article assesses how much more can be afforded.

WHY SOCIAL JUSTICE MATTERS

B. Barry

Cambridge: Polity Press, 2005

In the past twenty years, social injustice has increased enormously in Britain and the United States, regardless of the party in power. At the same time, the idea of social justice itself has been subverted, as the mantra of 'personal responsibility' and 'equal opportunity' has been employed as an excuse for doing nothing about the enrichment of the few at the expense of the many and for making even harsher demands on the poor and vulnerable. The author challenges the logic that underpins this ideology. Once we understand the role of the social structure in limiting options, we have to recognize that really putting into practice such ideas as 'equal opportunity' and 'personal responsibility' would require a fundamental transformation of almost all existing institutions. The author argues that only if inequalities of wealth and income are kept within a narrow range can equal prospects for education, health and autonomy be realized. He proposes a number of policies to achieve a more equal society and argues that they are economically feasible.

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