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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2000): Welfare State - Overseas

NEW GOVERNMENTS DRAW UP EMPLOYMENT AGENDA

Anon

European Industrial Relations Review, no. 309, 1999, p. 20-21

The new federal government of Belgium has unveiled plans to increase employment by cutting labour costs, combating 'benefit traps', helping young and older workers into the labour market, increasing flexibility and introducing financial participation. The regional governments are tackling issues such as unemployment among low-skilled workers, workplace discrimination and training.

SOCIAL ENTERPRISES AND EMPLOYMENT POLICIES

C. Borzaga

Economic Analysis, vol. 2, 1999, p. 131-152

Identifies two main types of social enterprise: those that provide social and community care services and those engaged in the work integration of excluded or disadvantaged workers. Social enterprises providing community care services contribute to the solution of the problem of unemployment by creating new jobs. The work integration social enterprises can be used as employment policy instruments, contributing to the efficacy of policies designed to increase the employability of the hardest-to-place groups of workers.

SQUARING THE WELFARE CIRCLE AND GOVERNMENT IDEOLOGY: GREECE AND SPAIN IN THE 1990s

V. George, P. Stathopoulos and J. Garcés

International Social Security Review, vol. 52, Oct-Dec 1999, p. 47-67

The welfare state in both Greece and Spain was expanded considerably in the early 1980s by newly elected socialist governments, only to hit the buffers of diminishing resources and rising demand in the late 1980s, as well as hostile neo-liberal welfare ideology. The process of welfare expansion was halted in the 1990s, labour market deregulation was encouraged and containment of welfare expenditure became the dominant aim of government policies. Article concludes the governments of both the left and right in both countries attempted to 'square the welfare circle' by reductions in the supply of welfare.

STRUCTURAL IMPEDIMENTS TO HUMAN SERVICE COLLABORATION: EXAMINING WELFARE REFORM AT THE FRONT LINES

J. Sandfort

Social Service Review, vol. 73, 1999, p. 314-339

Article examines the ability of frontline human services agencies to co-operate across organisational boundaries. Data come from an in-depth study of the public welfare and private welfare-to-work contractors in two Michigan counties and document significant problems that arise from the inability of these two sectors to collaborate in the provision of welfare programmes.

STRUCTURAL PRESSURES, SOCIAL POLICY AND POVERTY

T. Mäkinen

International Social Security Review, vol. 52, Oct-Dec 1999, p. 3-24

First aim of the article was to analyse whether the development of poverty and income transfers has been uniform in countries classified into the same welfare state model. Results showed that the development of poverty and income transfers was not necessarily parallel in countries grouped together in the same welfare state models. Article also examined the effects of different structural factors on poverty and income transfers. Results showed that, the greater the proportion of old people in the population, the lower the poverty rates. The direct effect of high levels of unemployment was an increase in poverty. However, if income transfers were taken into account, the indirect effect of unemployment was a decrease in poverty.

THIRD WAY, GERMAN STYLE

P. Gosling

Public Finance, Sept. 10th-16th 1999, p. 18-20

After inheriting a massive deficit and high public spending, Germany's Social Democratic government is contemplating massive cuts in welfare spending. Proposed measures include a two-year freeze on state pensions. Unpopular cuts may also have to be made to health budgets. These may require citizens to opt for differing standards of care, according to the level of contribution they make.

THOUSANDS DEMONSTRATE OVER GERMAN SPENDING CUTS

H. Simonian

Financial Times, Oct. 20th 1999, p. 10

Reports opposition to the German government's austerity programme which involves plans to limit rises in state pensions to the rate of inflation for the next two years and to cap some social security payments.

WELFARE CAPITALISM: A NEW APPROACH TO POVERTY POLICY?

D. Stoesz and D. Saunders

Social Service Review, vol. 73, 1999, p. 380-400

In response to the conservative triumph in welfare reform, 'welfare capitalism' has been proposed as an agenda for alleviating poverty. Welfare capitalism is made up of three strategies:

  • wage supplements such as Earned Income Tax Credit, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, and direct supplementation of wages;
  • asset building through Individual Development Accounts and microcredit;
  • community capitalism demonstrated through Community Development Financial Institutions.
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