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Welfare reform on the Web (April 2006): Welfare State - UK

L. Elliot

Guardian, March 14th 2006, p. 25

While child poverty reduction, although off target, is commended, inequality is almost unchanged since the big jump in the 1980s despite eight years of Labour government and second term spending increases on social assistance according to an Institute of Fiscal Studies report. Current spending on social security and tax credits is reportedly unsustainable in the face of competing priorities. Graphs showing income distribution and real income growth are provided.

T. Branigan

Guardian, March 10th 2006, p.10

While the number of people living in “relative poverty”, including a million pensioners, has dropped significantly since 1997, the government’s child poverty targets have been missed.

I. Macwhirter

Public Finance, Mar. 3rd-9th 2006, p.20-23

The Scottish Executive has resisted the introduction of market-based reforms based on competition and choice into public services such as health and education. This could be due in part to the fact that there is much less private education in Scotland than in England, and private medicine is virtually unheard of. There is also a lingering collectivism in Scottish culture which supports public provision of services.

A. Ghobadian et al and others (editors)

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004

Since its launch by the Government in the mid-1990s, the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) has brought about the most comprehensive and far reaching involvement of private money in all forms of public assets and services. This volume discusses the past, present and future of the PFI and PPP( Public-Private Partnerships). It asks and attempts to answer several important questions: “Is there a limit to the application of PFI and PPP, how will the concessions operate in the long-term and cope with necessary variations? Can the considerable expertise and experience developed in the UK be adopted elsewhere?”

H. Dean

Cambridge: Polity, 2006

This is a short introduction to the field of social policy, exploring its foundations and contemporary significance. The book takes an innovative approach to social policy as the study of human wellbeing and examines the ways in which governments and the peoples around the world attend to, promote, neglect or even undermine the things that make life worth living. These include essential services, such as healthcare and education; the means of livelihood, such as jobs and money; and vital but sometimes intangible things such as physical and emotional security. Trying to understand all these elements, which together constitute human wellbeing, is the stuff of social policy.

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