Category archives for Welfare

Talking the politics of welfare

Liam Stanley

More and more evidence shows that it matters considerably that British governments have lately been deploying the word ‘welfare’ in an official capacity Imagine you are a government minister or a particularly influential civil servant.  Lucky you: you are introducing some new legislation that, say, proposes that all benefit claimants must attend interviews within three days of making their first … Continue reading

16 March 2016 by
Categories: Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From Cradle to the Grave? The decline of UK funeral policy provision

Liam Foster

The Conservative Government will face considerable challenges as people are unable to meet rising funeral costs While much is known about the ritual components of a funeral, very little is known about how individuals and families determine and plan for the financial costs associated with a funeral, and how they afford them. While funeral costs can be a potential source … Continue reading

8 March 2016 by
Categories: Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reconstituting the post-crisis real estate-finance link in Ireland, Spain & the US

The mortgage-led crisis has led to the financialization of rental housing – and new social struggles The global financial crisis had dramatic consequences for urban space and life in the US and the worst-affected European economies, Ireland and Spain: a tide of evictions and dispossession of homeowners, swathes of vacant property and stalled development, and rising homelessness. The scope and … Continue reading

1 March 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, Housing, SPERI Comment, USA, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The government is right on pensioner protection – but for the wrong reasons

Craig Berry

Critics of the protection of pensioner benefit entitlements are playing into George Osborne’s hands The politics of austerity appears to have induced an unfortunate amnesia among the British political class. For a long time the state pensions ‘earnings link’ was a totemic issue on the left – almost mythically so.  For her critics, Margaret Thatcher’s 1980 decision to index the … Continue reading

14 January 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Back to a Trade Union Bill in the United Kingdom

Jason Heyes

The new majority Conservative government seems to be seeking to complete some of its unfinished business from the 1980s The Trade Union Bill, which is currently making its journey through the House of Lords, is the most controversial piece of industrial relations legislation introduced in the United Kingdom since the Conservative Party’s assault on trade unions in the 1980s and … Continue reading

2 December 2015 by
Categories: Inequality, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The rise and fall of the World Bank’s global pension model

The global economic crisis has prompted the rapid demise of a treasured neoliberal pet project In many ways neoliberalism still seems an unshakeable paradigm.  However, in the pension reform arena governments across the world are abandoning pension privatisation in favour of a return to a primary role for the state.  This post charts the rise and fall of pension privatisation … Continue reading

1 December 2015 by
Categories: Economics, Finance, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 comment

Pensions and the Coalition government: a mixed impact?

The new regime is still likely to leave millions of pensioners in poverty and will certainly not bridge the gap to the most affluent Pensions have for the moment largely slipped off the radar in the political debate.  However, they received considerable attention under the former Coalition government and there was a sense that pensioners had often got a ‘good … Continue reading

10 November 2015 by
Categories: Economics, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The potential of workers’ capital in Britain’s economic renewal

Craig Berry

Recent governments have not focused sufficiently on addressing the chronic short-termism of pension fund investments The 2008 financial crisis and subsequent stagnation in the British economy gave renewed prominence to one of its longstanding handicaps. The relative lack of long-term investment can be associated with both the housing market and asset price booms which created significant volatility in the pre-crisis … Continue reading

6 November 2015 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Economics, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Corbynomics: Part 1

Andrew Gamble

Although sharing many of the biases of the ‘alternative economic strategy’ developed on the left in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s, Corbyn’s economic programme is as yet no more than a pale reflection of the ideas of that era Corbynomics is high on aspiration, low on detail. The aspirations were set out in a short document produced by the … Continue reading

3 November 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, Debt, Economics, Employment, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Wellbeing and happiness

Ian Bache

These two concepts are different: conflating them can undermine the potential for progressive change William Davies’s recent (2015) book, The happiness industry: how the government and big business sold us well-being, provides a warning of the risks associated with the acceleration of interest in the promotion of happiness. It views the happiness agenda as an attempt to solve the problems … Continue reading

10 September 2015 by
Categories: Development, Social science, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The political economy of ‘good parenting’

‘Good parenting’ is grounded in a white middle-class ideal of what the family is and thus shifts responsibility for nurturing from society to individuals, mostly women Family breakdown and poor parenting have hit the headlines in Britain in recent years as the proclaimed reasons for a large range of societal problems, from youth rioting to youth unemployment to teenage pregnancy.  … Continue reading

8 September 2015 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Inequality, Politics and policy, Rethinking Recovery, Social science, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Variations in austerity-based reform

Tom Hastings

PIIGS and GIPSIs may appear to face common problems, but we should always respect the uniqueness of each country’s particular crisis For well-documented reasons the Greek political economy has received unprecedented attention in recent months, fuelled not least by the possibility of ‘Grexit’ and the potential impacts of this on both Greek society and the wider Eurozone. It is worth … Continue reading

26 August 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, Employment, Europe and the EU, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Child poverty and the unravelling of New Labour’s ‘hybrid’ political economy

Scott Lavery

Cameron claims to lead a ‘One Nation’ government, but pursues a ‘two nations’ governing strategy One of the headline social policy goals of the Blair and Brown governments was to eradicate child poverty in Britain by 2020.  During New Labour’s thirteen years in power considerable progress was made in this regard: child poverty fell from 3.4 million in 1998 to … Continue reading

12 August 2015 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Debt, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My report on corporate welfare

Kevin Farnsworth

It’s time to have a grown-up debate in the UK about the other sort of welfare The purpose of my report into British corporate welfare, which featured in the Guardian on budget day, was to bring corporate welfare into the debate about the future shape of the state.  The report raises questions about the role of the government in meeting, … Continue reading

21 July 2015 by
Categories: Economics, SPERI Comment, Tax, trade, Welfare | Tags: , , | 1 comment

What six public opinion graphs tell us about austerity

Liam Stanley

A majority of the British population has consistently expressed the belief over a period of several years that spending cuts to cut the government’s deficit are ‘necessary’ Austerity was meant to be over by now in the UK.  The country living comfortably within its means.  The books balanced.  But, with the Coalition government consistently missing its deficit-reduction targets, this is … Continue reading

9 July 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, Social science, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 comment

Rethinking Recovery V

Alex Nunn

Intergenerational and gender-based inequality: before and after the crisis The new Conservative government is persisting with billions of pounds of cuts despite rising evidence of poverty and inequality, particularly for young people, children and women. These cuts will only serve to reinforce generational and gender-based inequality. Just over a week ago on 20 June tens of thousands of people marched in … Continue reading

1 July 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, British growth crisis, Inequality, Rethinking Recovery, Social science, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Rethinking Recovery IV

Britain’s recovery industry: profiting from austerity? This post investigates the burgeoning ‘recovery industry’ in Britain.  As the government cuts welfare and pushes people into precarious labour markets in the name of austerity, it is simultaneously opening up new spheres of profitability for firms.  This is stabilising the status quo of profits over people who are being pushed to produce a … Continue reading

24 June 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, British growth crisis, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: | Leave a comment

Rethinking Recovery III

Ruth Cain

The gendered impact of Universal Credit As part of the Conservative Government’s welfare reform, Universal Credit (UC) is now being rolled out across the UK.  UC negatively and disproportionately impacts women and low-paid families.  Not only does it do little to address the social crises sparked by austerity, it also enacts punitive sanctions on to individuals unable to amass sufficient … Continue reading

17 June 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, Politics and policy, Rethinking Recovery, Social science, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Why the North, why now, and what’s new? Part I

Craig Berry

For England’s sake, the time has come for Northern England to find its ‘inner powerhouse’ In the wake of the general election, Englishness as a national identity is being articulated in an increasingly aggressive manner.  When all the dust has settled, we may in future come to see this as the key legacy of the 2015 general election – or … Continue reading

4 June 2015 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Craig Berry, Development, Economics, Inequality, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Rethinking Recovery I

SPERI PERC

Inequality and insecurity in UK households This is the first in a series of ten SPERI Comments on the theme of rethinking recovery.  In this introductory post the authors warn that measurements of, and debates about, economic recovery in the UK have tended to overlook deepening inequality along the lines of class, gender, race, ability, age and sexuality. Whether the … Continue reading

3 June 2015 by
Categories: Economics, Global crisis, Housing, Inequality, Politics and policy, Rethinking Recovery, Social science, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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