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The Welfare State - The Big Picture The major political parties have neither a purely collectivist nor individualist approach but remain committed to the.

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Presentation on theme: "The Welfare State - The Big Picture The major political parties have neither a purely collectivist nor individualist approach but remain committed to the."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Welfare State - The Big Picture The major political parties have neither a purely collectivist nor individualist approach but remain committed to the welfare state. Debates are not over whether individuals should take responsibility but the degree of individual responsibility. Socially, the UK is a very different country than in 1948 – there are more lone parents, an ageing population, new cures for old and new diseases and an increasing number of preventable conditions such as obesity, alcohol related diseases/injuries

2 The Third Way The current Labour government was elected in 1997 and suggested a Third Way Welfare to Work – eligibility for receiving benefits conditional on the person going back to work or training, National Minimum Wage, New Deal, tax credits such as Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit As a result of right to buy in Thatchers years now lack of council housing – New Labour promised to build more houses In health inequalities New Labour pledged to help individuals help themselves to live healthier lives (smoking bans) They believed that getting people into meaningful work was key to tackling poverty and ill health

3 A 21 st Century Welfare State Low direct taxation but more indirect taxes- in 2007 first tier of tax lowered to 20% to encourage those on benefits to see work as worthwhile. Targeting benefits- increasingly moving towards means-tested benefits (child benefit is one of the few universal benefit left) Aim to eliminate child poverty by 2020 is unlikely but 600,000 children no longer live in poverty. Incapacity benefit and Income Support will be phased out by 2013 replaced by the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

4 The Scottish Dimension Health, education and housing are all devolved powers and the current SNP government have a number of initiatives that have set social policy apart from England. Scotland has free personal care for the elderly Prescriptions charges were reduced in April 2008 and will be abolished by Hospital car parking charges have been abolished. There is a taskforce to tackle health inequalities which wrote a document called Equally Well in October 2007

5 Equally Well Smarter Scotland – aims to intervene much early in childrens lives in order to improve health. Providing help and support for more vulnerable pregnant women. Wealthier and Fairer Scotland – healthy, fulfilling employment has a huge contribution to reducing health inequalities. Greener Scotland – importance of physical environment Safer and stronger Scotland – knife and gang crime major problems, stronger penalties for knife crime and new strategies for drug and alcohol. Healthier Scotland – joined up working of agencies ( education, health and social services)


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