Constraints and Pressures

John Hills

in Inequality and the State

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780199276646
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601644 | DOI:
 Constraints and Pressures

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The previous chapter suggests that progress has been made in tackling some of the problems outlined earlier in the book. However, the pressures on social spending and on distribution do not stand still, and the constraints and pressures under which policy operates may change in the coming years. This chapter examines whether economic growth eases or worsens the pressures on public finances. It looks at the biggest source of pressure on spending, the ageing population, particularly pressures on spending on pensions. The final section discusses a different kind of constraint, particularly relevant to the strategies pursued since 1997, resulting from the spread of different kinds of means-testing, and asks whether we are reaching the limits to that kind of approach.

Keywords: affluence; ageing; future trends; means-testing; pensions; public finance; public policy; social spending

Chapter.  11291 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Economics

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