Martin Evans and Lewis Williams

in A generation of change, a lifetime of difference?

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9781847423054
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301387 | DOI:

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This chapter reviews in detail the changes to programmes for maternity and for the financial support of children. Alongside consideration of policy change, it explores the changing coverage and value of benefits and then profiles the changing packages of programmes in 1979, 1997 and 2008 for hypothetical families with low, median and high earnings. The history of policy change on benefits for maternity and childhood can be summarised as a move away from universal to more targeted approaches but with changing assumptions about generosity and of coverage. The poor working family, the Lowes, clearly receive a higher level of benefits under the 2008 system considering childhood and even after taxation the net effects of the tax and benefit package are highest in 2008. The generosity of child transfers for the out-of-work family is greatest in real terms in 2008.

Keywords: children; maternity programmes; policy change; maternity benefits; childhood; generosity; coverage; working family; Lowes

Chapter.  8457 words.  Illustrated.

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