Chapter

Social security and welfare reform

Stephen McKay and Karen Rowlingson

in The Conservative Party and social policy

Published by Policy Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9781847424334
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303718 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847424334.003.0008
Social security and welfare reform

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This chapter argues that the Coalition government looks set to have important aspects of continuity with the approach of New Labour, but also some important areas of difference. It also evaluates the kinds of reforms proposed against the yardstick of Hall's orders of change. It begins by briefly outlining New Labour's legacy. In particular, it investigates the poverty issue, a policy issue that clearly distinguished New Labour from the previous Conservative government. Next, it looks at making work pay. Pensions and income security in retirement are also explored. A number of other important changes were announced as part of the 2010 budget, including a freezing in the value of Child Benefit for three years, from 2011/12. The reforms announced to date strongly reflect cost-cutting agenda, with measures aimed at areas where spending has been growing rapidly — including tax credits and support for rents in the public and private sector.

Keywords: social security; welfare reform; Coalition government; New Labour; poverty; work; pensions

Chapter.  6595 words. 

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