Chapter

MPs' attitudes to welfare and public opinion

Hugh Bochel and Andrew Defty

in Welfare policy under New Labour

Published by Policy Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9781861347909
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304227 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861347909.003.0005
MPs' attitudes to welfare and public opinion

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The Labour governments' shift towards the centre ground, and their acceptance of many of the changes introduced by the previous Conservative governments, including a wider role for the private sector within the public provision of welfare, together with the significant increases in public expenditure in areas such as education and health, as well as the changes to the government (or governance) of social policy, have provided fertile ground for debates. This chapter examines the role of parliament in representing the interests of citizens, by comparing Members of Parliament's (MPs) attitudes to welfare. It presents evidence of public attitudes to welfare collated from the annual British Social Attitudes survey and public opinion polls. This chapter seeks to identify and explain areas of disagreement and consensus between public and parliamentary attitudes to welfare, focusing in particular on questions regarding commitment to state welfare provision, priorities in welfare spending, and attitudes towards funding for welfare provision.

Keywords: UK; Parliament; Labour Party; political parties; social welfare; expenditure; government spending; private sector; governance; social policy

Chapter.  5506 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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