Public Services and the Welfare State

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    How politicians created, rather than reacted to, negative public opinion on benefits

How politicians created, rather than reacted to, negative public opinion on benefits

Using House of Commons speeches on welfare from the late 1980s to 2015, Tom O’Grady finds that declining support for the benefits system was a top-down phenomenon. Shifts in political rhetoric – especially from Labour – did not occur after public opinion changed, but took place slightly before the public was changing its mind about benefits. 

As Theresa May’s government […]

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    On genetics and social mobility: why Toby Young’s structural inequality argument is not science

On genetics and social mobility: why Toby Young’s structural inequality argument is not science

Is intelligence determined by genetic factors? Questions such as this are regularly being debated, a recent example having been an article by Toby Young on what schools can be expected to achieve in light of scientific evidence on cognitive ability. Leon Feinstein explains what science actually says, and, most importantly, what it doesn’t say about heritability.

In October 2017 Teach […]

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    Welfare to work initiatives: understanding the politics of subcontracted service delivery

Welfare to work initiatives: understanding the politics of subcontracted service delivery

Drawing on empirical research on the recent Work Programme, Rebecca Taylor, James Rees, and Christopher Damm explain how providers from the public, private, and third sector experienced delivering it; and how the supply chain model worked.

In spring 2017 the government’s main welfare to work initiative – the imaginatively titled Work Programme – reached its unheralded conclusion. It was replaced […]

How ‘Help to Buy’ helps mainly the privileged

The Government’s pledge to extend the “Help to Buy” programme is a further mistaken investment in a policy which has had little impact on extending home ownership to lower income households, explains Bert Provan. So, the £2bn investment in “social and affordable housing” is, while welcome, wholly inadequate to meet the pressing and increasing need for low cost rented […]

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    Are the government’s homebuilding plans good news? Depends on whom you ask

Are the government’s homebuilding plans good news? Depends on whom you ask

Peter Somerville explains the three housebuilding policies outlined by the Prime Minister during her party’s annual conference. He concludes that although they are welcome, the proposed changes will make little difference in the short to medium term; the longer term effects will depend on how local authorities and housing associations respond to the challenge in the meantime.

‘May coughs up […]

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    Why UK banks are like public utilities – and should be regulated as such

Why UK banks are like public utilities – and should be regulated as such

Banks have economic features similar to those of utility service providers – which are typically regulated more heavily than other companies – writes Phil Molyneux. He  explains how banks ought to be regulated with this point in mind, and concludes that greater regulatory oversight of bank pricing and service provision is necessary.

It has been nearly a decade since the […]

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    Living longer, but with more care needs: late-life dependency and the social care crisis

Living longer, but with more care needs: late-life dependency and the social care crisis

Solving the crisis in social care provision for older people is not just a matter of building more care homes, argues Carol Jagger. She explains the various ways in which dependency has changed compared to 20 years ago, and suggests some of the solutions the government should consider.

As winter and the flu season approach, health and social care services are […]

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    How the third sector can convince people that homelessness can be tackled

How the third sector can convince people that homelessness can be tackled

The first ever large-scale study on public attitudes to homelessness has revealed that public opinion tends to overlook the relationship between homelessness and poverty in favour of a more fatalistic view that blames individual circumstances and poor choices. Lígia Teixeira writes that if we are to end homelessness once and for all, then we need the public’s support. She […]