Public Services and the Welfare State

European health systems and COVID-19: Some early lessons

COVID-19 is putting unprecedented pressure on European healthcare systems. Tamara Popic draws together some early lessons, arguing that the crisis should prompt a rethink of the direction of healthcare policies across Europe, and that the principle of solidarity must now move to the forefront as countries seek to mitigate the impact of the outbreak.

The spread of COVID-19 has put new pressures […]

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    How Universal Credit is weakening the welfare system’s housing safety net

How Universal Credit is weakening the welfare system’s housing safety net

Universal Credit undermines the welfare system’s ability to provide a safety net against eviction, argues Iain Hardie, and presents evidence of an increase in landlord repossession claims, orders, and warrants since its rollout.

Nearly three million people have moved onto Universal Credit since its gradual (and subsequently much delayed) rollout began back in 2013. In this time, the Department for […]

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    Efficiency and legitimacy in inter-local agreements: why collaboration has become a default choice among councils

Efficiency and legitimacy in inter-local agreements: why collaboration has become a default choice among councils

Over 97 per cent of English local authorities cooperate with one another, providing common public services across separate council areas. Ruth Dixon and Thomas Elston consider how and why this occurs. In a follow-up to their previous post, they find that propensity to collaborate is unpredictable, but partner choice can be partly explained by geographical proximity of councils and […]

The changing size and shape of the UK state

Matthew Whittaker explains how the spending restraint of the austerity period and the political priorities pursued by successive governments have placed major strain on a number of public services. He argues that, as a result, the size of the state has changed over the past decade and so too has its shape.

Political consensus is a rare commodity these days. […]

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    Tackling the issues in social care requires more than just a funding boost

Tackling the issues in social care requires more than just a funding boost

The manifestos of both the Conservative and Labour parties have committed to increasing the funding available for social care. Whilst any extra funding is welcome, this won’t be enough to tackle those deep-rooted problems, explains Vivek Kotecha, plaguing the industry due to its financial structure.

Our forensic analysis of the adult care home industry finds that some of the largest […]

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    What should be in the election manifestos on health and social care?

What should be in the election manifestos on health and social care?

The 2019 election will be held at a time when the NHS and social care are typically under strain. David Rowland outlines a number of key policies that the manifestos should include if the various crises in the sector are to be addressed by the next government.

Unless the UK dodges the virulent strain of flu which hit Australia earlier […]

Do left-wing governments increase public employment levels?

Hiring more public sector employees is often part of left-wing parties’ electoral pledges, but do they fulfil it? Based on data from 22 OECD countries, Lasse Aaskoven finds that they generally do not, with some exceptions.

The promise to hire more public sector employees often features prominently in left-wing parties’ electoral campaigns. The UK Labour Party has repeatedly called for […]

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    The Bedroom Tax in Northern Ireland: playing a dangerous game with peace?

The Bedroom Tax in Northern Ireland: playing a dangerous game with peace?

Northern Ireland is about to experience many of the austerity policies that have been rolled out in England, including the Bedroom Tax. Although this had been implemented in 2017, a ‘mitigation package’ ensured households were protected from it until 2020. With that deadline now nearing, and with no government in place, the policy is set to have many negative […]