Government Policies Of The Modern World

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In contemporary Scotland, and indeed the modern world, there are a vast array of social inequalities and divisions that pervade society. These social divisions can take many forms such as; class, race, gender, sexuality, religion and politics. There are many different government policies that are implemented to help deal with these issues, the type of policy implemented is usually heavily dependent on which political ideology is the one introducing it. Conservative governments typically implement social policy with a high emphasis on personal responsibility such as only allowing people unemployment benefit if they can prove that they are actively looking for a job, also, being conservatives, they aim to restrict welfare funding as much as possible to help reduce the budget deficit and implement a more fiscally conservative style of government, however, this can lead to severe negative consequences for poorer people and people with special support needs such as the elderly and disabled. Labour governments, on the other hand, tend to spend a lot more money on social programs and welfare with the rationale that a society with a good, inclusive welfare support system will make people happier, more productive and provide much needed support to the underprivileged members of society, although, there is much debate on whether high levels of spending on social care is sustainable and affordable in the long run with the UK national debt fast approaching £2 trillion and growing at an alarming rate of £5,170 per second. (National Debt Clock , 2016) This essay will look at specific types of social issues in Scotland and the different approaches through which governments use social policy to deal with them. The issues that will be looked at in... ... middle of paper ... ...styles is smoking. In Scotland, smoking prevalence amongst the most deprived tenth of the population is 43%, this is 19% above the national average and a massive 34% above the prevalence among the tenth most privileged. (ASH Scotland, 2011) This shows that the more impoverished the individual, the more likely they are to take up smoking and potentially damage their health. “Smoking is not a key issue for people living in relative poverty when they have a number of other key issues that concern them more immediately” - Sir Michael Marmot, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London Sir Marmot, in this quote, outlines the fact that it is much more unlikely that someone living in poverty will be able to quit smoking than it is for someone not living in poverty since the poor person has other challenges of a more pressing concern to deal with.

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