Loss of Legitimacy of the British Welfare State Essay

Loss of Legitimacy of the British Welfare State Essay

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In the 1940s across industrialised countries, the unique creation of welfare states were introduced. (Lowe, 2005) The term welfare state refers to a society in which the government takes active responsibility for the welfare of citizens living in their jurisdiction. (Lowe, 2005) In the UK, the welfare state consist of policies designed to reflect social need, and includes benefits for those considered to be lower social classes. (Lowe, 2005) Created around the ideas of Beveridge in 1944, the welfare state was a product of liberal form in 1906, and became accepted by Labour in 1945. (Lowe, 2005) Beveridge described the welfare state as “a natural development from the past.” (Lowe, 2005)
Beveridge had the intention of eradicating the five ills of society, when he established the welfare state. (Jones & Lowe, 2002) He identified the five ills as; wants, ignorance, idleness, squalor and disease. (Jones & Lowe, 2002). He envisioned this system would be paid for through insurance contributions, this was the creation of social insurance. (Jones & Lowe, 2002) The introduction of the welfare state meant health provisions and education for all. (Jones & Lowe, 2002) These services would be free at the point of delivery, but paid for through taxation, meaning there would be no charge at the point of use. (Jones & Lowe, 2002) Old-age pensions and unemployment benefits were introduced to keep vulnerable groups out of poverty. (Jones & Lowe, 2002)
Recent decades have seen the legitimacy of the welfare state being put under scrutiny. Worsening inequality amongst children and pensioners remain a key problem of the welfare state, despite social security spending being on the rise, along with a lack of financial incentive to go into paid work and ...


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... 2007. Is the Welfare State Justified?. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.
Taylor-Gooby, P., 2013. Why Do People Stigmatise the Poor at a Time of Rapidly Increasing Inequality, and What Can Be Done About It?. The Political Quarterly, 84(1), pp. 31-43.
Taylor-Gooby, P. & Larsen, T. P., 2004. The UK - A Test Case for the Liberal Welfare State . In: P. Taylor-Gooby, ed. New risks, new Walfare: the transformation of the european Welfare State. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 55-82.
The, National Housing Federation, 2013. Bedroom Tax: National Housing Federation. [Online]
Available at: http://www.housing.org.uk/policy/welfare-reform/bedroom-tax
[Accessed 3 January 2014].
Wintour, P., 2010. Politics: The Guardian. [Online]
Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2010/may/26/coalition-welfare-reforms-duncan-smith
[Accessed 6 January 2014].

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