European welfare states after the crisis
Governments in the UK and elsewhere in Europe are taking a position on welfare reform which is in line with public opinion, but may be the wrong strategic choice in the long-term - prioritising benefits for older people at the expense of families and children who have been hit hard by the financial crisis. This is the central argument of a substantial new Policy Network/IPPR paper.
When it comes to making reforms to the welfare system, defending existing social security entitlements at the expense of families and children, is the public's preferred choice, according to a major piece of new comparative YouGov polling in the UK, Denmark and France. Centre-left parties must face up to tough choices and take political risks if they want to maintain fiscal credibility and at the same time continue to tackle family poverty and extend early years opportunities in an era of austerity: they must be prepared to develop new arguments and find new ways of talking about fairness that justifies additional spending on children and families.
Authors Patrick Diamond and Guy Lodge argue:
'The crisis looks to be shoring up the ‘old’ welfare state edifice at precisely the moment when Europe’s welfare states ought to be adapting in the light of major structural challenges.'
A significant danger identified by Diamond and Lodge is that growing inequalities in electoral participation might further entrench the welfare status quo and heighten the onset of intergenerational and distributional conflict.
Published in partnership with Policy Network and The Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS).
Guy Lodge, Associate Director for Politics and Power
You may be interested in...
IPPR in the news
We need a strong regional skills policy
The Times (£) - 10 Dec 2013Science to drive a new British economy
Times Higher Education - 10 Dec 2013Public infrastructure investment just £5 per head in the North East
The Journal - 10 Dec 2013Transport infrastructure spend just £245 per head in the North
The Independent on Sunday - 09 Dec 2013
Decentralise housing and transport powers
New Statesman - 09 Dec 2013North South infrastructure plan divide
The Independent - 06 Dec 2013Tax relief for childcare won't make it cheaper
The Telegraph - 06 Dec 2013We need a green economy
BBC News - 06 Dec 2013
Retrain people in their 50s and 60s
The Financial Times (£) - 05 Dec 2013Transport infrastructure spending far higher in London
The Spectator - 05 Dec 2013Universities should pay a living wage
Times Higher Education - 05 Dec 2013Tax free childcare will not cut childcare costs
Nursery World - 05 Dec 2013
Parents thousands of pounds worse of with Govt's tax relief plan
The Telegraph - 04 Dec 2013New competitors in the energy market
The Independent - 04 Dec 2013Areas like London must prep for Romanian and Bulgarian migrants
BBC News - 04 Dec 2013Cuts to ECO are a panicky response
The Guardian - 03 Dec 2013
Green deal loan take up pitiful
The Guardian - 03 Dec 2013Scottish independence a long shot
The Week in Parliament - 03 Dec 2013Increasing income tax allowance won't help the poor
The Guardian - 03 Dec 2013An unanswerable case for NHS reform
The Guardian - 02 Dec 2013