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).
Snakes and ladders: Tackling precarity in social security and employment supportAcross the country, people are trying to make ends meet, build financial security and pursue their aspirations. But, in a vicious cycle of snakes and ladders, many are being pulled down into poverty.
Making markets: The City's role in industrial strategyTo tackle climate change, we need a significant increase in public and private capital investment.
Broken hearted: A spotlight paper on cardiovascular diseaseProgress on cardiovascular disease was a significant driver of better health and prosperity in the latter half of the 20th century, however progress has recently stalled – with indications it may be in reverse.