New PDF release: Ending child poverty : Popular welfare for the 21st Century

By Robert Walker

ISBN-10: 1861341997

ISBN-13: 9781861341990

Within the Beveridge Lecture, added on 18 March 1999, best Minister Tony Blair devoted his govt to abolishing baby poverty inside two decades. This e-book offers this lecture along the perspectives of a few of Britain's most advantageous coverage analysts and commentators.

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Sample text

Our ideas of what is essential change over time. Back in 1776 Adam Smith famously argued that, By necessaries, I understand not only the commodities which are indispensably necessary for the support of life but whatever the custom of the country renders it indecent for creditable people, even of the lowest order, to be without … in the present time a creditable day labourer would be ashamed to appear in public without a linen shirt. (Smith, 1776, p 691 in 1982 edn, quoted in Alcock, 1997) A century later, Rowntree’s 1899 investigators in York had their own standards of what constituted ‘obvious want and squalor’.

2. The Plan was excessively spartan and mean, obsessed with the workethic, geared to propping-up private property and the free market, and adopted a rock-bottom definition of ‘poverty’ that reformers have been striving to get rid of ever since. ) 3. The Plan’s support for full employment, a national health service, subsistence-level family allowances, and an equal benefit system for all, laid down clear-cut benchmarks of equality and justice that have long been lost sight of – hence the muddle, inadequacy and demoralisation of the current welfare state, which can only be cured by a strategy of ‘back-to-Beveridge’.

One current example is the divorce between macroeconomic indicators and the concerns of families. We talk about unemployment and inflation as though they were abstract economic 31 Ending child poverty constructions with validity in their own right, whereas they only make sense when related to the lives of individuals and their families. Price indices, for example, need to be related to what different types of family actually buy. We have made a start with pensioner price indices but a child-focused government would also have a price index which reflects the pattern of expenditure on goods and services for children.

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Ending child poverty : Popular welfare for the 21st Century by Robert Walker

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