Anti Poverty Policies In The Uk Economics Essay

Ever since Sir William Beveridge published The Social Insurance and Allied Services study at the terminal of 1942, which has been seen as the basis of the Welfare State because it indentified that national insurance parts would see that the province would be able to supply societal security so that the population would be protected from the ‘cradle to the grave ‘ . This was the ideological purpose by Beveridge to better productiveness and our standing in the planetary market at a clip when the universe had be financially damaged by the struggle that occurred during World War 2. This study was the footing of public assistance support by the province and the terminal of the ‘poor jurisprudence ‘ .

This essay will be looking at the Welfare Reform act introduced by the alliance authorities and the implied alterations of the reform in which the passage of the population being protected by the province from ‘cradle to sculpt ‘ , towards a alteration that would do the benefits and revenue enhancement recognition systems fairer and simpler under the statement on the DWP web site to by:

‘Creating the right inducements to acquire more people into work

Protecting the most vulnerable in our society

Delivering equity to those claiming benefit and to the taxpayer. ‘

( Department for Work and Pensions website, Accessed 03 January 2013 )

Whether or non these alterations to the public assistance act has signalled a alteration in the way of anti-poverty policies or whether these alterations have already been coming and if the reform has highlighted and presented a alteration of way in anti poorness constabularies in a more public visible radiation is something that will be looked into farther on in the essay.

The inquiry has to whether the public assistance reform act 2012 has signalled a alteration in way for anti-poverty policies is non a consecutive forward inquiry, with a consecutive forward reply, it can be suggested that it is of import to look at the alterations that have been taking topographic point, with the public assistance measure gyrating out of control, which was something noticed by New Labour when they came into power.

Conservative – Thatcher Era

It can be said that features of the Labour and Conservative party remain changeless, wherein there is a greater focal point for Conservative authorities to cut down State dependence and a civilization in the words of Margret Thatcher ‘I think we have gone through a period when excessively many kids and people have been given to understand “ I have a job, it is the Government ‘s occupation to get by with it! ” or “ I have a job, I will travel and acquire a grant to get by with it! ” “ I am homeless, the Government must house me! ” and so they are projecting their jobs on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are single work forces and adult females and there are households and no authorities can make anything except through people and people look to themselves foremost. It is our responsibility to look after ourselves and so besides to assist look after our neighbor and life is a mutual concern and people have got the entitlements excessively much in head without the duties. ‘ ( Interview for Woman ‘s Own ( “ no such thing as society ” ) with journalist Douglas Keay. The Margaret Thatcher Foundation. 23A September 1987. Accessed 04 January 2013. )

This political orientation is represented with policy alterations such as the debut of canvass revenue enhancement in which everyone was expected to lend the same sum of revenue enhancement regardless of income or wealth and was seen as a poorness making policy ( Butler et al. , 1994 ) . It could be said that the epoch of Tory power between 1979 and 1997 was a period when actions were being implemented to cover with the ‘crisis ‘ of public assistance within the UK. It had been suggested that between 1951 and 1979, degrees of contention over anti-poverty policies were, arguably, non peculiarly high. Labor at the clip disappointed many of its protagonists, who closely identified the party with the promotion of the Welfare State. A sequence of economic crises limited the money available for new anti-poverty constabularies. Yet both parties, even before the Thatcher authorities came into power had well advanced public outgo peculiarly on societal policies, to the point where some economic experts argued that this sort of outgo had become inflationary force, restricting the range for new wealth making private investing. This is a position politicians began to take earnestly by the seventiess, with the most astonishing growing in seen in public employment and societal security transportation payments. ( Savage, Atkinson, Robinson, 1994 ) .

Although it is alluring to impute the alteration in clime for societal policy in the UK to the Conservative led authorities of 1979, the alterations had been bit by bit emerging before that day of the month, and those alterations were rooted every bit much in economic sciences as in political orientation. Keynesian economic direction techniques affecting use of degrees of authorities outgo and revenue enhancement were employed to seek to retain full employment without rising prices. This nevertheless was non possible with monetarists ‘ school of idea being that the authorities must command the money supply and allow economic forces bring the system under control ( Friedman, 1962, 1977 ) . The authorities at the clip when Thatcher took office were doubtless hostile to province societal policy. This ill will was rooted in a committedness to denationalization, the kerb of public services and assailing trade brotherhoods. The authorities was untroubled by the grounds that such an attack was bring forthing increased poorness. Despite the purposes to command societal policy outgo, it however grew as a whole, with disbursement on the National Health Services and Welfare continually increasing ( Hill, 2003 ) .

It was during that epoch that they changed auxiliary benefit whichA was a means-tested benefit in the United Kingdom, paid to people on low incomes, whether or non they were classed as unemployed such as pensionaries, the ill and single-parents which was introduced in 1966 and replaced the earlier system of discretional National Assistance payments and was intended to ‘top-up ‘ other benefits, hence its name ( hypertext transfer protocol: //, Accessed 03 January 2013 ) . This was later abolished and replaced by income support and lodging benefit by the Thatcher authorities and besides signalled the alterations for the proviso of sickness absence for the first 28 hebdomads from National Insurance to a Statutory Sick Pay strategy run by employers ( Hill, 2003 ) .

The 1986 Social Security Act extended the range for undertaking out from the SERP ( State Earnings Related Pension Scheme ) which is now the basic province pension leting the growing of private pension programs. The household income addendum was replaced by household recognition which went onto evolve into revenue enhancement credits under the New Labour authorities. Under the Thatcher authorities was a entire restructure of the benefits system, which included, along with the 1s mentioned antecedently the alteration of unemployment benefit to occupation searchers allowance to underscore the behavior required ( Gray, 2007 ) .

Other alterations made by the authorities at that clip included the transmutation of the invalidness benefit to incapacity benefit, taking to coerce all but badly handicapped, below pension age, to go occupation searchers. One of the most complex pieces of statute law was the province support for individual parent households, which was designed to procure increased parts from ‘absent ‘ parents ( usually male parents ) through the Child Support Act of 1991 ( Hill, 2003 ) .

New Labour

The Blair authorities when it came to Welfare declared themselves as the authorities for Welfare Reform with a committedness to a stable public outgo programme, but the inclination of societal security costs to lift irrespective of policy alteration remained a job besides faced by them, which in bend limited New labor ‘s room to maneuver. Labour saw the solution to this quandary by increasing employment, which is similar to the old authoritiess ‘ attack of presenting JSA. The stimulation of labour-market engagement by individual parents and the handicapped every bit good as the unemployed is cardinal to their societal security policy scheme through the debut of working revenue enhancement recognition and their ‘welfare to work ‘ programmes for immature people under the age of 25. ( Bonoli and Powell, 2004 ) .

The most important purpose of New Labour was to eliminate child poorness and this was done with strategies such as child revenue enhancement recognition, but perchance the biggest alteration introduced to undertake poorness was the National Minimum pay, which was exceeding and ensured that everyone was entitled to a basic wage regardless of occupation function and prevented employers from working employees. However a greater statement for the debut of a life pay has been raised, which is something that the current resistance leader Ed Milliband and former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone protagonists of a national life pay.

It is deserving retrieving that when Tony Blair came to power in 1997, he claimed that we had ‘reached the bounds of the populace ‘s willingness merely to fund an unreformed public assistance system through of all time higher revenue enhancements and disbursement. ‘ Urgent public assistance reforms, he said, would ‘cut the measures of societal failure ‘ , let go ofing money for schools and infirmaries ( Hill, 2003 ) .

Welfare Reform Act 2012 – The Policy

The chief elements of the public assistance reform act as listed on the DWP website are:

The debut of Universal Credit to supply a individual streamlined payment that will better work inducements

A stronger attack to cut downing fraud and mistake with tougher punishments for the most serious offenses

A new claimant committedness demoing clearly what is expected of claimants while giving protection to those with the greatest demands

Reforms to Disability Living Allowance, through the debut of the Personal Independence Payment to run into the demands of handicapped people today

Making a fairer attack to Housing Benefit to convey stableness to the market and better inducements to work

Driving out maltreatment of the Social Fund system by giving greater power to local governments

Reforming Employment and Support Allowance to do the benefit fairer and to guarantee that aid goes to those with the greatest demand

Changes to back up a new system of kid support which puts the involvement of the kid foremost.

( Department for Work and Pensions website, accessed 03 January 2013 )

This changes signal perchance the hugest shingle up to the public assistance act in one fell slide, it can be argued nevertheless that New Labour were already implementing alterations to cut down the public assistance measure, but non in a manner as direct as the alliance authorities, with one of the chief focal point being to cut down poorness and eliminate kid poorness.

The fact that 7.2 per cent of GDP is spent on public assistance, and the costs of back uping those in reception of benefits go oning to lift, the bend against public assistance is unprecedented. In old times of asceticism, public attitudes have ever remained supportive of public assistance payments. Even in the straitened late Seventiess, for illustration, seven out of 10 people told poll takers they would wish to see higher revenue enhancements to pay for higher societal disbursement. To look after those in demand is the first responsibility of any nice authorities ; to abandon them would be conscienceless ( Sandbrook, 2012 ) .

The people who truly lose from this, by the way, are those who are truly disabled. They deserve unbounded public understanding ; alternatively, thanks to the maltreatment of the system, they are excessively frequently treated with agnosticism, but behind all this there lays a deeper issue. Beveridge designed the public assistance province for a tightly knit, profoundly loyal and overpoweringly propertyless society, dominated by the atomic household. Though 1000000s of people had grown up in intense poorness, they were steeped in a civilization of working-class reputability and driven by an about Victorian work ethic. In the universe of the narrow patio back streets, deliberate idling would hold been virtually unthinkable ( Sandbrook, 2012 ) .

It could be said that the public assistance reform might non needfully be a alteration in way for anti-poverty policies, but a policy implemented to alter the head set of a state that has transformed from one where people thought about what they could lend towards their ain state particularly at a clip of war, to a state where certain persons, bearing in head a little minority of people believe they deserve more from the province without holding to gain it.

The cardinal factors of public assistance reform is cosmopolitan recognition which will be an all across-the-board payment that incorporates huge bulk of out-of-work and lodging benefits that families can have.

The public assistance reform act does show that the nine features of policy devising have been applied which can be seen by looking at the undermentioned features:


The Welfare reform is a forward looking policy as it aims to alter the burden off from the province in guaranting that the populace have enough money to do terminals run into, by puting the duty onto persons to travel out and seek work and take duty for their ain fundss through the execution of the cosmopolitan recognition, which takes the signifier off a monthly payment in the signifier of a salary and perchance reflects the alteration of anti-poverty policy as it makes those in reception of benefits money witting and places the duty of their rent and pull offing twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours populating costs on the family, at the hazard of making families that are more worse off without adequate preparation being implemented for money direction which is a accomplishment developed over clip and something that is non picked up over dark.


The policy-making procedure takes history of act uponing factors in the national, European and international state of affairs ; pull on experience in other states ; considers how policy will be communicated with the populace particularly sing that Britain now has the highest proportion of working-age people on disablement benefit in the developed universe, where merely 3 % of Nipponese people and 5 % of Americans live in families where no 1 works, the figure in Britain is 13 % .


The Welfare reform act has many cardinal aims, which non merely stems from an ideological standing, but besides looks at grounds based determination devising, due to the big public outgo paid out from the increasing public assistance budget by puting a cap of ?26,000 on the maximal one family can have and the undue costs paid in relation to lodging costs and kid benefit which has seen rapid growing in recent old ages, due to larger households, deficit of societal rented stock and the monolithic growing of rental monetary values in the private rented sector.

Although there a rhenium many other countries of the public assistance reform that takes into consideration other facets of the features of policy doing it would take away far excessively much off from the chief focal point of this essay if I was to continue with an analysis of this.

Poverty – Relative and Absolute

When looking at poorness it is of import to separate between the two definitions of poorness:

Absolute poorness refers to a set criterion which is the same in all states and which does non alter over time.A

Relative poorness refers to a criterion which is defined in footings of the society in which an person lives and which therefore differs between states and over clip ( hypertext transfer protocol: // % 20exclusion.shtml, Accessed 05 January 2013 ) .

Absolute poorness and comparative poorness are both valid concepts.A The construct of absolute poorness is that there are minimal criterions below which no 1 anyplace in the universe should of all time fall.A The construct of comparative poorness is that, in a rich state such as the UK, there are higher minimal criterions below which no 1 should fall, and that these criterions should lift if and as the state becomes richer ( hypertext transfer protocol: // % 20exclusion.shtml, Accessed 05 January 2013 ) .

The mention to poverty within the UK is more frequently measured in relation to relative poorness due to the higher criterion of life that is present in a more developed westernised society ; this is the footing that the cap of ?26,000 has been applied by the authorities in relation to universal recognition and the public assistance reform. This does demo that poorness is being taking into consideration by guaranting that the upper limit and minimal payment received is calculated and measured in relation to rising prices on the lower limit a family can have to keep a living criterion in above the poorness line, although non well much, but it does non nevertheless address the state of affairs of societal exclusion which would be created when families unable to run into rental payments for parts of the UK such as the South East and chiefly London, in which many families would be forced to travel to more low-cost countries.


Prior to the Welfare Reform move the focal point of policies was for the province aid its citizens from the cradle to the grave with public assistance support – constabularies introduced that coincided with the debut of the national wellness service has been the pillar and way of a batch of anti-poverty constabularies that have been implemented, in which the province takes attention of those unable to take attention of themselves. Countless policies have been introduced in that clip that have provided aid to the aged, handicapped, adult females, kids, unemployed and those with long-run illness are some of the groups that constabularies have focused on helping and assisting.

The public assistance reform act can be seen as alteration in way from the description of a ‘nanny province ‘ into province that ‘helps those who want to assist themselves ‘ . It can be said that the impact of the planetary recognition crunch and subsequent recession has played a conducive portion in the alterations that are taking topographic point and has perchance garnered more public support in visible radiation of the squeezing that the recession has caused on the bags of working families.

However this is far excessively simplistic a position and as mentioned already in my essay, alterations made and implemented for authoritiess portion similar tendencies, Tony Blair when he was in power did province that New Labour was the party for Welfare reform, and the cardinal aim was to cut down poorness through employment, which is a similar aim of the public assistance reform, and although the Coalition authorities have shifted somewhat from the way of New Labour, it can non be considered, in my position a alteration in way because any party that came into power would hold to implement policies that brought public assistance disbursement under control and promote a alteration in attitude that every individual member of society apart from the vulnerable, immature and aged have a part to do. The challenge is nevertheless measuring if the vulnerable are being accounted for reasonably and accurately with the alterations to welfare, are the alterations coercing those who are vulnerable into work that they ca n’t perchance prolong due to their exposures and in return making poorness traps?

Time will merely state if this proves to be the instance but the public assistance reform act has signalled a alteration of attitude in the public visible radiation, but the alteration in way was clearly highlighted by the Thatcher authorities in a direct and aggressive mode, which continued with New Labour and the present authorities. With the move to capitalism off from more socialism the public assistance reform has contributed in signalling a alteration in way for anti-poverty constabularies which is clearly evidenced by a alteration of duty from the province to persons and families. We have adopted an attack similar to America, in which America seems to be traveling in the opposite way with moves towards anti-poverty constabularies by taxing the rich and a authorities supported health care system.

To summarize the argument as to how might the public assistance reform act signal a alteration in way for anti-poverty policy can merely be assessed if public outgo has been brought under control and if policies subsequent to this go oning are headed towards being anti-poverty.