Trade Unions, the Family Lobby and the Callaghan Government - The Case of Child Benefits

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M. A. McCarthy
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This article examines the dogged progress of the child benefit scheme during the mid-seventies and illuminates in particular the campaign for its introduction conducted by the Child Poverty Action Group. In doing so it places the episode in the perspective of earlier attempts in the sixties and seventies to improve the lot of poor families. Against the backcloth of apparent prevarication by the Callaghan Government the piece also raises the question of how groups lacking social and economic ‘muscle’ may influence governments and it examines the prospects of liaison with the trade union movement as one means of this. Notably, the article examines the usefulness of a ‘cabinet leak’ in adding to a group’s armoury of tactics.

M. A. McCarthy
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