Series: CASE Studies on Poverty, Place and Policy

 

Poverty is still a real issue within Britain today and this essential series provides evidence-based insights into how communities and families are dealing with it.

Published in conjunction with the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) at the London School of Economics, this series draws together fresh research and sheds important light on the impact of anti-poverty policy, focusing on the individual and social factors that promote regeneration, recovery and renewal.

CASE Studies on Poverty, Place and Policy

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 18 items for :

  • Social Welfare and Social Insurance x
  • Poverty and Inequality x
  • Social and Public Policy x
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This chapter analyses spending, outputs and outcomes in relation to social care for disabled and older people in England, focusing in particular on the period from 2007/8 to 2014/15. It shows how significant cuts to local authority budgets during a period of rising demographic demand have produced substantial reductions in the number of people receiving support - down by 30% to 40% for many client groups – reversing the gains made in the first half of the 2000s. It notes emerging evidence of increased pressure on unpaid carers, and ongoing concerns about the quality of some residential and community care provision. The chapter concludes that substantial re-investment in social care will be required to safeguard the well-being of older and disabled people in the future

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This chapter examines changes in social security and direct tax policies, spending levels and their redistributive effects in the period since 2007. It discusses the importance in particular of the protection of the real values of benefits and tax credits in the years immediately after the crisis, but then the divergence between the favourable treatment of pensions compared to working-age benefits. Real spending on pensioner benefits grew under both Labour and Coalition governments, but those related to children started to fall under the Coalition. The combination of generous increases in tax-free personal allowances for income tax and selective cuts in working-age benefits under the Coalition was regressive. The policies adopted by the incoming Conservative government will continue and intensify these effects. The effects of the Coalition’s major Universal Credit and ‘pension freedom’ reforms remain uncertain

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This chapter looks in detail at what happened after the crisis to the employment, earnings, incomes and wealth of groups of the population divided in different ways. It looks at how fortunes have varied by gender, age, ethnicity, housing tenure, region and disability status. The legacy of the crisis did not fall evenly. Gender gaps in pay remained wide, but women’s incomes tended to be more protected than men, because they were more likely to be receiving benefits or pensions. Divides by housing tenure remained and if anything widened, especially in incomes after allowing for housing costs. The experiences of different regions also differed sharply, particularly between London and the rest of the country, while inequalities within London are far greater than in any other region. The clearest change over the period was the deteriorating position of young adults, and in the growing economic gradients between younger and older people

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This chapter assesses employment policy since the crisis. Evidence presented shows that employment rates were remarkably resilient over the recession, largely driven by falling wages and increasing self-employment. For many, employment became more precarious through growth in zero-hours contracts and insecure self-employment. The young were hit hardest, with the recession having differential generational consequences. The Coalition Government reformed active labour market programmes (ALMPs) but despite employment reaching record levels, their performance did not meet expectations and for some time, and some claimant groups, delivered results below those achieved by previous programmes. A greater emphasis on private providers paid according to results, with higher rewards available for groups requiring additional help has not improved relative outcomes. The fiasco around work capability assessments and the fact that ALMPs are still failing to meet the needs of those deemed capable of work in a limited capacity suggests a major review is now required.

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This chapter analyses spending, outputs and outcomes in relation to further education and skills in England between 2007/8 and 2014/5, as well as policies and trends relating to access to higher education. Expenditure on further education and adult skills training was heavily cut by the Coalition government, after expansion under Labour. Numbers of learners fell and there was no progress in closing socio-economic gaps. Controversial measures to treble university tuition fees did not result in a fall in the proportions of young people going to university or to widening socio-economic gaps, although part time and mature student participation suffered ‘precipitous falls’. The chapter concludes that despite modest progress towards increasing quality and employer engagement, there remain substantial concerns about the post-16 learning and skills system in England and its capacity either to promote increased productivity or greater social justice.

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This chapter examines health spending, outputs and outcomes in England in the aftermath of the 2007 financial crisis, covering the 2007-2010 Labour administration under Gordon Brown, and the Coalition Government 2010-2015. It shows that despite the relative protection of the health budget compared to other expenditure areas during the Coalition’s period in power, the growth of real resources in health was exceptionally low compared to historical trends, and lagged behind rates that are widely deemed necessary to maintain and extend NHS care in response to increasing need and demand. The Coalition embarked on major organisational changes and whilst early data suggests increases in productivity, signs of pressure on the healthcare system were mounting by May 2015. There were adverse trends in suicide and mental health in the period following the crisis and downturn, and health inequalities remained stark. With the resources squeeze projected to continue into the upcoming period, the chapter concludes that there are major financing, policy and political challenges ahead.

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This chapter examines the changes to the housing system 2007/8 to 2015. It shows that the arrival of the Coalition led to major funding cuts, with housing contributing more than its fair share to the overarching Coalition objective of deficit reduction. The exception to these cuts were for spend to support home ownership, and encouragement to provide additional house building. In parallel there was a weakening of the main housing elements of the UK’s welfare “safety net” protection for households in need. This included through saving measures raising social housing rents above traditional “social rent” levels, restricting Housing Benefit paid to low income households, ending the presumption of lifelong security of tenure for social housing tenants, and proposals to extend the right to buy provisions to charitable housing associations. By the end of the period little progress had been seen against the Coalition’s housing policy goals, and some problems had worsened including a marked rise in homelessness, lower supply than demand, worsening affordability, and tenure and spatial polarisation.

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This introductory chapter sets out the purposes and scope of the book. The period following the onset of the global financial crisis in summer 2007 was an extraordinary one in British economic and political history. First Labour then coalition governments faced a deep recession and a large hole in the public finances, alongside increasing demographic pressures on public spending. This book describes how they approached social policy in this ‘cold climate’, with topic-by-topic chapters (eg on health, housing and employment policy) as well as cross-cutting accounts on the changing nature of the welfare state, and the effects of policies on poverty, inequality and distribution

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The book offers a data-rich, evidence-based analysis of the impact Labour and Coalition government policies have had on inequality and on the delivery of services such as health, education, adult social care, housing and employment, in the wake of the greatest recession of our time. The authors provide an authoritative analysis of recent approaches to social policy and their outcomes following the financial crisis, with particular focus on poverty and inequality. Through a detailed look at spending, outputs and outcomes the book offers a unique appraisal of Labour and the Coalition’s impact as well as an insightful assessment of future directions. There are twelve detailed chapters dealing with different aspects of policy, spending, and outcomes in key service areas, as well as introductory and concluding chapters. Overall the book sets out that there were some strong contrasts between the policies Labour continued to pursue until it lost office in May 2010, and those of its successors, but also sharp differences between social policy areas under the Coalition. Austerity was selective – indeed the pressure on ‘unprotected’ areas was increased by the cost of increased income tax allowances and favourable treatment of pensions. Early years provision, social care for the elderly, and particular working-age benefits were sharply affected. Some areas were comparatively insulated, but still affected by major reform, while in others the role of the state was redrawn or even substantially withdrawn. Much of this conscious reshaping of Britain’s welfare state is set to continue or intensify under the new Conservative government. By leading policy experts from the LSE, and Universities of Manchester and York, this volume offers a much-awaited follow up to the critically acclaimed ‘A more equal society?’ (2005) and ‘Towards a more equal society?’ (2009).

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The book offers a data-rich, evidence-based analysis of the impact Labour and Coalition government policies have had on inequality and on the delivery of services such as health, education, adult social care, housing and employment, in the wake of the greatest recession of our time. The authors provide an authoritative analysis of recent approaches to social policy and their outcomes following the financial crisis, with particular focus on poverty and inequality. Through a detailed look at spending, outputs and outcomes the book offers a unique appraisal of Labour and the Coalition’s impact as well as an insightful assessment of future directions. There are twelve detailed chapters dealing with different aspects of policy, spending, and outcomes in key service areas, as well as introductory and concluding chapters. Overall the book sets out that there were some strong contrasts between the policies Labour continued to pursue until it lost office in May 2010, and those of its successors, but also sharp differences between social policy areas under the Coalition. Austerity was selective – indeed the pressure on ‘unprotected’ areas was increased by the cost of increased income tax allowances and favourable treatment of pensions. Early years provision, social care for the elderly, and particular working-age benefits were sharply affected. Some areas were comparatively insulated, but still affected by major reform, while in others the role of the state was redrawn or even substantially withdrawn. Much of this conscious reshaping of Britain’s welfare state is set to continue or intensify under the new Conservative government. By leading policy experts from the LSE, and Universities of Manchester and York, this volume offers a much-awaited follow up to the critically acclaimed ‘A more equal society?’ (2005) and ‘Towards a more equal society?’ (2009).

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