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  • Author or Editor: Polly Vizard x
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This chapter discusses equalities and human rights reform since 1997, arguing that recent legislation and the Equality and Human Rights Commission may herald a new era in the battle against persistent horizontal inequalities across gender, ethnic background, disability, and sexuality. It evaluates the reform programme against two benchmarks: Labour’s 1997-election-manifesto commitments to ‘end unfair discrimination wherever it exists’ and to incorporate the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into domestic law; and more far-reaching reform models that view equality and human-rights standards as elements of a broader social-justice agenda.

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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 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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Policies and their Consequences since the Crisis

Social Policy in a Cold Climate 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 and unflinching 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.

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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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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This chapter brings together the book’s findings, concluding that this was indeed an era with a ‘cold climate’ for many areas of social policy. However, it was not a uniform history. 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.

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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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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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