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- Author or Editor: Traute Meyer x
This chapter investigates the role of political actors in relation to care policy change, and the relationship between cultural change and policy change. It is shown that the extension of social rights for carers is no inevitable outcome of socio-demographic and regime constraints. The introduction of a right to childcare for children above the age of three and the improved recognition of carers’ rights in the pensions system is presented. The extension of parental rights despite tight budgets was accompanied by a changing dominant political ideology that displays insight into the need to modernise the breadwinner model and to create a family-friendly environment. The extension of social rights for carers in Britain until the early years of the millennium was motivated foremost by governments’ intention to decrease benefit dependency of carers. The case studies presented here show that there is evidence for a change in family ideology in Britain and Germany.
Concerted support from business organisations for increased state welfare provision is unexpected in liberal capitalism, but in Britain this occurred prior to recent major reforms of pensions. Using Mares’ micro-theory of employer behaviour and studies of public/private mixes, this article shows that three umbrella organisations of employers and insurers supported higher state pensions because incremental state regulation of non-state provision over many decades and threats about even greater compulsion in the private sector had significantly reduced company control while increasing their costs. As a result, a higher state pension appeared more attractive to all business actors than further regulation of the private sphere. On this basis, we suggest that state regulation should be incorporated more firmly into theories of institutional development and interest formation in liberal regimes.
Post-Brexit, UK migration rules treat ‘EU- and non-EU citizens equally’. Thus, a much larger number of working migrants have less access to social rights than before. This article compares how the different welfare entitlements for working migrants and non-migrants affect the incomes of 21 hypothetical households; some workers are single, some have a child. Using micro-simulation, we assess the risk of poverty and the extent of inequality for migrants and non-migrants. We show that the system excludes new migrants from the social contract which defines the rights of UK citizens as working parents, leading to significant poverty risks and inequality.