Building Sustainable Societies

Welfare reform in 21st century Britain

Date: Wednesday 2nd May 2012, 16.00 – 17.30
Location: SR G.33, Liberty Building

Dr Anne Daguerre, Middlesex University

Since the 1980s, British policymakers have increasingly espoused a liberal model of welfare characterised by the reliance on in work benefits, US style, in order to subsidize low wages. The Labour government (1997-2010) took active labour market policies to a new level; access to social benefits became conditional on the ability to participate in paid employment, with the exception of the most severely incapacitated. This workfare consensus, by casting a permanent shadow on the moral character of the unemployed, sets them apart from the British citizenry. The coalition government welfare reform legislation is accentuating the erosion of social rights. This represents a long-term trend which is unlikely to be reversed in the foreseeable future.

Work, Care and Global Transitions is a research hub within the ‘Building Sustainable Societies’ research project that combines the established research strength, capacity and international networks of a number of senior researchers working within the University.

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