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The Coalition Government and Social PolicyRestructuring the Welfare State$
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Hugh Bochel and Martin Powell

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447324560

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447324560.001.0001

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Social security under the coalition and Conservatives: shredding the system for people of working age; privileging pensioners

Social security under the coalition and Conservatives: shredding the system for people of working age; privileging pensioners

Chapter:
(p.179) Eight Social security under the coalition and Conservatives: shredding the system for people of working age; privileging pensioners
Source:
The Coalition Government and Social Policy
Author(s):

Stephen McKay

Karen Rowlingson

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447324560.003.0008

This chapter considers the changes made to social security (‘welfare’) during the coalition government and the early days of the Conservative government. It makes clear that while the size of the social security budget made it a clear target for a government determined to reduce public expenditure, policy was driven by ideology in terms of attempting to change individual behaviour and reducing the role of the state. The chapter argues that while there were some elements of continuity with the New Labour governments (for example in relation to WHAT), there was also radical change (such as the introduction of benefit caps and the effective abandoning of the commitment to reduce child poverty). However, older people saw the state pension being protected by a ‘triple lock’. It suggests that the neo-liberal project was being further intensified by the Conservative government elected in 2015.

Keywords:   Coalition government, Conservative government, Social security, Welfare, Benefit cap, State pension

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