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Social Policy in a Cold ClimatePolicies and their Consequences Since the Crisis$
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Ruth Lupton, Tania Burchardt, John Hills, Kitty Stewart, and Polly Vizard

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447327714

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447327714.001.0001

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Summary and conclusion

Summary and conclusion

(p.319) Fourteen Summary and conclusion
Social Policy in a Cold Climate

John Hills

Ruth Lupton

Tania Burchardt

Kitty Stewart

Polly Vizard

Policy Press

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insulated, but still affected by major reform, while in others the role of the state was redrawn or even substantially withdrawn.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.

Keywords:   public spending, selective austerity, welfare state, Labour, Coalition

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