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A generation of change, a lifetime of difference?Social policy in Britain since 1979$
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Martin Evans

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847423054

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847423054.001.0001

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Working age: safety nets and housing

Working age: safety nets and housing

(p.99) Six Working age: safety nets and housing
A generation of change, a lifetime of difference?

Martin Evans

Lewis Williams

Policy Press

This chapter explores the schemes that form a national minimum safety net, mostly in terms of social assistance but also with other forms of minimum income guarantee such as in-work benefits and the minimum wage. It also investigates the ways in which the tax and benefit system supports housing costs. It then revisits the non-working model family, the Nunns, to see how they have fared over time. New Labour's approach was to improve low-paid incentives through two routes: a minimum wage and by expanding the generosity, and later the coverage, of in-work benefits. Moreover, the chapter explains all the different forms of fiscal policy in the context of model families — the Meades, Moores and Lowes. The model family analysis considers the portion of the lifetime that can be considered the main ‘home-building’ element of adulthood, from partnership and marriage through to buying or renting the home that forms the basis of adult life.

Keywords:   safety net, social assistance, minimum wage, housing, Meades, Moores, Lowes, New Labour, partnership, marriage

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