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Welfare policy under New LabourViews from inside Westminster$
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Hugh Bochel

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347909

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347909.001.0001

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MPs' attitudes to welfare and public opinion

MPs' attitudes to welfare and public opinion

(p.111) Five MPs' attitudes to welfare and public opinion
Welfare policy under New Labour

Hugh Bochel

Andrew Defty

Policy Press

The Labour governments' shift towards the centre ground, and their acceptance of many of the changes introduced by the previous Conservative governments, including a wider role for the private sector within the public provision of welfare, together with the significant increases in public expenditure in areas such as education and health, as well as the changes to the government (or governance) of social policy, have provided fertile ground for debates. This chapter examines the role of parliament in representing the interests of citizens, by comparing Members of Parliament's (MPs) attitudes to welfare. It presents evidence of public attitudes to welfare collated from the annual British Social Attitudes survey and public opinion polls. This chapter seeks to identify and explain areas of disagreement and consensus between public and parliamentary attitudes to welfare, focusing in particular on questions regarding commitment to state welfare provision, priorities in welfare spending, and attitudes towards funding for welfare provision.

Keywords:   UK, Parliament, Labour Party, political parties, social welfare, expenditure, government spending, private sector, governance, social policy

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