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The impact of devolution on social policy$
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Derek Birrell

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847422255

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847422255.001.0001

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(p.xiv) (p.1) One Introduction
The impact of devolution on social policy

Derek Birrell

Policy Press

This chapter conducts a comprehensive analysis of the effect of devolution on social policy, based on the experience of all three countries — Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It notes that social policy has a vital role in the powers devolved to these countries and social welfare services have been a major component of policies emerging from devolved administrations. It discusses that significant changes have since taken place in the overall context of devolution such as the coming into office of new governments. Academic analysis of social policy and devolution, and to a large extent political and media analysis, have tended to focus on the differential impact of devolution on major social policies and welfare provision. It provides cautious comparisons relevant to provision using data distinguishing Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.

Keywords:   devolution, social policy, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, England, social welfare services

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