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Welfare and wellbeingRichard Titmuss's contribution to social policy$
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Pete Alcock, Howard Glennerster, and Ann Oakley

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9781861342997

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861342997.001.0001

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The need for a new approach

The need for a new approach

(p.159) Chapter Two The need for a new approach
Welfare and wellbeing

Adrian Sinfield

Policy Press

This chapter is the concluding chapter of Income distribution and social change: A study in criticism. It begins with a comment in the Annual Report of the Board of Inland Revenue for 1948–49, that there had been ‘a very considerable redistribution in incomes’ (BIR, 1950, pp 82–8). It opines that the comment is particularly significant, providing official confirmation of the prevalent assumption of growing equality which is reinforced by economic studies which Titmuss also criticized. It notes that these created a climate for policy discussion in many areas, particularly taxation, and helped set the agenda on a range of issues. It notes that Titmuss emphasised ‘that data are a product, not an uncovering’ and provided a detailed and unrelenting critique of the use of ‘routine administrative statistics’ to provide the nation's account of patterns and trends in income distribution.

Keywords:   income distribution, Board of Inland Revenue, equality, economic studies, policy, taxation, administrative statistics, trends

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