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This essay examines the similarities and differences between the German and the English welfare provision

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Issue: Compare and contrast the extent of welfare provision in two European countries. Evaluate, in no more than 400 words, the appropriacy of the provision in the context of the early twenty first century. Essay "Our state reduces more and more its responsibility to provide welfare among the people". This is a statement that you can hear very often saying Germans about their welfare state in comparison with other welfare systems, as for instance the English system. This essay examines the similarities and differences between the German and the English welfare provision focusing on the extend to which this provision is provided. To understand the appropriacy and to discuss the extend of the provision it is helpful, firstly, to start with a brief definition of how these countries define a welfare state, and proceed with the different models that we encounter in Germany and in the UK. We continue with comparing and contrasting the extent of welfare provision in both countries. Since this is a wide area to discuss we concentrate on special provisions for instance the unemployment benefits and health care, since they are considered most relevant to the societies. Related to this analysis, we then highlight the appropriacy of the provision in the twenty first century.

Middle

After roughly considering both country's welfare structure we now consider the main similarities and differences regarding the extent of welfare provision. The English welfare provision is financed through taxation in comparison to the German earnings-related provision. On the one hand it is less generous and less redistributive as the German provision (at the moment) but on the other hand coverage among the people is more spread out as in Germany. In England the provision mainly aims to alleviate poverty. The extend to which the welfare provision in the UK is provided is also characterized by a weaker labour movement, which was implemented during the time when Margaret Thatcher was in power, and the stronger liberal parties. The main differences concerning the health care provision are the spending on health care and the structure of spending. According to the ´Anglo- German Foundation Report´ Germany has the third most expansive health care with 10.7% of its gross domestic product (GDP) in the world whereas England spends "only" 7.6%. Furthermore, Germany's health system is financed by contribution, that means employers and employees pay for insurances (health, unemployment etc.). England's health system is financed out of taxation and is more centralized by the state, which funds care providers.

Conclusion

Furthermore, she mentions that "Global trends have been associated with a strong neo-liberal ideology....representing social protection as the source of ´rigidity´ in the labour market". In other words governmental power, which is transferred away from Germany or England to bigger becoming international institutions, e.g. the EU, makes it hard for the single state to provide it citizens with the necessary welfare provision. Furthermore, England as well as Germany has to deal with structural problems. This includes demographical changes and new family and gender relationships. For instance, the German birth rate is slowing down and the role of the family has changed over the decades. Both states have to adopt its welfare structures to these circumstances. As long as states have to deal with social problems, as discussed, welfare provision will be needed. We have seen the differences between the German and the English welfare state and examined that the extend to which both states provides for provision differs. As a result we can say that problems have hardly changed and new challenges have to be dealt with. Welfare provision is a fundamental part of a state and therefore necessary because it provides social freedom. As long as social inequality exists states as Germany and England have to provide appropriate provision in the light of changing circumstances. Word count ´Evaluation of the appropriacy of the provision: 374 Total word count: 1.

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