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What should be the role of social security in the eradication of poverty?

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What should be the role of social security in the eradication of poverty? Poverty has been a problem in Britain for a long time, more so before the Second World War, but it was not until after the war and the publication of the Beveridge report that anything really was done about it. Both the war and the reports publication led to the formation of the welfare state by the post-war Labour government. But more than fifty years on this country still experiences poverty despite various government's different policies. In fact the class divide seems to be getting larger and social exclusion is still a problem for the current New Labour government, which came to power in 1997. So how much has Social Security helped to halt poverty? Should the government intervene more in order to eradicate poverty? Since the introduction of the welfare state the eradication of poverty has always been a major political talking point and depending on where an individual lies on the political spectrum signifies your thoughts on this issue. Throughout this essay I will try to answer the question, what should be the role of Social security in the eradication of poverty? Before 1976 the methods that where put in place by the varying governments seemed to be helping in the eradication of poverty. ...read more.


and twice the rate of growth in the economy as a whole (department of social security, 1997, pp. 9,11). This is obviously a huge amount of money, which has no doubt gone up since the 1997 and gives those opposed to giving more money to welfare ammunition against it. But why has, after so many reforms and so much money, there not been the total eradication of poverty? Ailsa Kay believes that this is due to the reforms being to based on "cost considerations" (Ellison, N and Pierson, C (ed) 1998, Developments in British Social Policy, Chapter 7, p128) but she blames the escalating cost simply on "increased demand" (p128). It was clear that the Conservatives policy of encouraging individuals to stand on there own to feet and to make them price themselves into the market (i.e. no pay strikes) was failing and a new direction had to be taken by New Labour. Frank Fields, a political writer who was Minister for Welfare reform in 1997, believes the goal for a good society free of poverty is more "inclusive". He unlike Murray recognises the need for "collective provision but recognises the individuals need seek their own self improvement through cooperative effort and mutual aid." (Field, F. 1999. ...read more.


which is to keep hold of the traditional "middle England" voters, who are mostly at work and who don't wish to see there tax being directed at the unemployed. This has led to New Labour focusing on issues such as education and the health service and obviously investing in those policy areas. This has led to a neglect ion of what are good policies. Policy reform on the eradication of policy has until now been to focused on the factor of cost. It would perhaps be better if policy makers "consider the dynamics of modern socio-economic conditions when designing possible reform options" (Ellison, N and Pierson, C (ed) 1998, Developments in British Social Policy, Chapter 7, p128). I believe that social security should perhaps play a larger role in the eradication of poverty to start with this, although will be expensive and perhaps not a particular vote winner, it could save money in a number of areas like crime, which is constantly being linked to poverty. I believe that this is the time to do it because of the massive majority that New Labour enjoys. This cant however be all down to the Government or governments to come, there has to be a change in culture in our society, which sees working together to improve this country, something that was not instilled by the previous Conservative government. ...read more.

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