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After AusterityWelfare State Transformation in Europe after the Great Recession$
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Peter Taylor-Gooby, Benjamin Leruth, and Heejung Chung

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790266

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198790266.001.0001

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Where Next for the UK Welfare State?

Where Next for the UK Welfare State?

(p.48) 3 Where Next for the UK Welfare State?
After Austerity

Peter Taylor-Gooby

Benjamin Leruth

Heejung Chung

Oxford University Press

The liberal-leaning UK welfare state is contracting due to a sharp austerity programme. It is failing to address the challenges of population ageing and globalized competition. Increasingly provision is divided between maintained benefits for pensioners (rising in real terms) and those for working age people (harshly cut back). This gap has been exploited by the Conservative Party for political advantage, leading to a deepening of social divisions. At the same time concerns about immigration are leading to popular demands for a protectionist stance by government. In the 2016 referendum, these culminated in a vote to leave the EU. Brexit is currently being implemented, with damaging consequences for the UK economy, possibly triggering further EU fragmentation.

Keywords:   UK, welfare state, austerity, neo-liberalism, immigration, cuts, social investment, chauvinism, trust, Brexit

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