Frank Field is giving a speech tonight in which he suggests that austerity, paradoxically, offers the best chance of welfare reform. As Simon Landau points out, this recalls the Attlee government’s achievement in creating the modern welfare state at a time of austerity after the war.
Field’s big idea, which he has advocated for a long time, [...]
“This is not a decision I have taken lightly and I don’t need to be harassed,” wrote one woman recently. “I felt calm coming here and now I can’t breathe and feel panicky and judged. Last thing I needed,” wrote another.
It is difficult to be optimistic. Much of the progress in reducing child poverty came from increases in the progressivity of the tax and benefit system; but changes made by the Coalition Government are likely to reverse this.
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