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Professor Jonathan Bradshaw

Wednesday 8 November 2017, 6.00PM

Speaker(s): Professor Jonathan Bradshaw, Department of Social Policy and Social Work

Five Giants: Then and now

75 years after publication of the Beveridge Report - can the welfare state survive?

Professor Jonathan Bradshaw


Beveridge's plan to tackle want was social security from the cradle to the grave – a system of contributory cash benefits, means-tested social assistance and family allowances. Most of his plan was enacted in the Labour Government’s spate of legislation in the 1940s. However some parts of it were not implemented as he intended and his scheme had important gaps – for women, the civilian disabled and low paid workers. Successive governments have sought to fill those gaps over the last 75 years but mainly by extending means-tested mechanisms. Contributory social insurance is now really only relevant to the state pension. Beveridge had looked backwards to the Poor Law and the hungry 30s and his aimed only to achieve minimum subsistence. The level of his benefits had more than doubled in real terms between the 1940s and the 2000s and had more or less kept pace with earnings but there has been a growing gap between the level the retirement pension and other benefits. Now since the 2008 crisis the safety net of social security has been undermined by cuts and freezes. Universal credit the new scheme to replace all Beveridge’s working-age benefits is failing and child poverty is increasing rapidly and over a million families rely on food banks. What do we need to do now?

Speaker biography: Jonathan Bradshaw CBE, FBA is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the University of York, where he has been since 1967. He was founding Director of the Social Policy Research Unit and twice Head of the Department of Social Policy and Social Work. He is a member of the Board of the Child Poverty Action Group.‚Äč

Other events in this series include:

Location: Ron Cooke Hub auditorium, Campus East

Admission: is by free ticket only. Please book below.

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