This innovative book addresses the historical development of social and fiscal policies from the late 1970s to the present day by asking what has changed, how these changes have affected the lifecourse and what the potential lifetime impacts of policy change are.
This book provides an overview of the development of policy change over the period and uses an innovative and unique lifetime approach "from the cradle to the grave" to put it into perspective.
The authors begin by reviewing the political changes and policy story since the 1970s and demonstrate the economic and social changes that have occurred alongside. The book then takes an innovative approach in looking at specific programmes about crucial aspects of the lifecycle - from maternity and childhood, through to adult events and risks before finally looking at retirement, survivorship and death. Finally, profiles of three hypothetical "families" - the Meades, who are median earners, the Moores, high earners and the Lowes who are low paid - are developed for 1979, 1997 and 2008 to provide a comprehensive discussion of policy change and make innovative insights for the future.
This is the first book to join up the history of policy direction with an analysis of outcomes over the whole period. It will therefore be ideal for students of social policy and attract a wide readership interested in pensions, children's support and related issues.
Martin Evans is Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Oxford. Martin has long experience of research on British social security and poverty and on international social policy.
Lewis Williams is Associate Research Fellow in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Oxford.
Contents: Introduction: Part one: A generation of change: Changing lives, changing economy; The broad policy history; Part two: From the cradle to the grave: Childhood; Supporting the adult life; The risks to adult livelihoods; Planning for retirement and pension funding; Retirement and old age; Part three: A lifetime of difference?: Changing lifetimes and model lifetimes; The Moores and the Meades: lifetimes at and above median earnings; The Lowes: the lifetime of low earners; Conclusions: a generation of change, a lifetime of difference.
"This is an important book: full of relevant research findings, clear exposition, and judicious judgements." Citizen's Income Newsletter
"..will provide a rich source for furthering the study, teaching and analysis of social policy." Simon Rahilly in Journal of Social Policy
"Adopting a truly original perspective Evans and Williams have provided an immensely valuable book, demonstrating how social policy and taxation have profound effects on all of us at different points during our lives. The book will be an immense asset for the social policy community and a major contribution to the literature on social policy in the UK generally - and on the way in which social policy (and taxation) has contributed to changing living standards since the mid 1970s in particular. It is a major tour de force and unrivalled in its breadth, range and empirical scope. I am convinced that the book will become a major reference text for research as well as teaching in social policy and sociology, particularly in courses centred on inequality, lifetime perspectives, social security and taxation, as well as the empirical underpinning and outcomes of policy reform since the mid 1970s." Jochen Clasen, School of Social and Political Studies, University of Edinburgh
"This original study of British social policy over the last three decades provides an utterly novel understanding of the British welfare state 'from cradle to grave' (now 'from buggy to crematorium') and the transformed society within which it operates. Evans and Williams have written an ambitious, imaginative and timely book that takes the best of British social policy analysis to a new level. It will be a must-read for students, researchers and policy makers." Ian Gough AcSS, Professor of Social Policy, Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath