In an increasingly risky world the need for social security support is greater than ever. Benefits and tax credits aim to provide protection against economic risks, help families with the costs of bringing up children, enable people to save for retirement, and provide support in old age. Key goals are to redistribute income to alleviate poverty and help people maintain living standards across the lifecourse.
Reform of the social security and tax systems has been at the heart of the UK Labour government's aspirations to modernise the welfare state since 1997 with major changes in both policy and administration. This second edition of the important text, Understanding Social Security, reviews these policy developments, giving readers the information and analytical tools to make sense of policy debates and reforms and to evaluate options for the future.
The chapters have been extensively updated since the first edition, with new chapters on social security reform, inequalities and social security, and the new 'welfare market'. The main topics covered include:
· the social security safety net
· racism, ethnicity, migration
· social security governance
· global social security
· social security and the life course
· the challenge of childhood poverty
· reforming pensions
· welfare to work
· sickness, incapacity and disability
· tax credits
· service delivery
The book provides a critical examination of social security policy and practice and is essential reading for students of social policy, social work and sociology, as well as policy-makers and practitioners in the fields of social security, welfare-to-work, employment, anti-poverty strategies and welfare rights. It will be of interest to those interested in recent policy developments in these areas, emerging issues and debates, and in wider issues of the modernisation of the welfare state.
Jane Millar is Professor of Social Policy and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Bath, UK. She has written widely on issues of social security policy, in particular on family policy and the policy implications of family change.
Contents: Social security: means and ends ~ Jane Millar; Part one : Foundations and contexts: Social security challenges: past and future ~ Jane Millar & Fran Bennett; The social security safety net ~ Saul Becker & Bill Silburn; Racism, ethnicity, migration and social security ~ Ian Law; Governing social security: from protection to markets ~ Emma Carmel and Theodoros Papadopoulos; Social security in global context ~ Nicola Yeates; Part two: Lifecourse & Labour Markets: 'From cradle to grave': social security and the life course ~ Karen Rowlingson; Benefiting children? the challenge of childhood poverty ~ Tess Ridge; Reforming pensions: investing in the future ~ Stephen McKay; Welfare to work ~ Sharon Wright; Sickness, incapacity and disability ~ Roy Sainsbury; Tax credits ~ Jane Millar; Part three: Users & Providers: Service delivery and the user ~ Bruce Stafford; The 'Welfare Market': the role of the private sector in the delivery of benefits and employment services ~ Dan Finn; Social security in the 'information age' ~ John Hudson; After word ~ Jane Millar.
".....the book is to be highly recommended for its intended audience." Barbara Waine in The Journal of Poverty and Social Justice
"Social security reform has been central to New Labour’s approach to modernising
the welfare state. This updated second edition of this popular text brings
together some of the leading writers in the field to provide a critical
analysis of the recent changes to the social security system". Dr. Liam Foster, Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield