A call for 'radical reform' of welfare state

  • An important policy report for the Labour party is to create a framework of plans for a radical overhaul of the welfare state.

    This will contain a return to the principle that benefits should be linked more closely to contributions.

    The Guardian has reported that:

    "The Condition of Britain study by the IPPR thinktank, to be launched by party leader Ed Miliband on Thursday, will also contain proposals to devolve large amounts of power and funding out of Whitehall, including the control of housing benefit to councils, in order to stimulate innovative housing policies and more housebuilding."

    The project which was created in February 2013 as part of Labour's policy review to consider how institutions and policies need to respond to today's needs such as more childcare and improved care for the elderly within the confines of tight budgets and inevitable further cuts.

    According to Housing News,

    "The report will argue that a stronger society can be built on the three "pillars" of shared power, contribution (through changes to the national insurance system) and strong institutions.

    "While some proposals, such as a plan to freeze child benefit to fund a network of children's centres, are likely to be rejected by Mr Miliband, many of its central ideas will be considered by the party's national policy forum in July."

    The report is expected to look at whether benefit payments can be linked more closely to levels of contributions through changes to the national insurance system.

    Senior figures believe that Labour must counter the impression that it supports a "something for nothing" benefits system by looking at radical change.

    Mr Jon Cruddas, the chair of the policy review said:

    "It sets out three broad strategies for social renewal: spread power and responsibility to build democracy and strengthen society; foster contribution and reciprocity to re-establish a sense of fairness and justice; and strengthen our shared institutions to help tackle social problems for good.

    "These establish the foundations on which we can build a competitive wealth-creating economy."

    Picture Source: (http://www.coventrypartnership.com/Welfare_Reform)

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