Sections

Services

Information

UK United Kingdom

Social policy

Analysis and Comment (15)

Cuts to programmes like the EMA may weaken ties to the welfare state. Cuts to programmes like the EMA may weaken ties to the welfare state. Lewis Whyld/PA

Why young people are losing faith in the welfare state

Recent proposals for benefit reform have centred upon the argument that at present many people feel they get nothing for something from the welfare state, while those on benefits reap the rewards. The…
Howard government minister Mal Brough first proposed part-quarantining welfare payments in the lead-up to the Northern Territory intervention. Now it could become a mainstream welfare policy. Howard government minister Mal Brough first proposed part-quarantining welfare payments in the lead-up to the Northern Territory intervention. Now it could become a mainstream welfare policy. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Creeping spread of income management must be challenged

One of the bizarre bipartisan policy overlaps between the Coalition and Labor is in the area of income support known as welfare payments. Labor has been seen as the party that cared about the poor and…
The Big Society policy of Britain’s Conservative Party was to harness entrepreneurialism to social justice. The results have been mixed. The Big Society policy of Britain’s Conservative Party was to harness entrepreneurialism to social justice. The results have been mixed. Paul Clarke

Will more business-like social enterprises improve care?

As we hear more about looming federal public sector spending cuts and budget deficits, Australian governments seek new ways to meet diverse and growing human service needs. The challenges of an ageing…
Single parents' protests last year at being transferred to Newstart were ignored, and the evidence suggests the move made it harder to get suitable work to support their families. Single parents' protests last year at being transferred to Newstart were ignored, and the evidence suggests the move made it harder to get suitable work to support their families. AAP/Paul Miller

An 800,000-plus jobs gap between ‘welfare to work’ and reality

The major missing factor in debates on cutting welfare spending – as has been flagged by social services minister Kevin Andrews – is the limited and falling demand for labour. Labour market figures give…
Black economy: regulating sex work is easier said than done. Black economy: regulating sex work is easier said than done. Ian Britton

The Scarlet Isle: the politics of male sex work in Ireland

Both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are taking steps towards new regulations for the sex work industry, principally aimed at better protecting victims of coercion and trafficking. However…
In a new book, former Labor leader Mark Latham and other prominent party figures attempt to diagnose the party’s malaise. In a new book, former Labor leader Mark Latham and other prominent party figures attempt to diagnose the party’s malaise. AAP/Alan Porritt

Book review: Not Dead Yet - What Future for Labor?

It is a sign of Labor’s crisis that Mark Latham, the party’s former parliamentary leader, has been re-admitted to polite centre-Left company. For his book Not Dead Yet: What Future for Labor?, Latham has…
It seems the Coalition will expand the compulsory income management scheme, which has little evidence backing up its worth. It seems the Coalition will expand the compulsory income management scheme, which has little evidence backing up its worth. AAP/Dan Peled

Income management: more evidence-free policymaking?

For a brief moment, it looked as though the Coalition would be better than the ALP on welfare policy. It appeared that the new government would listen to evidence for policy changes in its newly retitled…
There are strong cultural and historical links between Australia and New Zealand - so why are Kiwis not treated equally in Australia? There are strong cultural and historical links between Australia and New Zealand - so why are Kiwis not treated equally in Australia? AAP/Paul Miller

Where’s the choice, bro: Kiwis in Australia get a raw deal

Back in 1901, it was said there were 1200 reasons for New Zealand not to join the Commonwealth of Australia, as that’s how many miles of ocean separate the two countries. And there’s no likelihood that…
Single mothers on welfare need support for further education, not a cut to government payments. Single mothers on welfare need support for further education, not a cut to government payments. Single mother image from www.shutterstock.com

Single mothers need education, not welfare cuts

Unpopular Government cuts, introduced last year that have pushed more than 100,000 sole parents onto lower support payments, has left many families reeling with single mothers experiencing particular disadvantage…
Overprotective policies constrain kids and teach them to value risk assessment over opportunity. Overprotective policies constrain kids and teach them to value risk assessment over opportunity. Sim Dawdler/Flickr

Kids need to take risks: Mum and Dad will just have to deal with it

We take an “efficiency” approach to childhood and child-rearing in Australia. We want kids to grow up and become productive economic citizens without them deviating from identified pathways, and society…
Greater numbers of troubled teens are being abandoned by their parents and into the hands of the government. Greater numbers of troubled teens are being abandoned by their parents and into the hands of the government. Shutterstock

The hardest choice: families who give up disabled children

The theme of abandonment runs like a current through our most pressing national dilemmas. Asylum seekers abandon their home countries in the hope of a better life in Australia. Newly elected governments…
More than 600 young Australians with disabilities currently live in nursing homes. More than 600 young Australians with disabilities currently live in nursing homes.

It’s time to get young people out of nursing homes

Michelle Newland was 19 years old when she had a severe asthma attack that left her with hypoxic brain injury. After eight weeks, the hospital staff told Michelle’s parents that she was not suitable for…
Indoctrination is one of the key forces at play in any society. Indoctrination is one of the key forces at play in any society. flickr/lets.book

You have been indoctrinated (oh yes you have)

Despite its association with totalitarian societies of the left and right, indoctrination is also a common feature of societies that describe themselves as free: those where the coercive powers of the…
Quality relationships and time spent together is what’s important when it comes to children’s wellbeing. Quality relationships and time spent together is what’s important when it comes to children’s wellbeing. Flickr/disgustipado

Shared parenting: what’s really important when dads move out

The media often blame a lot of society’s problems on the break down of traditional family structures and the increase in single parent homes. When fathers no longer live at home, policy makers focus on…