Sustaining State Welfare in Hard Times: Who Will Foot the Bill?

Taylor-Gooby, P.F. (2001) Sustaining State Welfare in Hard Times: Who Will Foot the Bill? Journal of European Social Policy, 11 (2). pp. 133-147. ISSN 0958-9287. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

Recent studies of how European welfare systems are responding to current pressures agree that welfare stares display remarkable resilience. They are being reformed rather than dismantled. New policies are concerned To contain costs and to promote activation, stressing the contribution of welfare to economic competitiveness. Will people support cost constraint? This paper analyses attitude survey data from the 1980s and 1990s to show that approval of the main welfare services is high, bur, in contrast to the findings of earlier studies, there is now some evidence of declining support. Attitudes are not structured according to the accounts of the 'new politics' of welfare (which imply that each regime will produce its own pattern of interests in relation to the groups whose interests are entrenched by current arrangements) but reflect broad lines of income, age and gender, cross-cutting national differences. There is little support for cuts in social services, bur an equally low level of willingness to pay the extra taxes and social contributions required to maintain current standards of provision in the face of rising pressures on welfare. An agenda of activation is likely to prove more acceptable politically than one of cost constraint in all regimes. The implication is that European welfare states face a straitened future, between increasing demands and constrained resources, which may lead public opinion support to dwindle further.

Item Type: Article
Projects: [13] Welfare Reform and the Management of Societal Change
Additional information: Also published in Journées de l'Association D'Economie Sociale, Lille Conference, Oct 2001 ed l'Harmattan.
Uncontrolled keywords: attitudes; politics of welfare; retrenchment; welfare state reform
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Social Policy
Depositing User: Peter Taylor-Gooby
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2008 11:53
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2010 14:17
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/4698 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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