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Synopsis

The NHS, education, social care, local government, employment services, social housing and benefits for the poor face major challenges from a government determined to entrench a radical and divisive liberalism permanently in British public life. This book analyses the immediate challenges from headlong cuts that bear most heavily on women, families and the poor, and from a root-and-branch restructuring which will fragment and privatize the bulk of public services. It sets this in the context of escalating inequalities and the longer-term pressures from population ageing. It demonstrates that a more humane and generous welfare state that will build inclusiveness is possible by combining policies that limit child poverty, promote more equal outcomes from health care and education, introduce a greater contributory element into social benefits, invest in better child and elder care and address low wages and workplace rights. It analyses the political forces that can be marshalled to support these shifts and shows that, with political leadership, the welfare state can attract mass support.

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