MPs' attitudes to welfare: a new consensus?

Bochel, Hugh and Defty, Andrew (2007) MPs' attitudes to welfare: a new consensus? Journal of Social Policy, 36 (1). pp. 1-17. ISSN 0047-2794

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MPs' attitudes to welfare: a new consensus
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The post-war ‘consensus’ on welfare was based largely in the perceived agreement of leading politicians of Conservative and Labour parties on the role of the mixed economy and the welfare state. However, from the late 1970s economic and demographic pressures and ideological challenges, particularly from the New Right, led to cuts in spending on welfare, increased private involvement and an emphasis on more individualistic and selectivist approaches to provision. Recently some scholars have begun to discuss the emergence of a ‘new liberal consensus’ around welfare provision.

Drawing upon interviews with ten per cent of the House of Commons, this article examines the extent to which a new political consensus upon welfare can be identified. In addition to analysing responses to questions upon welfare issues it considers the extent to which MPs themselves believe there to be some degree of consensus in approaches to welfare. It also considers whether any consensus exists merely in the political language used in relation to welfare issues, or whether there is a more substantive convergence.

Keywords:MPs, Parliament, Social Policy, Welfare
Subjects:L Social studies > L200 Politics
L Social studies > L400 Social Policy
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:2041
Deposited On:04 Nov 2009 13:47

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