The future of welfare: a Theos collection

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The Welfare State is in a state of crisis – at least that is what the British public thinks.

Nearly nine in ten agree that the welfare state is currently “facing severe problems”, a majority (58%) believes it will shrink over the next generation and, more ominously, nearly a quarter thinks it will no longer be around in thirty years’ time.

A sense of crisis and urgency does not necessarily translate into clarity of purpose or direction, however, and public opinion of what is to be done is far from unambiguous.

This collection explores this question by addressing the key underlying issue: what is welfare for? Without thinking through the purpose of welfare, the volume argues, we are unlikely to reform it in anything more than a piecemeal and pragmatic way.

In the light of this, Theos invited some of the country’s leading thinkers on welfare to explore the moral logic of, and future hopes for, the welfare state. With a wide range of contributions from politics, think tanks and academia, a foreword from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and an afterword from Tony Blair’s former Head of the No. 10 Policy Unit, The Future of Welfare is a uniquely broad and important contribution to one of the biggest domestic political debates of the early 21st century.

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