Regressive and precarious: analysing the UK social security system in the light of the findings of the UN Special Rapporteur on poverty and human rights

Machin, R.J. ORCID: 0000-0003-2296-2123, 2020. Regressive and precarious: analysing the UK social security system in the light of the findings of the UN Special Rapporteur on poverty and human rights. Social Work and Social Sciences Review, 21 (3). ISSN 0953-5225

[img] Text
1363395_a878_Machin.pdf - Post-print
Full-text access embargoed until 16 July 2022.

Download (701kB)

Abstract

In November 2018 Professor Philp Alston, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights undertook a two-week visit to the UK to investigate the Governments’ efforts to eradicate poverty. The report that followed this visit delivered a damning verdict on the UK welfare benefits system. In this paper, Alston’s findings are analysed with reference to McConnell’s (2010) policy evaluation framework, which suggests that policy should be assessed based on three different dimensions: process, programs and politics.

The process realm refers to the options that a government considers in response to a societal issue. In this area, the paper discusses the assertions of the UN Rapporteur that poverty is a political choice and that the economic and social well-being of welfare benefits claimants is negatively impacted by the values-base attached to the current social security system.

The program realm refers to the practical implementation and realisation of policy. Here the paper analyses Alston’s findings on the regressive impact of social security on key vulnerable groups, and the multiple design and implementation problems that are evident as the UK government moves towards a digital welfare state.

In the political domain, the political repercussions of policy are analysed. Drawing on Alston’s findings, this paper argues that social security policy is in a precarious position with a growing recognition by the public and media of the economic and human costs of welfare reform.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Social Work and Social Sciences Review
Creators: Machin, R.J.
Publisher: Whiting and Birch Ltd.
Date: 16 July 2020
Volume: 21
Number: 3
ISSN: 0953-5225
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1921/swssr.v21i3.1337DOI
1363395Other
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 10 Sep 2020 10:03
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2020 11:51
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/40661

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View

Views

Views per month over past year

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year