Photo credit: Yelnoc
The Social Policy team aims to find ways of achieving sustainable social justice. By this we mean the fair and equitable distribution of natural, social and economic resources between people, places and generations. All our work is shaped by the knowledge that society, environment and economy are interdependent.
Our current work aims to build a new social settlement to succeed the post-war welfare state. This will focus on promoting equality, revaluing work and time, preventing rather than coping with problems, and transforming public services through shared action and democratic decisions. We are committed to locally based, practical work that makes a tangible difference to people’s lives, improving their well-being. Our research aims to engage with people’s everyday experiences, and to understand and change the systems and structures that contribute to unequal distributions of income, time, power and opportunity.
We play a leading role in developing and promoting co-production: this means forming equal and reciprocal partnerships between service providers, the people who use services and others, to design and deliver services. We regularly work with government and other organisations to develop and evaluate co-production and outcomes-focused commissioning, in a wide range of settings. We have broken new ground with our work on the core economy; on the case for a shorter working week; and on the social impacts of austerity. We have recently launched a major debate on preventing harm, across society, environment and economy. All these issues are central to achieving a sustainable future.
- Anna Coote, Head of Social Policy
- James Angel, Assistant Researcher, Social Policy
- Jane Franklin, Project Co-ordinator and Researcher, Social Policy
- Joe Penny, Researcher, Social Policy
- Julia Slay, Senior Researcher and Social Policy Programme Co-ordinator
- Sarah Lyall, Assistant Researcher, Social Policy
Blog post // February 7, 2013
The government’s ‘strivers vs skivers’ narrative increasinglyframes the debate about social security and the welfare state. When lambastingthe Welfare Uprating Bill, which caps benefits at a 1% yearly increase, wellbelow the cost of living rising, Labour branded it “a strivers tax”. Similar languagehas now been adopted by the Guardian. The newspaper published a new animationonline this week, which asked:More
Blog post // January 29, 2013
Beginning as ‘Music and Change’ in 2008, MAC-UK engages some of the UK’s most excluded and deprived young people in therapeutic relationships that transform their mental wellbeing and make them far less likely to offend.More
Blog post // January 8, 2013
Most of us agree that harm and waste are best avoided. If we can, we should try to stop people getting ill, injured, robbed or cheated, being thrown out of work or otherwise deprived of the means to live a good life. If we can, we should prevent needless waste of public money and natural resources, stop the build-up of greenhouse gases and narrow the rapidly widening gap between rich and poor. But in fact we do very little. And whatever we do individually is massively outweighed by the inertia of public and private institutions at local, national and global levels.More
Blog post // December 20, 2012More
Blog post // December 18, 2012
This week the Conservative government added fuel to their incendiary politics of benefit demonization with a new advertising campaign aimed at marginal seats. The advertisement is simple enough. It asks the question “who do you think this government should be giving more support to?” - on its own perhaps not such a bad question. More
Blog post // December 5, 2012
Alongside theautumn statement today came George Osborne’s ‘gas strategy’ designed, in hiswords, ‘to make the best use of the lower cost of gas power.’ The reality isthat the cost of gas is rising, with devastating environmental and socialimplications.More
Blog post // December 5, 2012
As expected, the chancellor has confirmed that benefit uprating will be frozen at 1 per cent for the next three years, preventing them from rising in line with inflation (currently about 3 per cent).
Breaking the historic link between benefits and the cost of living is a very serious step and one which will hit the poorest hardest.
Apart from the potential savings, Osborne argues that this change is about being ‘fair’ to workers whose earnings have not risen in line with the cost of living.More
Blog post // December 4, 2012
As the public purse runs dry, local authorities across the country are facing tough decisions. Few services are escaping unscathed, but those for young people, which a local authority does not have statutory duty to provide, are among those hardest hit - with cuts of up to 90 per cent. Young people are waking up to find their youth centres closed, or operating on reduced hours, and many information, advice and support services are shutting. More
Blog post // November 27, 2012
The Beveridge Report was designed to deal with extreme social conditions. Beveridge called it ‘’a time for revolutions, not for patching’’. Now we’re facing an entirely new set of problems. Not the ravages of war, but dramatically widening social inequalities, and an urgent need to understand the limits of the natural environment and be able to function without continuing economic growth.More