Welfare provisions

Social Democrats= Universal benefits (student loans+ health + education)- Bill Jordan


Advantage’s Disadvantages
·         Cheap to pay- No long process of deciding who does and who doesn’t receive the benefit.

·         Gives wealthy people a reason to still support the welfare state.

·         Don’t get the problem of people not applying, everyone automatically gets the welfare support.

·         Insures a minimal standard (In kind benefits that is).

·         Goes to the people don’t need it. An example recently is the winter fuel allowances for all elderly; some state themselves that they don’t need the extra welfare support.

·         High levels of taxation needed to ensure educated and healthy workforce.


New right= Means tested (The state should only provide for those who actually need it). Examples include the Working Families Tax Credit and the Pensioners Tax Credit- David Marsland


Advantage’s Disadvantages
·         People who need welfare the most get it.

·         Means tested benefits creates a vertical distribution of wealth (rich to poor unlike universal benefits that causes horizontal distribution).

·         Very expensive to pay due to the very bureaucratic process involved in finding the people who are eligible.

·         A poverty trap is created alongside a dependency culture.

·         Lots of people that are entitles to them don’t apply. 1 million pensioners can get Pension Tax Credit but don’t, either due to ignorance or a stigma against using the welfare sate.



Type of welfare Advantages Disadvantages
Informal- Voluntary help given by family or friends (unpaid) ·         Relieves pressure on other welfare services E.g. government subsisted childcare.

·         Emotional ties ensure good quality of care.  Very specific care is also given because of this.

·         Economically is good, the elderly looking after kids allow mothers to work increasing household income.

·         Not evenly shared, women give the most informal care reducing the amount of time they can spend at work, pushing women into poverty.
Charity- Non profit organization set up to help people in need. ·         Reduces strain on state services

·         Quality is high due to philanthropy

·         Fills any gaps that the welfare state misses

·         Duplication occurs, not efficient use of aid, many charities are trying to achieve the same thing, if all worked together costs would decrease, as there would be less of a bureaucratic process.

·         Allows the state to simply ignore certain issues.

·         Volunteers may lack formal training/qualifications so the care they provide could be inferior

Occupational-  Benefits gained through work, this can be also named ‘fringe’ benefits. ·         Saves the sate money for example private healthcare reduces stress on the NHS. ·         Will give more to the better off increasing inequality.
Private-  Welfare provided by a commercial organization.  People pay for the service such as Bupa health care insurance. ·         Better quality

·         Gives a wider range of choice to the consumer

·         Reduces the demand on the sate  (education and health)

·         Encourages high levels of performance in state provided services.

·         People who train in the state sector leave to the private sector (Diverting recourses)

·         Immoral that it isn’t available to everyone- increasing inequality.

·         The people who use private services are well educated and well spoken these would be the people campaigning for a better quality state, but instead of no reason to as use all private services.


Plurality/mixed economy approach


Currently there is a mixed economy in the UK. Although the aim is to make all these benefit into one, this is failing due a 37 million pound computer system failing.


Advantage’s Disadvantages
·          Covers every group, it is very difficult to slip through the net within Uk society. If the sate misses you NGOs will pick you up with food banks and support.

·         Variety of choice of welfare means that rival systems have to maintain a high level.

·         Not very efficient, duplication occurs increasing the amount of money ‘wasted’ in administration costs

·         Not all groups have the same amount of choice; the poor for example cannot afford to go private.

·         Diverts recourses, the private sector ‘steals; doctors from the state.

·         State isn’t fully funded still relies on charity and occupational welfare to aid the UKs population.


Past paper questions on the topic of “welfare provision”

Explain what is meant by the private sector of welfare providers (2 marks) January 2010


Suggest three ways in which the informal sector may provide day-to-day support to people in need (6 marks) January 2010


Using material from Item B and elsewhere, assess the view that ‘a mixed economy of provision’ is the most effective way of providing for the welfare needs of the population (24 marks) June 2010

Suggest two advantages of welfare benefits being universal, rather than selective (4 marks) June 2011


Suggest two advantages of welfare provision by voluntary groups (4 marks) June 2011


Using material from Item 3B and elsewhere, asses ‘the welfare populist view that the populations welfare needs are best met by a number of different kinds of provider’ (24 marks) specimen paper 2014.


Using material from item 3B and elsewhere, assess the view that welfare benefits should be targeted at the poor rather than available to everyone. (24 marks) January 2012


Examine the contribution   of different type of welfare provider to meeting peoples welfare needs (24 marks) June 2012


Identify three criticisms made of welfare services provided by private and/or voluntary organizations (6 marks) January 2013.


Explain what is meant by informal providers of welfare (2 marks) June 2013


Suggest two disadvantages of means tested benefits (4 marks) June 2013