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The Universal Credit can still improve Britain's welfare

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Daniel Pryor | Thursday 12 December 2013

The Universal Credit can still work, says Daniel Pryor. If short-term problems are overcome it could be a simpler welfare system that does not pervert the incentives of the poor.

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Busting welfare myths

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Geoffrey Taunton-Collins | Monday 20 May 2013

The welfare debate has roused emotions on both the left and right, and has led to some outlandish claims. Myth needs to be separated from reality. Geoffrey Taunton-Collins gives his take on what we should and shouldn’t believe.

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A libertarian solution to the welfare state we’re in

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Peter Hill | Wednesday 27 February 2013

The Coalition's welfare reforms are too timid, says economist Peter Hill. Welfare-to-work schemes have failed, and adding more state intervention will only compound the problems. What is needed is a reform package that time limits out of work benefits, turns benefits into a genuine unemployment insurance scheme, and more.

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The Benefit-Industrial Complex

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Preston Byrne | Monday 17 December 2012

Housing benefit is a national industry, says Preston Byrne. It sustains a national minimum rent and drives up rental costs for everyone. The government's reforms are on the right track.

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The future of long-term care

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Terry Arthur | Tuesday 18 October 2011

The government is tilting at windmills with its plans to finance long-term care, says Terry Arthur. Normal market mechanisms could provide everything that people want, if the government would only allow the market to be free and remove the welfare state from people's lives.

Does Inequality Matter?

Type: ReportsWritten by Dalibor Rohac | Tuesday 17 May 2011

Income inequality measures don't tell us much about poverty and, as this report argues, can actually mask declines in living standards of the poor. Furthermore, there is no good reason to use country-specific inequality measures as opposed to a global measure; if the latter is used, prioritites for poverty reduction shift dramatically. This report argues against the current fashion for using inequality as a measure of living standards, and argues that it may be hindering efforts to fight poverty.

A smarter approach to the welfare state

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Ross Harvey | Wednesday 23 February 2011

The welfare state is out of date. The principle of 'Free at the point of delivery' must be replaced by 'Paid for at the point of delivery', so that those who can afford to pay for their healthcare and children's education do so in proportion to their earnings. The result, argues Ross Harvey, would be huge savings as market efficiencies are introduced to moribund sectors, without leaving the country's poorest behind.

On Borrowed Time

Type: ReportsWritten by Miles Saltiel | Friday 26 November 2010

Britain's debt is spiralling and, even after the Comprehensive Spending Review, it is set to reach critical levels by 2018 unless radical action is taken to change course. In this paper  Miles Saltiel tackles the country's intergenerational obligations – that is, spending on healthcare, welfare, pensions and education – and shows that we urgently need to radically review the state's relationship with the people to avoid fiscal catastrophe along Irish lines.

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Welfare Reform: The importance of being radical

Type: ReportsWritten by Matthew Triggs & Sam Bowman | Friday 08 October 2010

Our response to the Department of Work & Pensions' '21st Century Welfare' consultation argues in favour of radical welfare reform, endorsing the 'universal credit' subsequently adopted by the government. Its authors note that piecemeal reform of the welfare system is unsuited to overcoming its two chief failings – failing to provide a safety net for the needy and creating perverse incentives against work – and instead suggest sweeping away the existing welfare system and introducing a Universal Credit that pays initial benefits at 50% of the median income, and tapers at 55%.

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Wealth inequality and the Hills Report: a critical assessment

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Tim Worstall | Monday 12 April 2010

This think piece by ASI fellow Tim Worstall critically examines the National Equality Panel's 'Hills Report', with particular emphasis on its treatment of wealth inequality and the gender pay gap. He argues that not only have the report's authors directly ignored Office of National Statistics guidelines on how to measure the gender pay gap, but that they have also hugely overstated income and wealth inequality in the UK by failing to take account of the effects of the welfare state.

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