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The Welfare State, Wages and Work: Disintegration or Renewal?

Puttick, Keith (2019) The Welfare State, Wages and Work: Disintegration or Renewal? In: 7th Annual NERI Labour Market Conference, 1st May 2019, Ulster University, McGee Campus, Londonderry, Northern Ireland. (Unpublished)

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Abstract or description

This conference paper considers the impact of austerity, and nearly a decade of cuts and structural changes to welfare schemes, mismanaged and under-funded schemes, and regulatory failures and their impact on the UK's floor of social protection. Key areas of the minimum wage, social security, housing and care services systems are failing badly, and some programmes (like Universal Credit and adult social services) at risk of completely falling apart. Going forward, the paper considers the challenges, with a particular focus on both sides of wage-welfare interface. Notably, the significant problems on the ‘work’ side, in particular, an inadequate minimum wage floor, weak collective bargaining institutions, and labour market trasformations that mean much of the employment on offer no longer 'pays'. These are major factors in low pay/working poverty in the bottom 3 deciles/30% of the wage distribution, and among other things it dictates a need for reconstruction of regulated collective bargaining (Ewing et al/IER, 2018). On the ‘welfare’ side an already problematic in-work tax credits system is now being made worse by Universal Credit. Consideration is given to aspects of the welfare support regime operating in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland, for example comparisons between UC and Ireland's Working Family Payment.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: For access to the PowerPoint slides please contact The paper was given in the Labour Market Activation, Welfare Conditionality, Legislation and Policy section of the conference. The paper was published on-line:
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Business, Education and Law > Law
Event Title: 7th Annual NERI Labour Market Conference
Event Location: Ulster University, McGee Campus, Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Event Dates: 1st May 2019
Depositing User: Keith PUTTICK
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2019 10:42
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 03:49
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