Many in Labour now argue that welfare policy should be reformed so that it is more consistent with the norm of reciprocity. Is this the right way forward for the left? This paper argues that the norm of reciprocity is indeed central to the social democratic understanding of social justice. However, a social democratic approach to reciprocity requires that welfare policy be put in the context of a wider agenda in which undeserved wealth is fairly taxed, working poverty is abolished and all forms of social contribution, such as unpaid care work, are properly acknowledged and supported.
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