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The contributory welfare debate

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Responds to Cooke with a more limited view of the value of contributory welfare, arguing that we need a clear understanding of which parts of the welfare state should be contributory, and the context in which any contributory system will operate. Argues that a key aim of policy should be to increase labour market participation and this can be assisted through ways of rewarding contribution differently, not only through financial rewards but through supporting people to take time out of the labour market when necessary, and to facilitate the return to employment (operating similarly to paid maternity leave, which has seen higher rates of women returning to employment). Such time-based rewards for contribution could play a key role in helping people with a strong attachment to the labour market to manage caring responsibilities. Full employment must also mean full opportunities for disabled people and those with caring responsibilities to participate in the labour market. There is evidence that a focus on contributory welfare does not in fact produce more support for welfare payments.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 6, 2012

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