Whose Welfare State Now?
The purpose of a welfare state should be to prevent poverty and reduce inequality. But in the UK, where many people believe that those on lower incomes only weigh on the state and where benefits become a poverty-trap rather than a way to support people back into work, this purpose is not being fulfilled. This paper argues that , to be successful, the welfare state has to collect fairly from all and redistribute fairly at the right time to meet the right needs. This paper is part of a series of papers which have resulted from the Whose Economy? seminar series, held in Scotland in 2010 – 2011, whose purpose was to provide a space for researchers, representative organisations, policy-makers and people with experience of poverty to come together and explore the causes of poverty and inequality in today’s Scotland.