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Wirral MP publishes radical ideas for welfare reform
3:26pm Thursday 12th September 2013 in News
BIRKENHEAD MP Frank Field has written a new pamphlet setting out his views on radical welfare reform.
Conventional wisdom holds that it requires extra money, and large amounts of it, for effective reform.
In Working Welfare - Contributory Benefits, the Moral Economy and the New Politics, Mr Field argues it is the shortage of money, when demand for welfare is increasing, that could drive the most significant welfare reform programme since Attlee.
Mr Field said: “Today’s welfare bill is the largest part of the Government budget and it is expanding fastest.
“Worse still, it is means-tested assistance that is driving up the size of the bill, yet it is this something-for-nothing welfare that means-testing promotes that is so disliked by tax-payers.
"The welfare budget needs to expand at a time when there are huge pressures to cut it as the largest of all government budgets.
“I believe it possible to gain tax-payers’ support for increased contributions but only if those contributions are owned and protected by the contributors.”
In his booklet Mr Field outlines a scheme for establishing four national mutuals, owned by their memberships.
He said: “It requires a most fundamental renegotiation between contributors and Government that ensures that politicians cannot get their sticky fingers onto monies being invested in the new mutuals.”
The pamphlet, the first inpublisher Politeia’s new economic series, was launched on Wednesday, September 11, at the House of Commons.
Mr Field is standing on the shoulders of giants in publishing a pamphlet setting out radical ideas.
At the turn of the century, Fabian Society members George Bernard Shaw, Beatrice Webb, and Graham Wallas all propagated political doctrine in a series of pamphlets.
The pamphlet played a part in all political movements of the 19th century. Most notable were those on Chartism, Irish Home Rule, and the Oxford movement.
From the 20th century the pamphlet has more often been used for information than for controversy, chiefly by Government departments and societies.
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