Is Europe Losing Its Soul?
Edited by Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead
Chapter 11: Britain’s social model: Rapid descent from ‘liberal collectivism’ to a ‘market society’
In common with other high-income countries, Britain’s social model – comprising welfare policy, employment policy and policies for civil society – faces the contradictory pressures of austerity, globalization and changing socio-economic needs. International financial markets penalize deficit-financed government spending, but they also punish low economic growth, as evidenced by the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) loss of its AAA rating in early 2013. Changing demography means increased welfare services for an ageing population, but from a tax base reduced by a smaller working-age population. Also, the economic pressures of global competition demand investment in education and training and effective labour market institutions, but clash with a resurgent neoliberal agenda to promote economic growth through pro-capital, deregulatory state intervention.
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