“At last! a good, critical and up to date introduction to social security. It will be of enormous assistance to students, academics and indeed anyone interested in social policy.”
Jonathan Bradshaw, Professor of Social Policy, University of York
The book is an accessible, broadly based and sometimes controversial text which can help readers to make sense of the system in practice. It explains the guiding principles, outlines the social context, considers the development and political dimensions of benefits, and reviews how the system operates now. there are detailed discussions of the types of benefit, and the contingencies covered by the benefits system.
“a comprehensive account of the principles of British social security
delivered in bite-sized chunks beloved by students.”
Robert Walker, Professor of Social Policy, University of Oxford
Part One: Introductory principles: What is social security?
Social security and the welfare state
Social security and society
Part Two: The development of the system
The origins of social security in the UK
The politics of social security
A unified system?
Part Three: Benefits: National Insurance
Means tested benefits I: the basic minimum
Means testing II: income supplements
The provision of non-contributory benefits
Part Four: The principal contingencies
Benefits for people with disabilities
Children and families
Benefits for the poor
Part Five: Issues in social security policy
The cost of social security
Fraud and abuse
Responding to poverty
Social security and redistribution
How social security in Britain compares to other countries.
Social security: a programme for reform
Appendix: Sources of data
Click here to see a sample chapter from the text. This is Chapter 24, Fraud and abuse (PDF, 171Kb).
The appendix to the book, giving links to sources of data, is available here.
The book can be ordered from the Policy Press’s website.
Lecturers teaching relevant courses of more than 12 students can order an inspection copy here.
Updating and commentary
This blog includes updates on social security policy and comments on new developments.