Summary and Conclusion

John Hills, Ruth Lupton, Tania Burchardt, Kitty Stewart, Polly Vizard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter brings together the book’s findings, concluding that this was indeed an era with a ‘cold climate’ for many areas of social policy. However, it was not a uniform history. There were some strong contrasts between the policies Labour continued to pursue until it lost office in May 2010, and those of its successors, but also sharp differences between social policy areas under the Coalition. Austerity was selective – indeed the pressure on ‘unprotected’ areas was increased by the cost of increased income tax allowances and favourable treatment of pensions. Early years provision, social care for the elderly, and particular working-age benefits were sharply affected. Some areas were comparatively insulated, but still affected by major reform, while in others the role of the state was redrawn or even substantially withdrawn. Much of this conscious reshaping of Britain’s welfare state is set to continue or intensify under the new Conservative government.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Policy in a Cold Climate
Subtitle of host publicationPolicies and their consequences since the crisis
EditorsRuth Lupton, Tania Burchardt, John Hills, Kitty Stewart, Polly Vizard
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherPolicy Press
ISBN (Electronic)97844732775
ISBN (Print)1447327721, 9781447327721
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • welfare state
  • public services
  • inequality
  • poverty
  • austerity


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