Medicine And The Media

On welfare in a state

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7026.318 (Published 03 February 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:318
  1. Martin Mckee

    For some people, state support for those in need is going out of fashion. We met a selection of them in the first of two programmes from the Panorama team on the future of the welfare state. We were told that costs are spiralling out of control, that many of those on benefit are too lazy to look for work, that benefits are far too generous, and even that the welfare state is contributing to family breakdown, making it easier for people to walk away from problems that they once would have had to sort out.

    But others are not so sure. While some interviewees painted a picture of feckless individuals lazing about at the taxpayer's expense rather than looking for one of the many jobs available, could it be that those who fall off the ladder of education and employment descend into a vicious downward spiral with little hope of recovery? Panorama went to Hastings to find out. With 16% male unemployment, it is one of the most deprived …

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