Since its establishment in 1946, the post-war welfare system has been beset by muddled thinking and short-termism. In that time, there has never been a strategic review of the system – and yet the government spends over £171 billion on welfare annually.
Frank Field and Andrew Forsey call for the welfare system to be reformed instead of dismantled, arguing for regular strategic reviews that follow the model already used in the defence sector. Asking serious questions about how the welfare state can be sustained in this century, the authors evoke the economist William Beveridge’s declaration that the time has come ‘for revolutions, not for patching.’
FRANK FIELD has been MP for Birkenhead since 1979. In 1997-98 he served as the Minister of Welfare Reform and is now Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee.
Find Frank on Twitter @frankfieldteam
ANDREW FORSEY is Frank Field’s Senior Parliamentary Researcher and served as Secretary to the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiring into Hunger in the United Kingdom,