14th June 2013
Partly inspired by a seminar given by Elizabeth Anderson at the IPPR on 13 June, in which the question of how far egalitarians should rely on income redistribution was debated.I argue that our main form of income redistribution, the social security system, achieves some equalisation of income but only as a by-product of poverty reduction. Egalitarian aims go far beyond poverty reduction, I guess, so the implication is that egalitarian strategies sit alongside the objectives of social security rather than informing them or- as some seem to feel these days- competing with them. To say that social security is mainly about reducing poverty, and that that's no bad thing, is not of course to say that poverty reduction in any way defines the limits of social justice, or that other welfare state functions do not serve broader egalitarian objectives.
10th April 2013
In which I come a poor second to Jules Birch in drawing out the parallels between the problems with the1983 housing benefit changes as recounted by Nicholas Timmins and the current worries about Universal Credit
25th May 2012
16th January 2012
Politicians consistently push a view of the benefit system which rests on arithmetical error.
5th January 2012
How and why Housing Benefit spending has increased
8th September 2011
This is an updated version of a presentation at the Left Foot Forward session at the Compass June 2011 conference.