Diversion Ahead? Change Is Needed but That Doesn’t Mean That Basic Income Is the Answer / Bowman D., Mallett S., Cooney-O’Donoghue D. In: Klein E., Mays J., Dunlop T. (eds) Implementing a Basic Income in Australia. ABSTRACT: Using an expanded version of De Wispelaere and Stirton’s 2004 framework for assessing basic income policies, we examine selected past and recent trials. The trials have all produced inconclusive results, in part because of the political contexts in which they have been implemented. As a result, they do little to progress policy reforms to address the challenges of economic insecurities and inequalities. Basic income proposals can act as beacons for change, but because they often lack detail, they risk distracting attention from the challenges and opportunities for social security reform. Our expanded framework enables detailed assessment of the dimensions of proposals for change. It also enables the identification of the elements of basic income proposals that can be incorporated into progressive efforts to reclaim social security.
Conceptualizing Activation Policies Targeted at Single Mothers: A Case Study of Australia and the United Kingdom / Michelle Brady, Conceptualizing Activation Policies Targeted at Single Mothers: A Case Study of Australia and the United Kingdom, Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society. ABSTRACT: Single parents are increasingly a target group for “activation” through new obligations to seek paid work or engage in education or training. Researchers commonly characterize new activation policies in terms of epochal shifts or unidirectional movements away from understanding single parents as “carers” or “mothers”. This characterization downplays the degree to which the postwar welfare state viewed single parents as potential workers and the degree to which contemporary reforms view them as carers. Based on historical research and drawing on Foucault’s concept of problematization and research on neoliberal governmentalities, pre-emptive politics and anticipatory modes of power, this article seeks to extend existing characterizations of activation policies for single parents.
Working and homeless: exploring the interaction of housing and labour market insecurity / Jones, K., Ahmed, A., Madoc-Jones, I. et al. (3 more authors) (Accepted: 2019) Working and homeless: exploring the interaction of housing and labour market insecurity. Social Policy and Society. ABSTRACT: Alongside an increasing focus on ‘prevention’, moving homeless adults into work is frequently considered an important part of helping them overcome homelessness and sustain an ‘independent’ life. However, a growing evidence base shows that work does not always offer the means to escape poverty, and many in employment face housing insecurity. Relatedly, there is increasing concern about the phenomenon of ‘in-work homelessness’. Drawing on new data from a study of people’s experience of homelessness in Wales, this paper considers the hitherto underexplored topic of being both in work and homeless. The article provides a critical examination of how homelessness policy operates in practice, through presenting evidence of the experiences of a marginalised group (namely, working homeless people as users of homelessness services). It also considers how policy and practice could be modified to improve outcomes for homeless people and how prevention could play out in other contexts and welfare regimes.
Universal Credit, gender and unpaid childcare: Mothers’ accounts of the new welfare conditionality regime / Andersen, K. (2019). Universal Credit, gender and unpaid childcare: Mothers’ accounts of the new welfare conditionality regime. Critical Social Policy. ABSTRACT: The introduction of Universal Credit, a new social assistance benefit for working age people in the UK, constitutes radical welfare reform and entails a significant intensification and expansion of welfare conditionality. Numerically, women are disproportionately affected by the conditionality regime for main carers of children within Universal Credit. Under this new benefit, couples have to nominate as ‘responsible carer’ the person in the household primarily responsible for the care of dependent children. Lone parents are automatically designated as the ‘responsible carer’. The responsible carer is subject to varying levels of conditionality (depending on the youngest child’s age) and faces benefit sanctions for non-compliance. To investigate the gendered implications of conditionality for responsible carers within Universal Credit, a small-scale qualitative study was carried out. The study’s findings show that the conditionality within Universal Credit devalues unpaid childcare and subjects mothers to conflicting responsibilities of mandatory work-related requirements and unpaid childcare.
Out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure in Australia: trends, inequalities and the impact on household living standards in a high-income country with a universal health care system / Callander, E. Fox H. & Lindsay D. Health Economics Review, 11 March 2019. ABSTRACT: Background: Poor health increases the likelihood of experiencing poverty by reducing a person’s ability to work and imparting costs associated with receiving medical treatment. Universal health care is a means of protecting against the impoverishing impact of high healthcare costs. This study aims to document the recent trends in the amount paid by Australian households out-of-pocket for healthcare, identify any inequalities in the distribution of this expenditure, and to describe the impact that healthcare costs have on household living standards in a high-income country with a long established universal health care system. We undertook this analysis using a longitudinal, nationally representative dataset – the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey, using data collected annually from 2006 to 2014. Out of pocket payments covered those paid to health practitioners, for medication and in private health insurance premiums; catastrophic expenditure was defined as spending 10% or more of household income on healthcare.
Results: Average total household expenditure on healthcare items remained relatively stable between 2006 and 2014 after adjusting for inflation, changing from $3133 to $3199. However, after adjusting for age, self-reported health status, and year, those in the lowest income group (decile one) had 15 times the odds (95% CI, 11.7–20.8) of having catastrophic health expenditure compared to those in the highest income group (decile ten). The percentage of people in income decile 2 and 3 who had catastrophic health expenditure also increased from 13% to 19% and 7% to 13% respectively.
Conclusions: Ongoing monitoring of out of pocket healthcare expenditure is an essential part of assessing health system performance, even in countries with universal health care.[Open access]
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