Major changes in the British welfare state were initiated during the 1980s in response to the 1970s’ stagflation, rapid globalisation and the government’s inability to ensure full employment: the relatively unrestricted payment of unemployment benefits was replaced by a jobseekers’ allowance with applicants obliged to seek work actively and, if required, undergo training. Public support for this shift lagged behind the policy introductions, but from 1997 on there was a major change in attitudes towards welfare beneficiaries. Analysis of social attitude survey data for 1983-2011 shows this change occurred during the decade of relative prosperity under the New Labour governments. There was a growing concentration of anti-welfare attitudes across all social groups, regions and supporters of the main political parties.
- public attitudes
Deeming, C., & Johnston, R. (2018). Coming together in a rightward direction: post-1980s changing attitudes to the British welfare state. Quality and Quantity, 52(1), 395–413. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11135-017-0473-z