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A quiet revolution

People are turning against welfare, other than help for the elderly and disabled, doubtful that politicians give money to the right people for the right reasons

By Peter Kellner   March 2012

Since the 1980s, there has been a “marked decline in support for redistribution.” Photograph by Martin Parr, chronicler of modern Britain


If David Cameron didn’t know before, he surely knows it now: few political potatoes are as hot as welfare. For 100 years—from David Lloyd George’s plan for retirement pensions, via the Beveridge Report 70 years ago and a succession of postwar strategies for state benefits—politicians of every stripe have tried to build a lasting settlement. The government’s welfare reform bill is the latest attempt, and it is having as rough a ride as all the others.

At one…

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