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Service charge

Better-off parents should pay something towards their child's state school

By Anthony Seldon   January 2002

For the last 50 years in Britain we have been living with the Attlee government welfare settlement, in which public services were to be free at the point of delivery and financed out of general taxation. The goal was to transform Britain’s political democracy into a social democracy, and it was partly successful.

Tony Blair came to power promising to rethink the Attlee settlement. He said that in place of the tired old debates on incremental improvement and a bit of extra cash something more radical was required. Nearly five years on, the public services are under the microscope as…

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