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IDS on welfare reform

Via The Blue Blog » Our welfare reforms will make work pay: At the election, the Conservatives made a promise to you to get Britain working. Now we are delivering on that promise. This Government is on the side of people who want to get ahead. The plans we have announced in the last few days will get people into work and will reform the welfare system to ensure that work always pays and no one can say they are better […]

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How much do we really spend on welfare?

Steve asked me to make President Reagan’s 1964 Time for Choosing speech applicable for the UK in 2010. In the speech, Reagan posits that if the US were to give their total welfare budget of $45bn to those below the poverty line this would work out at $4,600 per person. Factoring for inflation this would now stand at $32,413 for each person in 2010. If you were to do this with the UK: £113bn is spent on benefits in the UK. Amount of people below the […]

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21st Century Welfare – DWP

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Via 21st Century Welfare, the Coalition seeks views on proposals for welfare reform. Since I gave time to work for the Centre for Social Justice, these reforms are close to my heart: we must take people out of the present intergenerational cycles of broad spectrum poverty. Iain Duncan Smith’s statement in the main paper is encouraging, particularly the central section: Too often governments have tried to tackle poverty but ended up managing its symptoms. The changes outlined here are based on […]

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The Arthur Rank Centre

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I had the privilege today of visiting the Arthur Rank Centre: A collaborative unit supported by the National Churches, the Royal Agricultural Society of England and the Rank Foundation serving the rural community and its churches. The Centre was named after Lord Rank who donated the original building. It was opened by the Queen at the Royal Show in 1972 and is the recognised national rural resources unit for the churches. It is also a project base for innovative thinking and wide ranging […]

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The CPS on benefits, reform, big government and data

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I am an Associate Member of the Centre for Policy Studies and I always enjoy reading their pamphlets: they remind me I am not alone. I caught up with the following four yesterday on the train. The theme? Putting humanity back into our society. Click the images to download the pamphlets as PDFs. The Reality Gap – an analysis of the failure of big government demonstrates that more government means worse. Jill Kirby writes of voter disenchantment and indicates that, […]

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Holidays 4 Heroes

Via Holidays 4 Heroes, the armed forces show how to deliver “quick reaction welfare”: Holidays 4 Heroes is an informal group of people, including serving and retired personnel from all the UK Armed Forces and civilian supporters. We try to assist serving and former military personnel and their families, in a variety of ways that might otherwise fall outside the remit of the better-known Forces Charities. We work together through an Internet web-site used, mainly but certainly not exclusively, by […]

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New to the Conservative candidate list?

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As David Cameron throws open the list to more candidates from outside the political mainstream, I personally recommend these five books from my reading list plus some first-class think tanks. Five books See the links in the sidebar for more book recommendations. Tansey and Jackson, “Politics: The Basics”, because you have to start somewhere. Via Amazon: This highly successful introduction to the world of politics has been fully revised and updated in collaboration with a new co-author, Nigel Jackson of […]

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The Centre for Social Justice – Knife and gun crime

A moving article from Philippa Stroud at the Centre for Social Justice, laying out the root causes of social breakdown and explaining the possibilities for reversal: Society will always have a criminal element – those for whom it doesn’t matter what you do, they will decide to be aggressive and violent. But the level that we have now and that is spilling over into every community and every school is being driven by something else. If you stop for long […]

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Fair Trade, bananas and feeding the poor

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A rainy Sunday game of Trivial Pursuit provided the claim that bananas are the fourth most important food commodity after rice, wheat and maize in terms of production value. This UN report confirms the fact. And that reminded me of an article in the Journal of The Institute of Economic Affairs, Fair trade is counterproductive – and unfair by David R. Henderson. In the article, Henderson writes: There is a Fair Trade mark for bananas as well as for coffee [the focus of […]

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Blueprints | Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence

Via Blueprints | Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence | CU-Boulder. Demand for effective violence, drug, and crime prevention programs continues to grow. Across the country, a raft of programs aimed at preventing violence and drug abuse is underway. All of these programs are well-intentioned. Yet very few of them have evidence demonstrating their effectiveness. Many are implemented with little consistency or quality control. How do we know what works? … Why do we need to know what works? […]

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