Understanding Attitudes to Welfare: Summary of Evidence

By: Jenny Pennington; University of York  Published: March 2017


Two reports setting out how attitudes to welfare provision have changed over the last seventy years, what underpins attitudes to welfare in England and some of the ways that we can successfully build support for the safety net we need.

Summary

We all need to know that there will be a safety net in place if we lose our job, cannot work or can no longer afford a place to call home. Politicians cut welfare for many economic and political reasons. But widespread public unease about the welfare system enables these cuts. We need to address these concerns in order to remove the stigma surrounding benefits and build political support for a system that works.

Doing this isn’t easy; in fact, it is possible to stir up a hostile debate by engaging with it. Over the last eighteen months, we have worked with academics, researchers and insight specialists to build a picture of popular views, to find out what underpins them and ways we can get our views heard.

The first report explores how attitudes to welfare provision have changed over the last seventy years

The second report summarises what we know about attitudes to welfare benefits, what underpins and drives attitudes, and what are some of the ways that we can successfully build support for the safety net we need.

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