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Social Security and Localism

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Social Security Law
Issue number3
Volume24
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)119-134
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

While in recent years, the idea of localism has helped frame social policy debates, too little has been written about its possible relationships to social security. This is surprising as various elements of social security policy have been administered at a local level for many years. Locating its analysis in the work of Michael Hill, the paper draws upon historical and contemporary examples of such polices – Section 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1963; financial support for care leavers in the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000; the development of rent rebates and housing benefit; the shift from council tax benefit to council tax reduction schemes; and the devolution of responsibilities for ‘special expenses’ to local authorities through local welfare assistance – to examine the various ways in which localism can be understood through the lens of localism. The paper argues that while there are different ways of doing this and that the antecedents of the various policies examined might differ, the relationship between social security and localism is primarily ideological. Localism is a mechanism through which collective social provision is critiqued and eroded, and through which governments hope that individuals can be made more responsible.