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The Deserving and the Undeserving Poor

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 15 November 2010

Presenter Chris Bowlby asks whether a state welfare system can ever distinguish between those who deserve help and those who do not.
As the recession bites and public spending cuts loom there have been calls, on both sides of the political debate, for a re-moralisation of welfare. Some say that the entitlement culture has gone too far, others that the hard-working poor should not be footing the bill for those who choose not to take a job. When did the language change and what does a change in vocabulary really mean?
And even if desirable can distinctions between welfare recipients be made in practice? If there are time limits on the receipt of welfare will more people end up better-off in work or worse-off unable to work?
Analysis will look at what history can teach us about making moral distinctions between the poor - both when the economy is booming & when it's contracting. And what of those, such as the children of welfare recipients, caught up in the debate : can it ever right to reduce the money which may give them a better future?
Contributors :
Will Hutton
Executive vice-chair The Work Foundation
Author Them & Us

Mark Harrison
Professor of Economics, Warwick University

Tim Montgomerie
Co-founder Centre for Social Justice
Editor, ConservativeHome

Hazel Forsyth
senior curator, Museum of London

Jose Harris
Emeritus Professor of Modern History, Oxford University

Alison Park
Co-editor British Social Attitudes Survey

Philip Booth
Editorial & Programme Director, Institute of Economic Affairs

Gordon Lewis
Community Project Manager, Salvation Army

Rod Nutten
Volunteer, Salvation Army

Client, Salvation Army

Major Ivor Telfer
Assistant Secretary for Programmes, Salvation Army UK & Republic of Ireland

Presenter : Chris Bowlby
Producer : Rosamund Jones.


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