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?
Executive vice-chair The Work Foundation
Author Them & Us
Professor of Economics, Warwick University
Co-founder Centre for Social Justice
senior curator, Museum of London
Emeritus Professor of Modern History, Oxford University
Co-editor British Social Attitudes Survey
Editorial & Programme Director, Institute of Economic Affairs
Community Project Manager, Salvation Army
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.