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Last on

Sun 2 Dec 2012 20:00 BBC Radio 4

2 hours, 55 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 27 November 2012

Seventy years ago William Beveridge wrote a report that was to lay the foundations for the welfare state. He identified the Five Giants that society needed to slay: Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness. Using archive from the time, Jane Garvey and Julian Worricker take us back to that extraordinary moment in wartime Britain that has proved so pivotal to the shape of the welfare state today. They discuss how well the system serves those who rely it on it now - and those who pay for it. Changing attitudes to those on benefits are reflected in a new BBC-commissioned poll and and we hear three radical visions for how welfare should be provided in the future. There'll be tough debate on fairness, entitlement, rights and compassion with Frank Field, Labour MP, the philosopher Roger Scruton and social commentator Polly Toynbee. The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith will be challenged to outline the philosophy behind his decisions on reforming the welfare state, as well as responding to the views of contributors and listeners.

Producers:Elaine Lester, Sharmini Selvarajah
Editor:Andrew Smith.


7 items
  • To contact the programme

    You can contact us by email at R4welfare@bbc.co.uk or via twitter at #R4welfare or by calling us on 03700 100 444.  Lines are open from 0900 on Tuesday November 27th. Costs will be the same as for calls to an 01 or 02 number.
  • Welfare vision: Frances O'Grady

    Frances O'Grady, TUC, General Secretary Designate

    The TUC's General Secretary Designate outlines her vision for a reformed welfare state.

  • Welfare vision: James Bartholomew

    James Bartholomew

    James Bartholomew - author of The Welfare State We're In - outlines his vision for a reformed welfare state.

  • Welfare vision: Julia Slay

    Julia Slay, Senior Researcher, The New Economics Foundation.

    Julia Slay from The New Economics Foundation outlines her vision for a reformed welfare state.


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