Hundreds of thousands of UK families will be affected by cuts of £12bn in the UK’s welfare budget announced by the chancellor.
- The benefit cap will be reduced from £26,000 a year to £23,000 a year in London, and £20,000 in the rest of the country.
- Any family which has a third or subsequent child born after April 2017 will not qualify for Child Tax Credit, which amounts to up to £2,780 a year per child.
- Most working age benefits will be frozen for four years from April 2016 (The measure is expected to save £3.9bn a year).
- From April 2017, those out of work between the ages of 18 and 21 will not be automatically entitled to claim housing benefit.
Benefit changes ‘could push 200,000 children into poverty
Here is a suggested essay structure for:
Evaluate the impact of state policies and laws on family life (20 marks)
Introduction: Give a brief overview of the main ‘themes’ in family policy over the last century. For example, the Beveridge Report set the foundation for a new age whereby the state was willing to take (some) responsibility for families in the UK; Labour introduced a range of liberal policies in the 1960s which arguably have had the most significant impact on family structure; influenced by the New Right, Thatcher attempted to re-adjust the balance of some of these policies by slowing down the extent of divorce reform and by prizing the nuclear family as the ideal family. New Labour introduced a ‘third way’ which was tried to implement stricter welfare policies whilst still retaining liberal attitudes towards family diversity. Cameron’s Conservative Party introduced a number of liberal policies (influenced by the EU perhaps) but still retained the familial ideology of the New Right.
Part 1: The 60s and early 70s Discuss the impact of some of the acts of this period from a feminist and conversely, a New Right perspective – The Abortion Act 1967; The Equal Pay Act 1970; Divorce Reform Act 1969; The Sexual Offences Act 1967. Please refer back to your New Right and feminist notes to help you with this.
Part 2: The 80s (Thatcher) Describe Thatcher’s ideological stance (New Right) and analyse a couple of policies such as her attitude towards the mooted divorce reform act. How might feminists react to this period?
Part 3: New Labour (Blair) Describe the ‘third way’. Working Families Tax Credit 1997; Sure Start (1998);
Part 4: Conservatives (Cameron): Troubled families programme (2011) and paternity leave
Conclusion: what is the future for the British family?