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Austerity in UK Social Policy: glass 'half full' or 'half empty'?
Author Martin Powell Page 5-12 Date 2017-Dec

The Global Financial Crisis (GEC) occurred in the summer of 2007, resulting in many countries being plunged into the worst recession since the 1930s. Public sector debt rose from 36.7 to 49.0% of GDP and the current budget deficit from 0.6 to 3.4% of GDP in a single year between 2007/08 and 2008/09 (Lupton et al 2016). Ellison (2016) argues that deficits are  ‘normal’ in an historical and comparative sense, and once past the 2009/2010 peak associated with the bank bailouts, the deficit was not dramatically large by historical UK standards, nor unusually large in comparison with other developed economies (p. 30). He presents OECD figures which show that in 2010 the UK debt was some 87 % of GDP compared to (eg) around 47% in Australia and 54% in Denmark and 128% in Greece and 211% in Japan. However, the UK had one of the largest increases in national debt from 2007- 2013 with 222% compared to Spain’s 244%, and had the twentieth largest deficit as a percentage of GDP of some 200 nations. As in many other European Union (EU) nations, early Keynesian responses, often in the direction of welfare state expansion, gave way to austerity measures (Hermann 2014; van Kersbergen et al 2014; Saltkjel et al 2017; Taylor-Gooby et al 2017).
In the UK in 2010 a Labour government was replaced by a Conservative- Liberal Democrat Coalition, which was committed to deficit reduction which was linked more to reduced spending rather than increased taxes. The original aim to remove the deficit in a single parliament (by 2015) (Bochel and Powell 2016), but this date has been delayed many times, and it is far from clear if and when this will be achieved.
The 2015 Election saw a Conservative government with a small majority. As in 2010, the Conservative Manifesto stressed the need to reduce the national deficit and debt, with the period to achieve a budget surplus now given as 2018/19. This meant that total government spending as a share of national income at the end of the next parliament (ie 2020) was forecast to be very slightly higher than in the year 2000 (Bochel and Powell 2016)
The surprising vote to leave the EU in the 2016 Referendum led to the resignation of PM Cameron, who was replaced by former Home Secretary, Theresa May. In 2017, May unexpectedly called a General Election. However, the Conservative Manifesto was arguably the new ‘longest suicide note in history’. The weakest campaign by a PM in living memory, coupled with a Labour revival under Jeremy Corbyn led to a minority Conservative government. The period since the 2017 Election has seen little new in the way of social policy, with the Government becalmed and treading water, with most of its energies focused on ‘Brexit’

 

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1 Austerity in UK Social Policy: glass 'half full' or 'half empty'? Martin Powell 5-12 원문 다운로드
2 Current Policy Trends of Palliative and End-of-life Care in Australia David Currow, Jane Phillips 64-73 원문 다운로드