Introduction to the Social Services by W. E. Baugh (auth.)

By W. E. Baugh (auth.)

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The 1972 Housing Finance Act introduced statutory rent rebate for council house tenants on low incomes and rent allowance for low income families in private accommodation. Both now go under the name of housing benefit. Under the 1986 Social Security Act all households, even the poorest, would be expected to pay 20 per cent of their rates, but how this will actually operate must await the Government's proposals for the reform of Local Government finance. Those on income support (a proposed replacement for supplementary benefit - see below) or similar income would, however, have their rent met in full.

The Thatcher government now argues that the above pension scheme, popularly known as SERPS (State Earnings Related Pension Scheme) was actuarially based on too rosy a picture of the economy and is too costly. Hence, under the 1986 Social Security Act the Government, if it wins the General Election, will introduce a simpler basic pension but eventually it is hoped every employee will be able to contribute to his own additional pension to augment the basic state pension. This would be done by means of an occupational pension provided by the employer but if employees choose to have a personal pension arrangement, they will be able to opt out of the employers' schemes.

Marshall, Social Policy, 5th edn (Hutchinson, 1985). Robert Pinker, Social Theory and Social Policy (Heinemann, 1971). Robert Roberts, The Classic Slum, 3rd impression (Manchester University Press, 1978). Michael E. Rose, The Relief of Poverty, 1834-1914, 2nd edn (Macmillan, 1986). Pat Thane, The Foundations of the Welfare State (Longman, 1982). 4 Social Security Today Social security is concerned with ensuring, for all citizens above school-leaving age, a basic income when they cannot earn enough money to maintain themselves and their dependants.

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