A Caring World

A Caring World

The New Social Policy Agenda You do not have access to this content

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15 Mar 1999
9789264172593 (PDF) ;9789264170070(print)

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A new vision of the purpose of social policy is needed. Scaremongers present decision-makers as facing an overwhelming number of complex problems with more and more limited budgets. Society is indeed undergoing profound upheaval. Ageing populations are increasing pressure on the workforce. Changes in the labour market have hit low-skilled workers hard; the term "social exclusion" has entered the political lexicon, and policies can no longer be based on "traditional" family life. But social policy should not be presented as "papering over the cracks" in society caused by economic and demographic change. As knowledge plays an increasing role in generating wealth, empowering individuals to develop their potential is a central and essential part of economic policy. Indeed, economic and social policies are more intertwined than ever.
This book paints a complete and accessible picture of the current situation and pinpoints how policies can be reformed. Social policy should aim to promote employment and healthy living, rather than just coping with joblessness and ill-health. Investing in children and families helps ensure that all can contribute fully to society. Innovations and experiments in new social policies to better equip individuals and families with the support they need in responding to change abound in OECD countries. Ministers from OECD countries have committed themselves to the ambitious task of creating just such a caring world.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The Economic and Social Context
-1. Introduction and main findings
-2. Demographic and social trends
-3. Labour market challenges: unemployment, inactivity and low pay
-4. The health status of populations
Chapter 2. Expenditure Trends
1. Introduction and main findings
-2. Fiscal constraints
-3. Trends in gross public social expenditure
-4. Trends in expenditure by broad social policy areas
Chapter 3. The Distribution of Income
1. Introduction and main findings
-2. General trends in income distribution and poverty
-3. Inequality at the level of market income and the impact of the tax and transfers system
-4. The position of selected groups in society
-5. Earnings and work attachment of household members
-6. Resources in retirement
-7. The response of social policy
Chapter 4. Policy Challenges in Adapting to the New Life Course
1. Introduction and main findings
-2. The life-course approach
-3. Lifelong learning
-4. The importance of early childhood interventions
-5. Labour market entry for youth
-6. Reconciling paid work and unpaid work.
Chapter 5. Policy Challenges in Implementing Employment-Oriented Social Policies
-1. Introduction and main findings
-2. Making work pay
-3. Policies against exclusion
Chapter 6. Policy Challenges in Improving Health and Care Services
1. Introduction and main findings
-2. Efficiency measures in health care systems
-3. Effectiveness: the move towards outcomes-oriented policy making
-4. Empowerment of the public
-5. Equity in health care
-6. Care provision for the frail elderly
Chapter 7. Conclusion: Much Has Been Done, More Needs Doing
1. Managing equity and efficiency trade-offs
-2. Taking greater account of policy interactions
-3. Reopening social contracts
-4. Utilising the potential of the private, not-for-profit, and voluntary sectors
-5. Constructive public sector reform, devolution, and decentralisation
-6. Adapting to family developments
-7. Realism about the effects of globalisation on social protection
-8. Emphasising the economic function of social protection
-9. Will reforms take place?
Annex: Press Communique of Social Affairs Ministers, 23-24 June 1998

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