The Battle against Exclusion

Social Assistance in Australia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom

This book examines the performance of social assistance policies in four countries with similar per capita incomes: Australia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. It confronts their -- very different -- social protection systems and sheds light on issues such as social insurance and social assistance, central and local social security systems, active and passive policies. The often complex interactions involved are analysed and lessons are drawn from the countries' varied experiences. Particular attention is paid to young people, the long-term unemployed, lone-parent families, immigrants and asylum seekers. Conclusions -- both country-based and thematic -- are presented with a particular emphasis on how barriers and disincentives to employment can be overcome: these are indispensable weapons in the battle against exclusion.

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