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Compare and contrast the liberal and Southern models of social policy, using at least one example of each - Essay Example

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Social policies reflect the activities of governments in availing monetary resources, as well as services to their citizens in five core areas:social security, education services, health services, personal social services, and housing provision and subsidies…
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Compare and contrast the liberal and Southern models of social policy, using at least one example of each
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Download file to see previous pages The OECD delineates social expenditure as the granting by both public and private institutions of benefits to either individuals or households so as to avail support, amid circumstances that may harmfully affect citizen’s welfare (Baldock, 2011, p.8). Social benefits can be categorized broadly to include aspects such as cash benefits (in the form of pensions, social assistance, and maternity benefits), social services, and tax breaks with a social purpose. Social expenditure can be categorized into two; first, expenditures made directly by the government and secondly, private social expenditures made by non-government organizations (Arts and Gelissen, 2002, p.175). Welfare States The term ‘welfare states’ describes societies in which a considerable part of the production of welfare is availed by the government; however, controversy still reigns within the academic circles of social policy on what essentially qualifies as a welfare state (Starke, Obinger and Castles, 2008, p.975). There are four types of the welfare state systems mentioned in the literature of EU15 countries. These include the conservative model grounded in social contributions/the corporatist (Germany), the tax-financed social-democratic welfare states with extensive public social security systems (Sweden), the neo-liberal market-based model (the U.S.), and the southern model (Spain, Greece) (Esping-Andersen, 2002, p.2). The paper explores two models utilized in Sweden (the Scandinavian or social democratic universal welfare model) and Germany (Bismarckian/Continental European) and probes their impact on inequality and poverty, as well as on healthcare. Key Features Germany and Sweden’s Welfare Model The post-war German settlement pursued the notion of a social state (social market economy). The first principle details economic development as the best means to attain social welfare. The structure of the social services mirrors this priority and embodies a close relationship of services to people’s position within the labour market. Social benefits are earnings-related, which means that individuals without work records may not be covered for significant contingencies. Germany’s corporatist welfare state infers the social insurance programs introduced by Bismarck, with eligibility for earnings-related benefits grounded in contributions and occupational category (Baldock, 2011, p.9). There is a considerable emphasis on the principle of “subsidiarity” that translates to the assertion that services should be decentralized or autonomously sustained and that the degree of state's intervention ought to be essentially residual. The principle derives from the close relationship of services to individual’s position within the labour market. Social insurance covers the costs of health plus some social care, as well as income maintenance system managed by a system of independent funds (Spain, Greece) (Esping-Andersen, 2002, p.3). Swedish: The Institutional-Redistributive Model The Swedish model can be regarded as an ideal mode of the welfare state availing institutional care, with respect that it avails universal welfare benefits to all citizens. The Swedish model goes further than the British model by having a strong commitment towards social equality (Spain, Greece) (Esping-Andersen, 2002, p.4). Indeed, Sweden manifests the highest level of social protection spending within the OECD, as well as the lowest proportion of income, left for independent households (close to less that 50% of its national ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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