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April 27, 2018 / C H Thompson

New Right Approaches to Welfare

  • New Right views flourished during the 1979 – 1997 Conservative administration. Their free-market approach called for a ‘rolling-back’ of state and an expansion of the free-market in the delivery of welfare.
  • a free market in welfare allows governments to hand over responsibility of welfare to individuals and their families (voluntary sector) as well as charities
  • lower taxation from lower welfare spending will encourage people to purchasing their own welfare provision for example private health-care insurance such as BUPA
  • the above two points helps reduce the welfare burden on the state and tax payers
  • it also removes the dependency culture, the growth in lone-parenting as both have flourished under an over-generous welfare system
  • As welfare burden is reduced so incomes tax thresholds can be reduced
  • Individuals are encouraged to take more personal responsibility encouraging more self-reliance
  • A welfare safety-net, for the very poor through means tested welfare payments are still provided but at a minimum cost to the state


  • only those people with high enough earnings can afford private health-care
  • a two-tier health-care system comes into existence leading to better health-care for the rich
  • a stigma is attached to claiming welfare when its means tested
  • people avoid medical check-ups due to cost e.g. dentistry and so their health declines

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