New PDF release: Access to Welfare: An Introduction to Welfare Rationing

By Peggy Foster

ISBN-10: 0333321200

ISBN-13: 9780333321201

ISBN-10: 1349860646

ISBN-13: 9781349860647

Show description

By Peggy Foster

ISBN-10: 0333321200

ISBN-13: 9780333321201

ISBN-10: 1349860646

ISBN-13: 9781349860647

Show description

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Additional resources for Access to Welfare: An Introduction to Welfare Rationing

Sample text

They have criticised tradition al welfare texts for failing to produce any rigorous analysis or justification of the provision of free and statutory welfare services. 40 Nevitt takes an economist's view of needs for government provided services. She does not accept that there is any fundamental or theoretical distinction which can be made between luxuries and so called 'needs'. She claims that social needs are simply those We/[are Needs 35 demands which society has decided are important enough to be met by government intervention.

Critics of the tradition al emphasis on the experts' view of need claim that so called experts are hardly more objective in their definitions of need than clients themselves. According to this argument it is impossible to reach a purely objective definition based on scientific facts, of even the most basic of individuals' needs. It is now widely acknowledged that even the practice of medicine is as much an art as a science. Whether or not a patient needs a particular type of medical treatment is usually deter- 26 Access to Welfare mined more by medical opinion than by scientific fact.

It is a trap to imagine, she insists, 'that some government goods have an absolute priority and must be supplied at any cost. So long as prices and quantities are omitted from estimations of need the concept can have neither theoretical nor empirical value and it properly belongs not to the social services but to the vocabulary of political rhetoric. ,42 Certainly some social researchers and welfare providers have been guilty of insisting that absolute priority must be given to the need they have discovered because, by definition, needs ought to be met.

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Access to Welfare: An Introduction to Welfare Rationing by Peggy Foster


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