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What's wrong with social security benefits?

Spicker, Paul


Paul Spicker


In this thought-provoking book, Paul Spicker challenges readers to rethink social security benefits in Britain. Putting a case for reform of the system, Spicker argues that most of the criticisms made of social security benefits – that spending is out of control, that it has led to mushrooming dependency, that it fails to get people into work, and that the system is riddled with fraud – are misconceived. Addressing those misconceptions, Spicker assesses the real problems with the system, related to its size, its complexity, the expectation that benefits agencies should know everything, and the determination to ‘personalise’ benefits for millions of people. This stimulating short book is a valuable introduction to social security in Britain and the potential for its reform. This example chapter is a post-peer review, pre-copyedited version of text excerpted of chapter 3 - The real problems.


SPICKER, P. 2017. What's wrong with social security benefits? Bristol: Policy Press [online]. Available from:

Book Type Monograph
Online Publication Date Feb 22, 2017
Publication Date Feb 22, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jan 25, 2021
Publisher Policy Press
Book Title What's wrong with social security benefits?
ISBN 9781447337324
Keywords Social security; Benefits; Benefit system
Public URL
Publisher URL


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