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Welfare, or commonly social welfare, is a type of government support intended to ensure that members of a society can meet
basic human needs Maslow's hierarchy of needs is an idea in psychology Psychology is the science, scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, including feelin ...
such as food and shelter. Social security may either be synonymous with welfare, or refer specifically to
social insurance Social insurance is a form of Social protection, social welfare that provides insurance against economic risks. The insurance may be provided publicly or through the subsidizing of private insurance. In contrast to other forms of Welfare, soci ...
programs which provide support only to those who have previously contributed (e.g. most pension systems), as opposed to ''social assistance'' programs which provide support on the basis of need alone (e.g. most disability benefits). The
International Labour Organization The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice by setting international labour standards. Founded in October 1919 under the League of Nations, it is the first and ol ...
defines social security as covering support for those in old age, support for the maintenance of children,
medical treatment A therapy or medical treatment (often abbreviated tx, Tx, or Tx) is the attempted remediation of a health problem, usually following a medical diagnosis. As a rule, each therapy has indication (medicine), indications and contraindications. Th ...
,
parental A parent is a caregiver of the offspring in their own species. In humans, a parent is the caretaker of a child (where "child" refers to offspring, not necessarily age). A ''biological parent'' is a person whose gamete resulted in a child, a male t ...
and
sick leave Sick leave (or paid sick days or sick pay) is paid time off from work that workers can use to stay home to address their health Health, according to the World Health Organization, is "a state of complete physical, Mental health, mental and so ...
,
unemployment Unemployment, according to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), is people above a specified age (usually 15) not being in paid employment or self-employment but currently available for Work (human activity), w ...
and disability benefits, and support for sufferers of
occupational injury An occupational injury is bodily damage resulting from working. The most common Organ (anatomy), organs involved are the vertebral column, spine, hands, the Human head, head, human lung, lungs, human eye, eyes, human skeleton, skeleton, and human ...
. More broadly, welfare may also encompass efforts to provide a basic level of
well-being Well-being, or wellbeing, also known as wellness, prudential value or quality of life, refers to what is intrinsically valuable relative ''to'' someone. So the well-being of a person is what is ultimately good ''for'' this person, what is in th ...
through free or
subsidized A subsidy or government incentive is a form of financial aid or support extended to an economic sector (business, or individual) generally with the aim of promoting economic and social policy. Although commonly extended from the government, the ter ...
''social services'' such as
healthcare Health care or healthcare is the improvement of health via the preventive healthcare, prevention, diagnosis, therapy, treatment, wiktionary:amelioration, amelioration or cure of disease, illness, injury, and other disability, physical and menta ...
,
education Education is a purposeful activity directed at achieving certain aims, such as transmitting knowledge or fostering skills and character traits. These aims may include the development of understanding, rationality, kindness, and honesty ...
,
infrastructure Infrastructure is the set of facilities and systems that serve a country, city, or other area, and encompasses the services and facilities necessary for its economy, households and firms to function. Infrastructure is composed of public and priv ...
,
vocational training Vocational education is education that prepares people to work as a technician or to take up employment in a skilled craft or trade as a tradesman, tradesperson or artisan. Vocational Education can also be seen as that type of education give ...
, and
public housing Public housing is a form of housing tenure in which the property is usually owned by a government authorities, government authority, either central or local. Although the common goal of public housing is to provide affordable housing, the d ...
.''The New Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought'' Third Edition (1999), Allan Bullock and Stephen Trombley Eds., p. 919. In a
welfare state A welfare state is a form of government in which the state (or a well-established network of social institutions) protects and promotes the economic and social well-being of its citizens, based upon the principles of equal opportunity Equa ...
, the state assumes responsibility for the health, education, infrastructure and welfare of society, providing a range of social services such as those described. Some historians view systems of codified
almsgiving Alms (, ) are money, food, or other material goods donated to people living in poverty. Providing alms is often considered an act of virtue or Charity (practice), charity. The act of providing alms is called almsgiving, and it is a widespread p ...
, like the ''zakat'' policy of the seventh century (634 CE)
Rashidun caliph The Rashidun Caliphs ( ar, الخلفاء الراشدون, translit=al-Khulafāʾ al-Rāshidūn, ), often simply called the Rashidun, are the first four caliphs (lit.: 'successors') who led the Ummah, Muslim community following the death of the ...
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب, also spelled Omar, ) was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, ruling from August 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr () as the second caliph of the Rashidun C ...
, as early examples of universal government welfare. The first welfare state was
Imperial Germany The German Empire (),Herbert Tuttle wrote in September 1881 that the term "Reich" does not literally connote an empire as has been commonly assumed by English-speaking people. The term literally denotes an empire – particularly a hereditary ...
(1871–1918), where the Bismarck government introduced social security in 1889. In the early 20th century, the United Kingdom introduced social security around 1913, and adopted the welfare state with the National Insurance Act 1946, during the Attlee government (1945–51). In the countries of western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, social welfare is mainly provided by the government out of the national
tax revenue Tax revenue is the income that is collected by governments through taxation. Taxation is the primary source of government revenue. Revenue may be extracted from sources such as individuals, public enterprises, trade, royalties on natural resourc ...
s, and to a lesser extent by non-government organizations (NGOs), and
charities A charitable organization or charity is an organization whose primary objectives are philanthropy and social well-being (e.g. educational, Religion, religious or other activities serving the public interest or common good). The legal definitio ...
(social and religious). A
right to social security The right to social security is recognized as a human right and establishes the right to social security Welfare, or commonly social welfare, is a type of government support intended to ensure that members of a society can meet Basic needs ...
and an adequate standard of living is asserted in Articles 22 and 25 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is an international document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six pr ...
.


History

In the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Romanum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Roman Republic, Republican period of ancient Rome. As a polity, it included large territorial holdings aro ...
, the first emperor
Augustus Caesar Augustus (born Gaius Octavius; 23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14), also known as Octavian, was the first Roman emperor; he reigned from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. He is known for being the founder of the Roman Pri ...
provided the ''
Cura Annonae Cura Annonae ("care of Annona") was the term used in ancient Rome, in honour of their goddess Annona (goddess), Annona, to describe the import and distribution of grain to the residents of the cities of Rome and, after its foundation, Constantin ...
'' or grain dole for citizens who could not afford to buy food every month. Social welfare was enlarged by the Emperor
Trajan Trajan ( ; la, Caesar Nerva Traianus; 18 September 539/11 August 117) was Roman emperor from 98 to 117. Officially declared ''optimus princeps'' ("best ruler") by the Roman Senate, senate, Trajan is remembered as a successful soldier-emper ...
. Trajan's program brought acclaim from many, including
Pliny the Younger Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo (61 – c. 113), better known as Pliny the Younger (), was a lawyer, author, and magistrate of Ancient Rome. Pliny's uncle, Pliny the Elder, helped raise and educate ...
. The
Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou. ...
government (960 CE) supported multiple programs which could be classified as social welfare, including the establishment of retirement homes, public clinics, and paupers' graveyards. According to economist Robert Henry Nelson, "The
medieval In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire ...
Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide . It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a ...
operated a far-reaching and comprehensive welfare system for the poor..." From the 14th century onward the governments of the
Italian city-states The Italian city-states were numerous political and independent territorial entities that existed in the Italian Peninsula from the beginning of the Middle Ages until the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, which took place in 1861. After the ...
began to partner with the church to provide welfare and education to the lower classes. In later Protestant European nations such as the
Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, also known as the (Seven) United Provinces, officially as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands (Dutch language, Dutch: ''Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden''), and commonly referred to in ...
welfare was managed by local
guild A guild ( ) is an association of artisans and merchants who oversee the practice of their craft/trade in a particular area. The earliest types of guild formed as organizations of tradesmen belonging to a professional association. They sometimes ...
s until the abolition of the guild system in the early 19th century. In the
free imperial cities In the Holy Roman Empire, the collective term free and imperial cities (german: Freie und Reichsstädte), briefly worded free imperial city (', la, urbs imperialis libera), was used from the fifteenth century to denote a self-ruling city that ...
of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire was a Polity, political entity in Western Europe, Western, Central Europe, Central, and Southern Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its Dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, dissolution i ...
the city governments in cities like
Nuremberg Nuremberg ( ; german: link=no, Nürnberg ; in the local East Franconian dialect: ''Nämberch'' ) is the second-largest city of the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Bavaria after its capital Munich, and its 518,370 (2019) inhabitants ...
could take control of the collection and distribution of public welfare. The seventh century
caliph A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة , ), a person considered a political-religious successor to th ...
Umar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب, also spelled Omar, ) was the second Rashidun, Rashidun caliph, ruling from August 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr () as the second caliph of the Rashidun C ...
implemented a form of ''
zakat Zakat ( ar, زكاة; , "that which purifies", also Zakat al-mal , "zakat on wealth", or Zakah) is a form of almsgiving, often collected by the Muslim Ummah. It is considered in Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is a ...
'', one of the
Five Pillars of Islam The Five Pillars of Islam (' ; also ' "pillars of the ad-Din, religion") are fundamental practices in Islam, considered to be fard, obligatory acts of worship for all Muslims. They are summarized in the famous hadith of Gabriel. The Sunni Isla ...
, as a codified universal social security tax. Traditionally estimated at 2.5% of an individual's assets, government ''zakat'' funds were distributed to various groups of Muslims, including impoverished people and those in severe debt. The collection of ''zakat'' increased during the
Umayyad The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institut ...
and
Abbasid The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ; ar, الْخِلَافَةُ الْعَبَّاسِيَّة, ') was the third caliphate to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was founded by a dynasty descended from Muhammad's uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib ...
caliphates, though the ''zakat'' system was frequently inefficient and corrupt; Islamic jurists often instructed Muslims to distribute money to the needy directly instead to maximize its impact. Likewise, in Jewish tradition, charity (represented by
tzedakah ''Tzedakah'' or ''Ṣedaqah'' ( he, צדקה ) is a Hebrew word meaning "righteousness", but commonly used to signify '' charity''. This concept of "charity" differs from the modern Western understanding of "charity". The latter is typically u ...
) is a matter of religious obligation rather than benevolence. Contemporary charity is regarded as a continuation of the
Biblical The Bible (from Koine Greek , , 'the books') is a collection of religious texts or scriptures that are held to be sacredness, sacred in Christianity, Judaism, Samaritanism, and many other religions. The Bible is an anthologya compilation of ...
Maaser Ani, or poor-
tithe A tithe (; from Old English: ''teogoþa'' "tenth") is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government. Today, tithes are normally voluntary and paid in money, cash or cheques or ...
, as well as Biblical practices, such as permitting the poor to glean the corners of a field and harvest during the
Shmita The sabbath year (shmita; he, שמיטה, literally "release"), also called the sabbatical year or ''shǝvi'it'' (, literally "seventh"), or "Sabbath of The Land", is the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle mandated by the Torah ...
(Sabbatical year). There is relatively little
statistic A statistic (singular) or sample statistic is any quantity computed from values in a Sample (statistics), sample which is considered for a statistical purpose. Statistical purposes include Estimation, estimating a Statistical population, populat ...
al data on
transfer payment In macroeconomics and finance, a transfer payment (also called a government transfer or simply transfer) is a redistribution of income and wealth by means of the government making a payment, without Goods and services, goods or services being re ...
s before the
High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the periodization, period of European history that lasted from AD 1000 to 1300. The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and were followed by the Late Middle Ages, which ended ...
. In the
medieval In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the late 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire ...
period and until the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, that occurred during the period from around 1760 to about 1820–1840. This transition included going fr ...
, the function of welfare payments in Europe was achieved through private giving or charity, through numerous confraternities and activities of different
religious order A religious order is a lineage of Community, communities and Organization, organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, usually characterized by the principles of its fo ...
s. Early welfare programs in Europe included the English Poor Law of 1601, which gave
parish A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bisho ...
es the responsibility for providing welfare payments to the poor. This system was substantially modified by the 19th-century Poor Law Amendment Act, which introduced the system of
workhouse In Britain, a workhouse () was an institution where those unable to support themselves financially were offered accommodation and employment. (In Scotland, they were usually known as poorhouses.) The earliest known use of the term ''workhouse'' ...
s. It was predominantly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that an organized system of state welfare provision was introduced in many countries.
Otto von Bismarck Otto, Prince of Bismarck, Count of Bismarck-Schönhausen, Duke of Lauenburg (, ; 1 April 1815 – 30 July 1898), born Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck, was a conservative German statesman and diplomat. From his origins in the upper class of J ...
,
Chancellor Chancellor ( la, cancellarius) is a title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the of Roman courts of justice—ushers, who sat at the or lattice work screens of a basilica or law cou ...
of Germany, introduced one of the first welfare systems for the
working class The working class (or labouring class) comprises those engaged in manual labour, manual-labour occupations or industrial work, who are remunerated via wage, waged or salary, salaried contracts. Working-class occupations (see also "Designation ...
es. In
Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the List of European islands by area, largest European island and the List of is ...
the Liberal government of
Henry Campbell-Bannerman Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (né Campbell; 7 September 183622 April 1908) was a British statesman and Liberal Party (UK), Liberal politician. He served as the prime minister of the United Kingdom from 1905 to 1908 and Liberal Party (UK)#Liber ...
and
David Lloyd George David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor, (17 January 1863 – 26 March 1945) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1916 to 1922. He was a Liberal Party (United Kingdom), Liberal Party politician from Wales, known for lea ...
introduced the
National Insurance National Insurance (NI) is a fundamental component of the welfare state in the United Kingdom. It acts as a form of social security, since payment of NI contributions establishes entitlement to certain state benefits for workers and their famili ...
system in 1911, a system later expanded by
Clement Attlee Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, (3 January 18838 October 1967) was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951 and Leader of the Labour Party (UK), Leader of the Labour Party from 1935 t ...
. Modern welfare states include Germany, France, the Netherlands, as well as the
Nordic countries The Nordic countries (also known as the Nordics or ''Norden''; literal translation, lit. 'the North') are a geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It includes the sovereign states of Denmar ...
, such as Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland which employ a system known as the
Nordic model The Nordic model comprises the Economic policy, economic and social policies as well as typical cultural practices common to the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden). This includes a comprehensive welfare state and ...
. Esping-Andersen classified the most developed welfare state systems into three categories; Social Democratic, Conservative, and Liberal. A report published by the ILO in 2014 estimated that only 27% of the world's population has access to comprehensive social security. The
World Bank The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and Grant (money), grants to the governments of Least developed countries, low- and Developing country, middle-income countries for the purpose of pursuing capital pro ...
's 2019
World Development Report The World Development Report (WDR) is an annual report published since 1978 by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) or World Bank. Each WDR provides in-depth analysis of a specific aspect of economic development. Past r ...
argues that the traditional payroll-based model of many kinds of social insurance are "increasingly challenged by working arrangements outside standard employment contracts".World Bank World Development Report 2019: The Changing Nature of Work. Chapter 6
/ref>


Forms

Welfare can take a variety of forms, such as monetary payments,
subsidies A subsidy or government incentive is a form of financial aid or support extended to an economic sector (business, or individual) generally with the aim of promoting economic and social policy. Although commonly extended from the government, the ter ...
and
voucher A voucher is a bond of the redeemable transaction type which is worth a certain money, monetary value and which may be spent only for specific reasons or on specific goods. Examples include house, housing, travel, and food vouchers. The term vouc ...
s, or housing assistance. Welfare systems differ from country to country, but welfare is commonly provided to individuals who are
unemployed Unemployment, according to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), is people above a specified age (usually 15) not being in paid employment or self-employment but currently available for Work (human activity), w ...
, those with
illness A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or function (biology), function of all or part of an organism, and that is not immediately due to any external injury. Diseases are often known to be medica ...
or
disability Disability is the experience of any condition that makes it more difficult for a person to do certain activities or have equitable access within a given society. Disabilities may be Cognitive disability, cognitive, Developmental disability, dev ...
, the
elderly Old age refers to ages nearing or surpassing the life expectancy Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, current age, and other demographic facto ...
, those with dependent children, and
veteran A veteran () is a person who has significant experience (and is usually adept and esteemed) and expertise in a particular job, occupation or Craft, field. A military veteran is a person who is no longer serving in a military. A military vete ...
s. Programs may have a variety of conditions for a person to receive welfare: *
Social insurance Social insurance is a form of Social protection, social welfare that provides insurance against economic risks. The insurance may be provided publicly or through the subsidizing of private insurance. In contrast to other forms of Welfare, soci ...
, state-sponsored programs based partly on individual contributions towards benefits such as healthcare, unemployment payments, and old-age pensions. *
Means-tested A means test is a determination of whether an individual or family is eligible for government assistance or welfare, based upon whether the individual or family possesses the means to do without that help. Canada In Canada, means tests are use ...
benefits, financial assistance provided for those who are unable to cover basic needs, such as food, clothing and housing, due to
poverty Poverty is the state of having few material possessions or little income. Poverty can have diverse social, economic, and political causes and effects. When evaluating poverty in ...
or lack of income because of unemployment, sickness, disability, or caring for children. While assistance is often in the form of financial payments, those eligible for social welfare can usually access health and educational services free of charge. The amount of support is enough to cover basic needs and eligibility is often subject to a comprehensive and complex assessment of an applicant's social and financial situation. See also
Income Support Income Support is an income-related benefit in the United Kingdom for some people who are on a low income, but have a reason for not actively seeking work. Claimants of Income Support may be entitled to certain other benefits, for example, Housin ...
. * Non-contributory benefits. Several countries have special schemes, administered with no requirement for contributions and no means test, for people in certain categories of need, such as veterans of armed forces, people with disabilities, and very old people. * Discretionary benefits. Some schemes are based on the decision of an official, such as a social worker. * Universal or categorical benefits, also known as demogrants. These are non-contributory benefits given for whole sections of the population without a means test, such as
family allowance Child benefit or children's allowance is a social security payment which is distributed to the parents or guardians of child A child (: children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of p ...
s or the public pension in New Zealand (known as New Zealand Superannuation). See also the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend.


Social protection

In developing countries, formal social security arrangements are often absent for the vast majority of the working population, in part due to reliance on the
informal economy An informal economy (informal sector or grey economy) is the part of any economy that is neither taxed nor monitored by any form of government. Although the informal sector makes up a significant portion of the economies in developing countrie ...
. Additionally, the state's capacity to reach people may be limited because of its limited infrastructure and resources. In this context, ''social protection'' is often referred to instead of social security, encompassing a broader set of means, such as labour market intervention and local community-based programs, to alleviate poverty and provide security against things like unemployment.


By country


Australia

Prior to 1900 in Australia, charitable assistance from benevolent societies, sometimes with financial contributions from the authorities, was the primary means of relief for people not able to support themselves. The 1890s economic depression and the rise of the trade unions and the Labor parties during this period led to a movement for welfare reform. In 1900, the states of New South Wales and Victoria enacted legislation introducing non-contributory pensions for those aged 65 and over. Queensland legislated a similar system in 1907 before the Australian labor Commonwealth government led by
Andrew Fisher Andrew Fisher (29 August 186222 October 1928) was an Australian politician who served three terms as prime minister of Australia – from 1908 to 1909, from 1910 to 1913, and from 1914 to 1915. He was the leader of the Australian Labor Party ...
introduced a national aged pension under the Invalid and Old-Aged Pensions Act 1908. A national invalid disability pension was started in 1910, and a national maternity allowance was introduced in 1912. During the Second World War, Australia under a labor government created a
welfare state A welfare state is a form of government in which the state (or a well-established network of social institutions) protects and promotes the economic and social well-being of its citizens, based upon the principles of equal opportunity Equa ...
by enacting national schemes for: child endowment in 1941 (superseding the 1927 New South Wales scheme); a widows' pension in 1942 (superseding the New South Wales 1926 scheme); a wife's allowance in 1943; additional allowances for the children of pensioners in 1943; and unemployment, sickness, and special benefits in 1945 (superseding the Queensland 1923 scheme).


Canada

Canada has a
welfare state A welfare state is a form of government in which the state (or a well-established network of social institutions) protects and promotes the economic and social well-being of its citizens, based upon the principles of equal opportunity Equa ...
in the European tradition; however, it is not referred to as "welfare", but rather as "social programs". In Canada, "welfare" usually refers specifically to direct payments to poor individuals (as in the American usage) and not to healthcare and education spending (as in the European usage). The Canadian
social safety net The social safety net (SSN) consists of non-contributory assistance existing to improve lives of vulnerable families and individuals experiencing poverty and destitution. Examples of SSNs are previously-contributory social pensions, in-kind and fo ...
covers a broad spectrum of programs, and because Canada is a
federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government (federalism). In a federation, the self-govern ...
, many are run by the
provinces A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire ...
. Canada has a wide range of government transfer payments to individuals, which totaled $145billion in 2006. Only social programs that direct funds to individuals are included in that cost; programs such as medicare and
public education State schools (in England, Wales, Australia and New Zealand) or public schools (Scottish English and North American English) are generally primary or secondary educational institution, schools that educate all students without charge. They are ...
are additional costs. Generally speaking, before the
Great Depression The Great Depression (19291939) was an economic shock that impacted most countries across the world. It was a period of economic depression that became evident after a major fall in stock prices in the United States. The Financial contagion, ...
, most social services were provided by religious charities and other private groups. Changing government policy between the 1930s and 1960s saw the emergence of a welfare state, similar to many
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on context. The concept of "the West" appeared in Europe in juxtaposition to "the East" and originally applied to the ancient Mediterranean ...
an countries. Most programs from that era are still in use, although many were scaled back during the 1990s as government priorities shifted towards reducing
debt Debt is an obligation that requires one party, the debtor, to pay money or other agreed-upon value to another party, the creditor. Debt is a deferred payment, or series of payments, which differentiates it from an immediate purchase. The de ...
and deficits.


Czech Republic

Social welfare in
Czech Republic The Czech Republic, or simply Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. Historically known as Bohemia, it is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to the southeast. The Cz ...
is outlined in a series of
social policies Social policy is a plan or action of government or institutional agencies which aim to improve or reform society. Some professionals and universities consider social policy a subset of public policy, while other practitioners characterize soci ...
, as is the tradition in Europe. Their goal is primarily preventing, but also mitigating social situations individuals may find themselves in through their lives. The social welfare is provided through social (including
pension A pension (, from Latin ''pensiō'', "payment") is a fund into which a sum of money is added during an employee's employment years and from which payments are drawn to support the person's retirement from work in the form of periodic payments ...
) insurance, sick insurance (not to be confused with
health insurance Health insurance or medical insurance (also known as medical aid in South Africa) is a type of insurance that covers the whole or a part of the risk of a person incurring medical expenses. As with other types of insurance, risk is shared among ma ...
), public policy related to unemployment and low income benefits, which are financed through the government budget, and health insurance, which is financed through an array of insurance companies. Therefore, the social welfare program is usually separated into three categories: health insurance, social insurance and social benefits support. Social insurance is a type of
statutory A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contraste ...
insurance that provides citizens for a future unforeseen social event, such as unemployment or disability that would prevent an individual from working, but also planned retirement. Social insurance is therefore compulsory for all self-employed individuals, employees and employers operating in the Czech Republic and gets deducted from a salary in a similar manner to taxes. This insurance serves to finance unemployment support, disability benefits and covers a part of an employer's salary in cases of long-term illness that obstructs them from participating in the workforce. The sickness insurance system is intended for gainfully employed individuals who, in cases of short-term social events, are provided with health insurance benefits. These are provided through financial benefits. Sickness insurance participants are employees and self-employed individuals. Employees are compulsorily covered by sickness insurance, unlike the self-employed, whose sickness insurance is voluntary (and there is no penalisation for opting out of the insurance). It is calculated through a series of reductions of an assessment base. Employees' sickness insurance provides 4 types of sickness benefits: benefits for caring for a family member, pregnancy and maternity allowance, maternity allowance. It is standard to go on paid maternity leave in the Czech Republic, which ordinarily lasts 28 weeks. This period is prolonged to 37 weeks in the case of twins. Furthermore, there are special circumstances, such as the birth of a disabled child, when this period is extended even more. The beginning of maternity leave is usually 6 weeks before expected due date, and after maternity leave, it is possible to request further parental leave, which is optional and can be performed by either parent, regardless of gender. Parental leave lasts up to four years, depending on individual preferences. Pension insurance is part of social insurance, in addition to sickness insurance and serves as a contribution to the state employment policy. It is a premium for old age retirement, disability retirement or benefits in the event of the death of the primary provider in a household. Participation in pension insurance is mandatory for economically active individuals. For those on various forms of benefits, or currently registered as a care provider, this insurance is provided by the state. The basic pension insurance provides, in time old-age pension (includes regular, proportional, early and other variants of old-age pension), disability benefits, widower's and orphan's pension. Pension insurance is applied for at the District Social Security Administration in the applicant's place of permanent residence. They can apply in person or by proxy, on the basis of a notarized power of attorney. The amount of the pension consists of two component - the basic acreage and the percentage acreage. Another form of pension is the disability pension. This is provided to individuals that are unable to participate in the workforce to the same degree as their able-bodied counterparts, due to their disability contributing to the decline of their ability to work (be it partially or entirely). There is a distinction between disability pension for individuals with first, second and third degree disability. The amount of the pension depends on the rate of decline of the person's ability to work, with the categories being divided between the first degree (a decrease of 35-49%), the second degree (a decrease of 50-69%), and the third degree (a decrease of 70% and above). Furthermore, there is a so-called widow's / widower's pension. Provided to widowed individuals from the Czech pension system, its aim is to compensate households for losing income that they would in this situation be lacking. The widowed individual is entitled to a pension from a deceased person who has received an old-age or disability pension or has fulfilled the statutory condition on the required insurance period at the date of death. The amount of the assessment is 10% of the average wage and the amount of the percentage assessment is 50% of the percentage of the old-age or disability pension to which the deceased was entitled at the time of their death.


Denmark

Danish welfare is handled by the state through a series of policies (and the like) that seeks to provide welfare services to citizens, hence the term welfare state. This refers not only to social benefits, but also tax-funded education, public child care, medical care, etc. A number of these services are not provided by the state directly, but administered by
municipalities A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are ge ...
, regions or private providers through outsourcing. This sometimes gives a source of tension between the state and
municipalities A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unit,Article 3(1). country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are ge ...
, as there is not always consistency between the promises of welfare provided by the state (i.e. parliament) and local perception of what it would cost to fulfill these promises.


Estonia

Estonia does have a welfare state that provides a range of social services and financial assistance to its citizens. The Estonian welfare state is a liberal welfare state, which means that it provides a minimal safety net for citizens in need and places a greater emphasis on individual responsibility and self-sufficiency. The Estonian welfare state provides a range of services, including universal healthcare, free education, and a comprehensive system of social security. It also provides financial assistance to citizens in need through programs such as unemployment benefits, housing assistance, and social assistance for low-income families. The Estonian welfare state is funded through a mix of taxation and public spending, and it relies on a strong social security system to provide support to citizens in need. However, compared to other welfare states, it has relatively low levels of social spending and may rely more on private sector solutions to address social welfare issues.


Finland

The Finnish
Nordic model The Nordic model comprises the Economic policy, economic and social policies as well as typical cultural practices common to the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden). This includes a comprehensive welfare state and ...
welfare state is based on the principles of social equality and the belief that all citizens should have access to the same basic rights and opportunities. It provides a range of services, including universal healthcare, free education, and a comprehensive system of social security. It also provides financial assistance to citizens in need through programs such as unemployment benefits, housing assistance, and social assistance for low-income families. The Finnish welfare state relies on a strong social security system to provide support to citizens in need. It also places a strong emphasis on promoting social cohesion and reducing income inequality, and it has a relatively high level of social spending compared to other countries.


India

The Central Government of India's social programmes and welfare expenditures are a substantial portion of the official budget, and state and local governments play roles in developing and implementing social security policies. Additional welfare measure systems are also uniquely operated by various state governments. The government uses the unique identity number (Aadhar) that every Indian possesses to distribute welfare measures in India. As of 2020, the government's expenditure on social programme and welfare (direct cash transfers, financial inclusion, benefits, health and other insurances, subsidies, free school meals, rural employment guarantee), was approximately fourteen lakh crore rupees ($192billion), which was 7.3% of gross domestic product (GDP).


Israel


France

Solidarity ''Solidarity'' is an awareness of shared interests, objectives, standards, and sympathies creating a psychological sense of unity of groups or classes. It is based on class collaboration.''Merriam Webster'', http://www.merriam-webster.com/dicti ...
is a strong value of the French Social Protection system. The first article of the French Code of Social Security describes the principle of solidarity. Solidarity is commonly comprehended in relations of similar work, shared responsibility and common risks. Existing solidarities in France caused the expansion of health and social security.


Germany

The welfare state has a long tradition in Germany dating back to the
industrial revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, that occurred during the period from around 1760 to about 1820–1840. This transition included going fr ...
. Due to the pressure of the workers' movement in the late 19th century,
Reichskanzler The chancellor of Germany, officially the federal chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany,; often shortened to ''Bundeskanzler''/''Bundeskanzlerin'', / is the head of the federal government of Germany and the commander in chief of the G ...
Otto von Bismarck Otto, Prince of Bismarck, Count of Bismarck-Schönhausen, Duke of Lauenburg (, ; 1 April 1815 – 30 July 1898), born Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck, was a conservative German statesman and diplomat. From his origins in the upper class of J ...
introduced the first rudimentary state social insurance scheme. Under
Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (; 20 April 188930 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician who was dictator of Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populo ...
, the National Socialist Program stated "We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare." Today, the social protection of all its citizens is considered a central pillar of German national policy. 27.6 percent of Germany's
GDP Gross domestic product (GDP) is a money, monetary Measurement in economics, measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced and sold (not resold) in a specific time period by countries. Due to its complex and subjec ...
is channeled into an all-embracing system of health,
pension A pension (, from Latin ''pensiō'', "payment") is a fund into which a sum of money is added during an employee's employment years and from which payments are drawn to support the person's retirement from work in the form of periodic payments ...
,
accident An accident is an unintended, normally unwanted event that was not directly caused by humans. The term ''accident'' implies that nobody should be Blame, blamed, but the event may have been caused by Risk assessment, unrecognized or unaddressed ...
, longterm care and
unemployment insurance Unemployment benefits, also called unemployment insurance, unemployment payment, unemployment compensation, or simply unemployment, are payments made by authorized bodies to unemployment, unemployed people. In the United States, benefits are fun ...
, compared to 16.2 percent in the US. In addition, there are tax-financed services such as child benefits (''Kindergeld'', beginning at €192 per month for the first and second child, €198 for the third and €223 for each child thereafter, until they attain 25 years or receive their first professional qualification), and basic provisions for those unable to work or anyone with an income below the
poverty line The poverty threshold, poverty limit, poverty line or breadline is the minimum level of income deemed adequate in a particular country. The poverty line is usually calculated by estimating the total cost of one year's worth of necessities for t ...
. Since 2005, reception of full unemployment pay (60–67% of the previous net
salary A salary is a form of periodic payment from an employer to an employee, which may be specified in an employment contract. It is contrasted with piece wages, where each job, hour or other unit is paid separately, rather than on a periodic basis. ...
) has been restricted to 12 months in general and 18 months for those over 55. This is now followed by (usually much lower) ''Arbeitslosengeld II (ALG II)'' or ''Sozialhilfe'', which is independent of previous employment ( Hartz IV concept). , under ALG II, single adults receive up to €449 per month plus the cost of 'adequate' housing. ALG II can also be paid partially to employed persons to supplement a low work income.


Italy

The Italian welfare state's foundations were laid along the lines of the corporatist-
conservative Conservatism is a Philosophy of culture, cultural, Social philosophy, social, and political philosophy that seeks to promote and to preserve traditional institutions, practices, and values. The central tenets of conservatism may vary in r ...
model, or of its
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...
variant. Later, in the 1960s and 1970s, increases in public spending and a major focus on universality brought it on the same path as
social-democratic Social democracy is a Political philosophy, political, Social philosophy, social, and economic philosophy within socialism that supports Democracy, political and economic democracy. As a policy regime, it is described by academics as advocati ...
systems. In 1978, a universalistic welfare model was introduced in Italy, offering a number of universal and free services such as a National Health Fund.


Japan

Social welfare, assistance for the ill or otherwise disabled and for the old, has long been provided in Japan by both the government and private companies. Beginning in the 1920s, the government enacted a series of welfare programs, based mainly on European models, to provide medical care and financial support. During the postwar period, a comprehensive system of social security was gradually established.


Latin America


History

The 1980s marked a change in the structure of
Latin American Latin Americans ( es, Latinoamericanos; pt, Latino-americanos; ) are the citizenship, citizens of Latin American countries (or people with cultural, ancestral or national origins in Latin America). Latin American countries and their diasporas a ...
social protection programs. Social protection embraces three major areas: social insurance, financed by workers and employers; social assistance to the population's poorest, financed by the state; and labor market regulations to protect worker rights.Barrientos, A. and Claudio Santibanez. (2009).
New Forms of Social, Assistance and the Evolution of Social Protection in Latin America
. Journal of Latin American Studies. Cambridge University Press 41, 1–26
Although diverse, recent Latin American social policy has tended to concentrate on social assistance. The 1980s, had a significant effect on social protection policies. Prior to the 1980s, most Latin American countries focused on social insurance policies involving formal sector workers, assuming that the
informal sector An informal economy (informal sector or grey economy) is the part of any economy An economy is an area of the Production (economics), production, Distribution (economics), distribution and trade, as well as Consumption (economics), consump ...
would disappear with
economic development In the economics Economics () is the social science that studies the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the ...
. The economic crisis of the 1980s and the
liberalization Liberalization or liberalisation (British English) is a broad term that refers to the practice of making laws, systems, or opinions less severe, usually in the sense of eliminating certain government regulations or restrictions. The term is used m ...
of the labor market led to a growing informal sector and a rapid increase in poverty and inequality. Latin American countries did not have the institutions and funds to properly handle such a crisis, both due to the structure of the social security system, and to the previously implemented structural adjustment policies (SAPs) that had decreased the size of the state. New Welfare programs have integrated the multidimensional, social risk management, and capabilities approaches into poverty alleviation. They focus on income transfers and service provisions while aiming to alleviate both long- and short-term poverty through, among other things, education, health, security, and housing. Unlike previous programs that targeted the working class, new programs have successfully focused on locating and targeting the very poorest. The impacts of social assistance programs vary between countries, and many programs have yet to be fully evaluated. According to Barrientos and Santibanez, the programs have been more successful in increasing investment in
human capital Human capital is a concept used by social scientists to designate personal attributes considered useful in the production process. It encompasses employee knowledge, skill, skills, know-how, good health, and education. Human capital has a subst ...
than in bringing households above the poverty line. Challenges still exist, including the extreme inequality levels and the mass scale of poverty; locating a financial basis for programs; and deciding on exit strategies or on the long-term establishment of programs.


1980s impacts

The economic crisis of the 1980s led to a shift in social policies, as understandings of poverty and social programs evolved (24). New, mostly short-term programs emerged. These include: *
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country in the southern half of South America. Argentina covers an area of , making it the List of South American countries by area, second-largest ...
: ''Jefes y Jefas de Hogar'', Asignación Universal por Hijo *
Bolivia , image_flag = Bandera de Bolivia (Estado).svg , flag_alt = Horizontal tricolor (red, yellow, and green from top to bottom) with the coat of arms of Bolivia in the center , flag_alt2 = 7 × 7 square p ...
: ''Bonosol'' *
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, ...
: ''Bolsa Escola and Bolsa Familia'' *
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America. It is the southernmost country in the world, and the closest to Antarctica, occupying a long and narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east a ...
: ''Chile Solidario'' *
Colombia Colombia (, ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a country in South America with insular regions in North America—near Nicaragua's Caribbean coast—as well as in the Pacific Ocean. The Colombian mainland is bordered by the Cari ...
: ''Solidaridad por Colombia'' *
Ecuador Ecuador ( ; ; Quechuan languages, Quechua: ''Ikwayur''; Shuar language, Shuar: ''Ecuador'' or ''Ekuatur''), officially the Republic of Ecuador ( es, República del Ecuador, which literally translates as "Republic of the Equator"; Quechuan ...
: ''Bono de Desarrollo Humano'' *
Honduras Honduras, officially the Republic of Honduras, is a country in Central America. The republic of Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean ...
: ''Red Solidaria'' *
Mexico Mexico (Spanish language, Spanish: México), officially the United Mexican States, is a List of sovereign states, country in the southern portion of North America. It is borders of Mexico, bordered to the north by the United States; to the so ...
: ''Prospera'' (earlier known as ''Oportunidades'') *
Panama Panama ( , ; es, link=no, Panamá ), officially the Republic of Panama ( es, República de Panamá), is a List of transcontinental countries#North America and South America, transcontinental country spanning the Central America, southern ...
: ''Red de Oportunidades'' *
Peru , image_flag = Flag of Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo nacional del Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (emblem), National seal , national_motto = "Fi ...
: ''Juntos''


Major aspects of current social assistance programs

* Conditional cash transfer (CCT) combined with service provisions. Transfer cash directly to households, most often through the women of the household, if certain conditions are met (e.g. children's school attendance or doctor visits) (10). Providing free schooling or healthcare is often not sufficient, because there is an opportunity cost for the parents in, for example, sending children to school (lost
labor power Labour power (in german: Arbeitskraft; in french: force de travail) is a key concept used by Karl Marx in his critique of capitalism, capitalist political economy. Marx distinguished between the capacity to do work, labour power, from the physi ...
), or in paying for the transportation costs of getting to a health clinic. *
Household A household consists of two or more persons who live in the same dwelling. It may be of a single family or another type of person group. The household is the basic unit of analysis in many social, microeconomic and government models, and is impo ...
. The household has been the focal point of social assistance programs. * Target the poorest. Recent programs have been more successful than past ones in targeting the poorest. Previous programs often targeted the working class. * Multidimensional. Programs have attempted to address many dimensions of poverty at once. Chile Solidario is the best example.


New Zealand

New Zealand is often regarded as having one of the first comprehensive welfare systems in the world. During the 1890s a Liberal government adopted many social programmes to help the poor who had suffered from a long economic depression in the 1880s. One of the most far reaching was the passing of tax legislation that made it difficult for wealthy sheep farmers to hold onto their large land holdings. This and the invention of refrigeration led to a farming revolution where many sheep farms were broken up and sold to become smaller dairy farms. This enabled thousands of new farmers to buy land and develop a new and vigorous industry that has become the backbone of New Zealand's economy to this day. This liberal tradition flourished with increased enfranchisement for indigenous Maori in the 1880s and women. Pensions for the elderly, the poor and war casualties followed, with State-run schools, hospitals and subsidized medical and dental care. By 1960, New Zealand was able to afford one of the best-developed and most comprehensive welfare systems in the world, supported by a well-developed and stable economy.


Norway

Norway has a strong welfare state that provides a range of social services and financial assistance to its citizens. The Norwegian welfare state is based on the principles of social democracy, which means that it has a strong focus on reducing income inequality and promoting social cohesion. The Norwegian welfare state provides a range of services, including universal healthcare, free education, and a comprehensive system of social security. It also provides financial assistance to citizens in need through programs such as unemployment benefits, housing assistance, and social assistance for low-income families.


Philippines

In Philippines, social welfare is divided into two. The first one is called Social Security System (SSS) and the other one is called Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). Social Security System or SSS is a social insurance program for workers in private sector. Individuals who are self-employed or not working can also apply to be protected under SSS programme. SSS provide benefits for unemployment, death, funeral, maternity leave, disabilities and many more. Members of SSS who experienced accident or death due to work activity, can also claim for double compensation under the Employees' Compensation (EC) programme. SSS also allows its members to apply for salary loans, based on their monthly salary and calamity loan, if their place is declared as "state of calamity" by the government. SSS also have two voluntary saving programs, PESO Fund and Flexi Fund to help prepare their members with a stable income for retirement. Government servants are protected under the Government Service Insurance System or GSIS. Just like SSS, GSIS also provide their members with retirement benefits, life insurance and employee compensation.


Poland

The Polish welfare state provides a range of services, including universal healthcare, free education, and a comprehensive system of social security. It also provides financial assistance to citizens in need through programs such as unemployment benefits, housing assistance, and social assistance for low-income families. It has undergone significant changes in recent years, including the implementation of structural reforms and the introduction of market-oriented policies, which have had an impact on the level and quality of social services provided.


Russia


Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has a long history of social programmes dating back to its ancient times, deep-rooted in the island's Buddhist culture. Modern social welfare legislation dates back to the Donoughmore Constitution.


South Africa


Spain


Sub-Saharan Africa


Sweden

Social welfare in Sweden is made up of several organizations and systems dealing with welfare. It is mostly funded by taxes, and executed by the
public sector The public sector, also called the state sector, is the part of the economy composed of both public services and public enterprises. Public sectors include the public goods and governmental services such as the military, law enforcement, infra ...
on all levels of government as well as private organizations. It can be separated into three parts falling under three different ministries; social welfare, falling under the responsibility of Ministry of Health and Social Affairs; education, under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Research and labor market, under the responsibility of Ministry of Employment. Government pension payments are financed through an 18.5% pension tax on all taxed incomes in the country, which comes partly from a
tax A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal person, legal entity) by a governmental organization in order to fund government spending and various public expenditures (regiona ...
category called a public pension fee (7% on gross income), and 30% of a tax category called employer fees on salaries (which is 33% on a netted income). Since January 2001, the 18.5% is divided in two parts: 16% goes to current payments, and 2.5% goes into
individual retirement accounts An individual retirement account (IRA) in the United States is a form of pension A pension (, from Latin ''pensiō'', "payment") is a fund into which a sum of money is added during an employee's employment years and from which payments are d ...
, which were introduced in 2001. Money saved and invested in government funds, and
IRAs The Infrared Astronomical Satellite (Dutch language, Dutch: ''Infrarood Astronomische Satelliet'') (IRAS) was the first space telescope to perform a astronomical survey, survey of the entire night sky at infrared wavelengths. Launched on 25 Janu ...
for future pension costs, are roughly five times annual government pension expenses (725/150). Viewing Swedish welfare more broadly, it emerges as highly rated in many standard international comparisons of welfare or well-being (e.g. World Economic Forum 2020). However, some Nordic-based welfare and gender researchers have argued that such assessments, based on conventional welfare/well-being criteria, may to some extent over-privilege Sweden (and other Nordic countries) in terms of, for instance, gender and racial equality. For example, they suggest that if one takes a broader perspective on well-being incorporating issues associated with bodily integrity or bodily citizenship (Pringle 2011), then some major forms of men's domination and/or white privilege can be seen to still stubbornly persist in the Nordic countries, e.g. business, violence to women, sexual violence to children, the military, academia and religion (Hearn and Pringle 2006; Hearn et al. 2018; Pringle 2016).


United Kingdom

;UK Government welfare expenditure 2011–12: *
State pension A pension (, from Latin ''pensiō'', "payment") is a fund into which a sum of money is added during an employee's employment years and from which payments are drawn to support the person's retirement from work in the form of periodic payments ...
(46.32%) *
Housing Benefit Housing Benefit is a means-tested social security Welfare, or commonly social welfare, is a type of government support intended to ensure that members of a society can meet Basic needs, basic human needs such as food and shelter. Social ...
(10.55%) *
Disability Living Allowance Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a social security benefit in the United Kingdom paid to eligible claimants who have personal care and/or mobility needs as a result of a mental or physical disability. It is tax-free, non-means test, means-test ...
(7.87%) *
Pension Credit Pension Credit is the principal element of the UK welfare system for people of pension age. It is intended to supplement the UK State Pension, or to replace it (for example, if the claimant did not meet the conditions to claim a State Pension). I ...
(5.06%) *
Income Support Income Support is an income-related benefit in the United Kingdom for some people who are on a low income, but have a reason for not actively seeking work. Claimants of Income Support may be entitled to certain other benefits, for example, Housin ...
(4.31%) * Rent rebates (3.43%) * Attendance Allowance (3.31%) * Jobseeker's Allowance (3.06%) *
Incapacity Benefit Incapacity Benefit was a British social security benefit that was paid to people facing extra barriers to work because of their long-term illness or their disability. It replaced Invalidity Benefit in 1995. The government began to phase out Inc ...
(3.06%) *
Council Tax Council Tax is a taxation, local taxation system used in England, Scotland and Wales. It is a Property tax, tax on domestic property, which was introduced in 1993 by the Local Government Finance Act 1992, replacing the short-lived Poll tax (Grea ...
Benefit (3%) * Other (10.03%) The United Kingdom has a long history of welfare, notably including the
English Poor laws The English Poor Laws were a system of poor relief in England and Wales that developed out of the codification of late-medieval and Tudor-era laws in 1587–1598. The system continued until the modern welfare state emerged after the Second World ...
which date back to 1536. After various reforms to the program, which involved
workhouse In Britain, a workhouse () was an institution where those unable to support themselves financially were offered accommodation and employment. (In Scotland, they were usually known as poorhouses.) The earliest known use of the term ''workhouse'' ...
s, it was eventually abolished and replaced with a modern system by laws such as the
National Assistance Act 1948 The National Assistance Act 1948 is an Act of Parliament passed in the United Kingdom by the Labour government of Clement Attlee. It formally abolished the Poor Law system that had existed since the reign of Elizabeth I, and established a social s ...
. In more recent times, comparing the
Cameron–Clegg coalition The Cameron–Clegg coalition was formed by David Cameron and Nick Clegg when Cameron was invited by Queen Elizabeth II to 2010 United Kingdom government formation, form a new administration, following the resignation of Prime Minister Gordo ...
's
austerity measures Austerity is a set of political-economic policies that aim to reduce government budget deficits through spending cuts, tax increases, or a combination of both. There are three primary types of austerity measures: higher taxes to fund spend ...
with the Opposition's, the ''
Financial Times The ''Financial Times'' (''FT'') is a British daily newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray ba ...
'' commentator
Martin Wolf Martin Harry Wolf (born 16 August 1946 in London) is a British journalist A journalist is an individual that collects/gathers information in form of text, audio, or pictures, processes them into a news-worthy form, and disseminates it to ...
commented that the "big shift from Labour... is the cuts in welfare benefits." The government's austerity programme, which involves reduction in government policy, has been linked to a rise in food banks. A study published in the ''British Medical Journal'' in 2015 found that each one percentage point increase in the rate of Jobseeker's Allowance claimants sanctioned was associated with a 0.09 percentage point rise in food bank use. The austerity programme has faced opposition from disability rights groups for disproportionately affecting disabled people. The "bedroom tax" is an austerity measure that has attracted particular criticism, with activists arguing that two-thirds of council houses affected by the policy are occupied with a person with a disability.


United States

In the United States, depending on the context, the term "welfare" can be used to refer to
means-tested A means test is a determination of whether an individual or family is eligible for government assistance or welfare, based upon whether the individual or family possesses the means to do without that help. Canada In Canada, means tests are use ...
cash benefits, especially the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program and its successor, the
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF ) is a federal assistance program of the United States. It began on July 1, 1997, and succeeded the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, providing cash assistance to indigent Ame ...
block grants, or it can be used to refer to all means-tested programs that help individuals or families meet basic needs, including, for example, health care through
Medicaid Medicaid in the United States is a federal and state program that helps with Health care, healthcare costs for some people with limited income and resources. Medicaid also offers benefits not normally covered by Medicare (United States), Medicare ...
,
Supplemental Security Income Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a means-tested program that provides cash payments to disabled children, disabled adults, and individuals aged 65 or older who are citizens or nationals of the United States. SSI was created by the Social Se ...
(SSI) benefits and food and nutrition programs (SNAP). It can also include
social insurance Social insurance is a form of Social protection, social welfare that provides insurance against economic risks. The insurance may be provided publicly or through the subsidizing of private insurance. In contrast to other forms of Welfare, soci ...
programs such as
unemployment insurance Unemployment benefits, also called unemployment insurance, unemployment payment, unemployment compensation, or simply unemployment, are payments made by authorized bodies to unemployment, unemployed people. In the United States, benefits are fun ...
,
Social Security Welfare, or commonly social welfare, is a type of government support intended to ensure that members of a society can meet Basic needs, basic human needs such as food and shelter. Social security may either be synonymous with welfare, or refe ...
, and Medicare. AFDC (originally called Aid to Dependent Children) was created during the Great Depression to alleviate the burden of poverty for families with children and allow widowed mothers to maintain their households. The New Deal employment program such as the
Works Progress Administration The Works Progress Administration (WPA; renamed in 1939 as the Work Projects Administration) was an American New Deal agency that employed millions of jobseekers (mostly men who were not formally educated) to carry out public works projects, ...
primarily served men. Prior to the New Deal, anti-poverty programs were primarily operated by private charities or state or local governments; however, these programs were overwhelmed by the depth of need during the Depression. The United States has no national program of cash assistance for non-disabled poor individuals who are not raising children. Until early in the year 1965, the news media conveyed the idea that only whites lived in poverty, but then Blacks were presented more often than Whites in this plight. Some of the influences on this shift may have been the
civil rights movement The civil rights movement was a nonviolent social and political movement and campaign from 1954 to 1968 in the United States to abolish legalized institutional Racial segregation in the United States, racial segregation, Racial discrimination ...
and urban riots from the mid 60s. Welfare had by then shifted from being a White issue to being a Black issue and during this time frame the war on poverty had already begun. Subsequently, news media portrayed stereotypes of Blacks as lazy and undeserving and as welfare queens. These shifts in media presentation didn't necessarily reflect a decrease in the percentage of the population living in poverty. In 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act changed the structure of Welfare payments and added new criteria to states that received Welfare funding. After reforms that President Clinton said would "end Welfare as we know it", amounts from the federal government were given out in a
flat rate A flat fee, also referred to as a flat rate or a linear rate refers to a pricing structure that charges a single fixed fee for a service, regardless of usage. Less commonly, the term may refer to a rate that does not vary with usage or time of u ...
per state based on
population Population typically refers to the number of people in a single area, whether it be a city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, ...
. Each state must meet certain criteria to ensure recipients are being encouraged to work themselves out of Welfare. The new program is called
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF ) is a federal assistance program of the United States. It began on July 1, 1997, and succeeded the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, providing cash assistance to indigent Ame ...
(TANF).Characteristics and Financial Circumstances of TANF RecipientsFiscal Year 2010
. United States Department of Health and Human Services.
It encourages states to require some sort of employment search in exchange for providing funds to individuals, and imposes a five-year lifetime limit on cash assistance. In FY 2010, 31.8% of TANF families were white, 31.9% were African-American, and 30.0% were Hispanic. According to the U.S. Census Bureau data released 13 September 2011, the nation's poverty rate rose to 15.1% (46.2 million) in 2010, up from 14.3% (approximately 43.6 million) in 2009 and to its highest level since 1993. In 2008, 13.2% (39.8 million) Americans lived in relative poverty.Poverty rate hits 15-year high
. Reuters. 17 September 2010
In a 2011 op-ed in ''
Forbes ''Forbes'' () is an American business magazine owned by Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family (publishers), Forbes family. Published eight times a year, it features articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing ...
'', Peter Ferrara stated that, "The best estimate of the cost of the 185 federal means tested Welfare programs for 2010 for the federal government alone is nearly $700billion, up a third since 2008, according to the Heritage Foundation. Counting state spending, total Welfare spending for 2010 reached nearly $900billion, up nearly one-fourth since 2008 (24.3%)."
California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States, located along the West Coast of the United States, Pacific Coast. With nearly 39.2million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territori ...
, with 12% of the U.S. population, has one-third of the nation's welfare recipients. In FY 2011, federal spending on means-tested welfare, plus state contributions to federal programs, reached $927billion per year. Roughly half went to families with children, most of which are headed by a single parent. The United States has also typically relied on charitable giving through non-profit agencies and fundraising instead of direct monetary assistance from the government itself. According to Giving USA, Americans gave $358.38billion to charity in 2014. This is rewarded by the United States government through tax credits for individuals and companies that are not typically seen in other countries. Since these per capita charity sums are much higher than in all other countries, this means that private people and companies have a strong say in how social assistance is carried out. This means that public funds in the form of unpaid taxes are distributed according to less professional, less objective, and less unbiased criteria than in all other countries.


Effects

The welfare-to-work intervention programme is unlikely to have any impacts on the mental and physical health of lone parents and children. Even when the employment and income rates were higher in this group of people, the poverty rate was high which could lead to persistently high rates of depression whether they were in the programme or not. Income transfers can be either conditional or unconditional. Conditionalities are sometimes criticized as being paternalistic and unnecessary, and research in different contexts shows enforcing conditionalities can result in additional burdens for recipients and social service providers. A 2008 study by welfare economist and Brown University Professor Allan M. Feldman suggests that welfare can achieve both
competitive equilibrium Competitive equilibrium (also called: Walrasian equilibrium) is a concept of economic equilibrium introduced by Kenneth Arrow and Gérard Debreu in 1951 appropriate for the analysis of commodity markets with flexible prices and many traders, and se ...
and
Pareto efficiency Pareto efficiency or Pareto optimality is a situation where no action or allocation is available that makes one individual better off without making another worse off. The concept is named after Vilfredo Pareto (1848–1923), Italian civil engine ...
in the market, although different points of Pareto efficiency are more fair to some than others. Some opponents of welfare argue that it affects work incentives.


Perception

According to a 2012 review study, whether a welfare program generates public support depends on: * whether the program is universal or targeted towards certain groups * the size of the social program benefits (larger benefits incentivize greater mobilization to defend a social program) * the visibility and traceability of the benefits (whether recipients know where the benefits come from) * the proximity and concentration of the beneficiaries (this affects the ease by which beneficiaries can organize to protect a social program) * the duration of the benefits (longer benefits incentivize greater mobilization to defend a social program) * the manner in which a program is administered (whether the program is inclusive and follow principles)


See also

*
Basic income Universal basic income (UBI) is a social welfare proposal in which all citizens of a given population regularly receive an unconditional transfer payment, that is, without a means test or need to work. It would be received independently of an ...
* Contingencies fund *
Corporate welfare Corporate welfare is a phrase used to describe a government's bestowal of Grant (money), money grants, tax breaks, or other special favorable treatment for corporations. The definition of corporate welfare is sometimes restricted to direct Subsi ...
*
Economic, social and cultural rights Economic, social and cultural rights, (ESCR) are Socioeconomics, socio-economic human rights, such as the right to education, right to housing, right to an adequate standard of living, right to health, victims' rights and the right to science an ...
* Financing and benefit structure *
Human Poverty Index The Human Poverty Index (HPI) was an indication of the poverty of community in a country, developed by the United Nations to complement the Human Development Index (HDI) and was first reported as part of the Human Deprivation Report in 1997. It i ...
*
Human security Human security is a paradigm for understanding global social vulnerability, vulnerabilities whose proponents challenges the traditional notion of national security through military security by arguing that the proper referent for security should be ...
* List of countries by Social Progress Index *
List of countries by social welfare spending This is a list of countries by spending on social welfare. Countries with the highest levels of spending are more likely to be considered welfare states. As a percentage of GDP These tables are lists of social welfare spending as a percentage of ...
*
Poverty reduction Poverty reduction, poverty relief, or poverty alleviation, is a set of measures, both economic and humanitarian, that are intended to permanently lift people out of poverty. Measures, like those promoted by Henry George in his economics clas ...
*
Social democracy Social democracy is a Political philosophy, political, Social philosophy, social, and economic philosophy within socialism that supports Democracy, political and economic democracy. As a policy regime, it is described by academics as advocati ...
*
Social liberalism Social liberalism (german: Sozialliberalismus, es, socioliberalismo, nl, Sociaalliberalisme), also known as new liberalism in the United Kingdom, modern liberalism, or simply liberalism in the contemporary United States, left-liberalism ...
*
Social policy Social policy is a plan or action of government or institutional agencies which aim to improve or reform society. Some professionals and universities consider social policy a subset of public policy, while other practitioners characterize soci ...
*
Social safety net The social safety net (SSN) consists of non-contributory assistance existing to improve lives of vulnerable families and individuals experiencing poverty and destitution. Examples of SSNs are previously-contributory social pensions, in-kind and fo ...
* Four Pillars (Geneva Association) *
Welfare economics Welfare economics is a branch of economics that uses microeconomics, microeconomic techniques to evaluate well-being (welfare) at the aggregate (economy-wide) level. Attempting to apply the principles of welfare economics gives rise to the fiel ...
* Welfare reform * Welfare rights * Welfare trap * Workfare


Notes


References


Other sources

* * Sheldon Danziger, Robert Haveman, and Robert Plotnick (1981). "How Income Transfer Programs Affect Work, Savings, and the Income Distribution: A Critical Review", ''Journal of Economic Literature'' 19(3), pp.975–1028. * * Steven N. Durlauf et al., ed. (2008) ''
The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics ''The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics'' (2018), 3rd ed., is a twenty-volume reference work on economics published by Palgrave Macmillan. It contains around 3,000 entries, including many classic essays from the original Inglis Palgrave Diction ...
'', 2nd Edition: :"social insurance" by Stefania Albanesi
Abstract.
:"social insurance and public policy" by Jonathan Gruberbr>Abstract.
:"Welfare state" by
Assar Lindbeck Carl Assar Eugén Lindbeck (26 January 1930 – 28 August 2020) was a Swedish professor of economics Economics () is the social science that studies the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and ...

Abstract.
* Premilla Nadasen, Jennifer Mittelstadt, and Marisa Chappell, ''Welfare in the United States: A History with Documents, 1935–1996''. (New York: Routledge, 2009). 241 pp. * Samuel Lézé, "Welfare", in : Andrew Scull, J. (ed.), ''Cultural Sociology of Mental Illness'', Sage, 2014, pp.958–60 * Alfred de Grazia, with Ted Gurr: ''American Welfare'', New York University Press, New York (1962) *
Review by Barrett Lyons in ''Social Work'' Vol.7 Issue2, p.112
* Alfred de Grazia, ed. ''Grass roots private welfare: winning essays of the 1956 national competition of the Foundation for voluntary Welfare'', New York University Press, New York 1957.


External links


International Social Security Review

OECD Social Expenditure database (SOCX) Website
{{Authority control Public economics Government aid programs Welfare economics Social systems