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A generation of change, a lifetime of difference? - Social policy in Britain since 1979


The Policy Press

Type: Report
Region: Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland

This innovative book addresses the historical development of social and fiscal policies from the late 1970s to the present day by asking what has changed, how these changes have affected the lifecourse and what the potential lifetime impacts of policy change are.This book provides an overview of the development of policy change over the period and uses an innovative and unique lifetime approach "from the cradle to the grave" to put it into perspective.The authors begin by reviewing the political changes and policy story since the 1970s and demonstrate the economic and social changes that have occurred alongside. The book then takes an innovative approach in looking at specific programmes about crucial aspects of the lifecycle - from maternity and childhood, through to adult events and risks before finally looking at retirement, survivorship and death. Finally, profiles of three hypothetical "families" - the Meades, who are median earners, the Moores, high earners and the Lowes who are low paid - are developed for 1979, 1997 and 2008 to provide a comprehensive discussion of policy change and make innovative insights for the future. This is the first book to join up the history of policy direction with an analysis of outcomes over the whole period. It will therefore be ideal for students of social policy and attract a wide readership interested in pensions, children's support and related issues.



Rights: Public
Suggested citation:

The Policy Press. (2009) A generation of change, a lifetime of difference? - Social policy in Britain since 1979 [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 26th June 2019].


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