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Public and Private Welfare Activity in England
Polina Obolenskaya and Tania Burchardt
June 2016
Paper No' CASE/193:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: H40; H51; H52; H55

Tags: private provision; public provision; welfare system; public expenditure; private expenditure; health; education; social security; housing; social care

This paper is the latest in a series of publications documenting the shifting boundaries of private and public welfare activity for the years 1979/80, 1995/96, 1999/00 and 2007/08, and now 2013/14. It records who finances, delivers and controls expenditure within the different welfare sectors: Health, Social Care, Education, Housing, and Income Maintenance (including pensions). We find that during the most recent period between 2007/08 and 2013/14, there has been further decline in the proportion of welfare activity that is publicly funded, controlled and provided and an increase in the proportion of privately funded, controlled and provided activity – a continuation of the trend from the earlier periods. While there has been a significant real increase in the total welfare spending, it mostly was due to the rapid increase in the privately financed and provided welfare.