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Good Times Bad Times

the welfare myth of them and us

Department of Social Policy public lecture. Wednesday 12 November 2014. Speaker: Professor Sir John Hills.

About the lecture

Good Times Bad Times: the welfare myth of them and us challenges the idea of a divide in the UK population between those who benefit from the welfare state and those who pay into it.

About the book

Two-thirds of UK government spending now goes on the welfare state and where the money is spent - healthcare, education, pensions, benefits - is the centre of political and public debate. Much of that debate is dominated by the myth that the population divides into those who benefit from the welfare state and those who pay into it - 'skivers' and 'strivers', 'them' and 'us'.

This ground-breaking book, written by one of the UK's leading social policy experts, uses extensive research and survey evidence to challenge that view. It shows that our complex and ever-changing lives mean that all of us rely on the welfare state throughout our lifetimes, not just a small 'welfare-dependent' minority. Using everyday life stories and engaging graphics, Hills clearly demonstrates how the facts are far removed from the myths.

'Good Times, Bad Times: the welfare myth of them and us' is published by Policy Press (November 2014).

For more detailed information of the book go to our books section (November 2014).

Media coverage

Prof John Hills talked about his book Good Times Bad Times on BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show, Friday 6 February 2015.

For further information, videos and downloads, go to the CASE news site and LSE events page