by Adrienn Győry (WelfSOC)
In a recent blog post, Peter Taylor-Gooby (WelfSOC) emphasises the role of welfare policies in strengthening the competitiveness of the British economy after the country leaves the European Union. As the EU is the largest trading partner of the UK, losing access to the Single Market will have extensive implications and significant economic contraction is expected. Trade deficits are widening and productivity is already lower in the UK than in other Western European countries. Although immigration tended to alleviate the effects of lower productivity, the intended immigration cuts will further weaken productivity. Peter Taylor-Gooby argues that greater investment in social policies will be essential to raise productivity and improve economic competitiveness. Skill-development, better and more effective management of the workforce, improving family support services, and family-work reconciliation policies are only a few of the approaches available to achieve it. Drawing a parallel between the deteriorating economic conditions in the post-war and post-Brexit period, the blog post highlights the contribution that establishing a modern Welfare State made in boosting the economy. It stresses the need for innovative social policies to respond to these challenges after Brexit as well.
The blog post was published as part of the 50th Anniversary Blog Series of the Social Policy Association. For Peter Taylor-Gooby’s contribution, go to www.social-policy.org.uk/50-for-50/brexit-welfare-state/.