By Howard Glennerster.
Policy Press in association with the Social Policy Association
1 86134 405
£17.99 (paperback), £50 (hardback)
This book is targeted quite openly at a student audience. Each one of its chapters contains an initial summary, a concluding overview, some relatively basic “questions for discussion” and a reading and website list – very handy for hard-pressed social policy students. Yet this is much more than an excellent textbook.
Howard Glennerster’s previous work includes the influential Paying for Welfare, and this latest reworking of that theme contains a vast amount of thought-provoking detail, commentary and statistics about the financing of the welfare state. The book deals with the funding of health and social care, education, housing and social security. It looks at the failures of both government and the market, and gives a fairly even-handed view on the policy options that exist.
The chapter on the funding of health care is invaluable for anyone from a social services background who is trying to understand the complex detail of NHS funding.
The book is recommended to all who are interested in knowing more about the social welfare world that we inhabit but rarely have time to stand back and consider.
Gary Vaux is head, money advice unit, Hertfordshire Council.