The role of government in welfare legistion

The United Kingdom is a unitary state in which central government substantially directs most government activity. However, the structure of services in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland differs in certain aspects. Each region has both a Secretary of State and administrative department situated in central government, and its own assembly and executive, which take on the role in the region of certain central ministries. The laws which apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland are different from those in England and Wales.

The Scottish parliament has in consequence very much more influence than the Welsh Parliament, and the Scottish executive has the role of a civil service for Scotland, with a social policy in its own right. The administrative structure in Northern Ireland is significantly different, personal social services are the responsibility of the Health Board (as they are in the Republic of Ireland), and public housing is managed by Northern Ireland Housing Executive. This framework changes frequently.

The most important changes in recent years have been the reformation of the Department of Social Security into the Department of Work and Pensions, the significant transfer of income maintenance to the Inland Revenue, and the demolition of the Department of Transport, the Regions and Local Government, whose key social policy responsibilities have now been placed in the Office of the Minister and Deputy First Minister. Governments run elections based on policies, people vote on the way political parties support different policies and the Party elected then have to make these policies work.

Social policies are made by government at central and local level, by think tanks and by Quangos they all play a part in implementing these policies. Influences on social policy include, public opinion, media, political ideology, economy, pressure groups, European Union and think tanks. Social Policy Social policy is a relationship new discipline drawing from sociology, politics and economics. It focuses on real world social problems such as poverty, crime, unemployment and education in a way that tries to make a difference rather than just telling you about it.

Social policies look at problems in groups in our population wholack some aspects of health and well-being and focus on how these can be tackled. Government's run elections which are based on policies and the country vote on the party they think can deliver results in areas such as health and education. Social policy is made at central and local government level and by think tanks and Quangos (Quasi-autonomous non government organisations).