Roger Douglas, Robert MacCulloch, 25 May 2017

The future of publicly funded welfare states is in doubt as costs trend upward, yet there is little agreement about the shape of the necessary reforms. This column uses the case of New Zealand to show how tax cuts can be designed to establish compulsory savings accounts so that a publicly funded welfare system can be changed into one that relies largely on private funding. Transparent pricing of services can be introduced, offering the potential for efficiency gains. The government retains sufficient revenues to act as ‘insurer of last resort’ for those individuals unable to meet welfare expenses out of their savings accounts.

Rebecca Blank, 01 August 2008

Major welfare reform legislation passed the US Congress in August 1996 by a broad bipartisan majority and was signed into law by President Clinton. Rebecca Blank of the University of Michigan talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about how US welfare reform has worked out – the successes and the downside – and where it goes next, including comparable policies in Europe. The interview was recorded at the American Economic Association meetings in New Orleans in January 2008.

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