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Governments in all advanced industrial societies are involved in an endless struggle of how to 'square the welfare circle', as demand for public services rises due to demographic, social and labour market factors. Government ability to finance this rising tide of public service demand is constrained by economic and, at times, ideological factors. Failure to make welfare provision, however, has adverse electoral consequences so this is not an issue which is likely to go away. Rather it is likely to become more acute in the future. Social Policy Towards 2000 examines this major problem in Britain today and looks ahead to the year 2000 and beyond. It documents the economic and social policy changes of the Thatcherite years and looks at the current situation in relation to employment, social security, education, health, housing and the personal services. By comparing the proposals of the three main UK political parties for the welfare system for the remaining part of the decade, the editors and contributors offer a prospective analysis of the future of welfare.