As part of the devolution process, a range of powers was granted to the newly formed Scottish Parliament in 1999. These powers principally governed social welfare where there was already a degree of Scottish autonomy. Welfare has thus been central to the devolution project. This topical book examines social welfare in Scotland since devolution. In particular, it focuses on the politics of welfare during and after the devolution process; poverty and inequality; and the two single most important powers devolved to the Edinburgh Parliament, education and health. It is the first work to attempt such a synthesis. The book: looks at why social welfare issues were central to the devolution process in Scotland; explores the particular social and financial circumstances in which Scottish policy makers operate; reviews and assesses Scottish policies for children, education and lifelong learning; examines health policy, including care for older people, an especially controversial example of 'policy divergence' from England; provides an invaluable overview of the Scottish welfare state is as it is, and discusses how it might develop in the future.
This book is essential reading for all those concerned with the contemporary and historical dimensions of social policy in Scotland and how they relate to developments in other parts of the United Kingdom.
John Stewart is Principal Lecturer in History at Oxford Brookes University. He has published extensively on the history of social welfare in Scotland and Great Britain generally.