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Comment: talking about 'welfare' and 'social security'

In a recent response to a consultation on “welfare” CAS decided to raise the question of use of language. We questioned whether the term 'welfare' is really neutral anymore and suggested that using the term social security was more appropriate when discussing a benefits system. Here is our statement:


"We have chosen not to use the language of 'welfare' in our response. The current UK benefits system was originally founded with the aim of providing social security and national insurance for the individuals who together make up our communities. The term 'welfare', and the rhetoric associated with it, can be seen to emphasise individual support and undermines the importance of the collective benefit of having a system of social protection for all members of the community, no matter their current or future circumstances.  In addition, its use distracts attention from the collective social cost of failing to provide effective social protection both for those who may find themselves at risk of poverty and destitution and for society more widely. We have chosen to use the language of 'social security' in our response and recommend a return to this language by the Scottish Government."

25 Apr 2013