The welfare state is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end – the wellbeing of all people. The future of the welfare state has been a topic of discussion and argument for more than 30 years on issues ranging from education to employment, from healthcare to social housing, from welfare rates to pensions to provision for people with disability. Some have claimed it cannot survive because the population is aging. Others have argued that globalisation will undermine it in due course. Recent economic upheavals and huge budget cutbacks in many countries have added to the questions faced by the welfare state.
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