Managing strategic change

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The pattern of social policy-making since 1997, in terms of both the order in which policy areas were tackled and the nature of the policies that were chosen, reflects the core ideas. Many Labour supporters assumed that the new government would begin by pumping money into public services, particularly the NHS.


In 2003 the system of tax credits for children and for adults was overhauled and extended, such that the meaning of means-testing has been substantially changed. The NHS Plan, published in 2000, finally produced a major cash injection for the service, the results of which did not begin to be felt until the end of 2001. Only after acting to redraw the work-welfare relationship to embody the ideas of opportunity and responsibility via the new instruments of the New Deals and tax credits did New Labour begin to justify vastly increased expenditure on health and education as necessary investments in human capital. It is also crucial to note that Labour Party leaders expressed caution about how much the state could actually do to achieve these ideas at the heart of its policy goals. In a speech on 'modernising central government' in 1998, Tony Blair said: 'Big government is dead. The days of tax and spend are gone. (
When people come together in groups, communities, cities or nations, levels of confusion and anxiety rise. Attempts are made to manage this anxiety by creating structure, rules and legislation. ...
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