1989 volume 7(3) pages 321 – 340

Cite as:
Walker R, Huby M, 1989, "Social security spending in the United Kingdom: bridging the north - south economic divide" Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 7(3) 321 – 340

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Social security spending in the United Kingdom: bridging the north - south economic divide

R Walker, M Huby

Received 21 December 1988; in revised form 24 April 1989

Abstract. Regional considerations have played little if any part in the development of social security policies in the United Kingdom. The spatial concentration of present social security expenditure is purely incidental and occurs simply as a result of the clustering of social security beneficiaries in particular areas. Nevertheless, by affecting regional aggregate demand these spatial transfers act to lessen the growth of regional disparities. In this paper the pattern of spatial transfers effected by social security benefits in the period 1979/80 - 1985/86 is described, with particular reference to transfers across the so-called north - south divide. Although not all benefits cause the transfer of resources in the same geographical direction, in 1985/86 social security tranfers to the north exceeded those associated with formal regional policies.

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