The Future of Welfare Law in a Changing World: Lessons from Australia and Singapore?
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law
October 4, 2010
Sydney Law Review, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp. 199-214, 2010
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 10/90
This article analyses the Singaporean tradition of relatively low levels of public expenditure on social security, instead favouring family and personal responsibility through mandatory ‘social account’ investments and tax incentives to promote savings; and the Australian tradition of tax-funded, flat-rate and means tested social security payments for most contingencies. It is suggested that both countries have developed their own particular ‘twists’ on their historic and cultural inheritances (Australia breaking from a contributory model due to a strong laborist influence; Singapore blending US style neoliberalism with Confucian reliance on familial self-provision and low tax rates). Tentative observations are offered about the degree of path dependence or otherwise of these models and their contribution to debate in countries contemplating ‘parameter changes’ to welfare to accommodate globalisation or fiscal challenges.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 26
Keywords: social security, welfare regimes, comparative models, political economy, Asian region
JEL Classification: I30, K10, K30
Date posted: October 6, 2010