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The Future of Welfare Law in a Changing World: Lessons from Australia and Singapore?

Sydney Law Review, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp. 199-214, 2010

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 10/90

26 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2010  

Terry Carney

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: October 4, 2010

Abstract

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.

Keywords: social security, welfare regimes, comparative models, political economy, Asian region

JEL Classification: I30, K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Carney, Terry, The Future of Welfare Law in a Changing World: Lessons from Australia and Singapore? (October 4, 2010). Sydney Law Review, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp. 199-214, 2010; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 10/90. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1687448

Terry Carney (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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