What’s the future of the welfare state?

Unemployed looking for work, Britain 1930. German Federal Archive

In 1942, former LSE Director William Beveridge launched his blueprint for a British universal care system. As part of the School’s celebration, this academic year, of the 75th anniversary of the publication of the Beveridge report, the LSE IQ podcast asks, ‘What’s the future of the welfare state?’ 

Whether it is the underfunding of the NHS or the amount we spend on benefits, the welfare state is constantly under debate. With over 50 per cent of the country’s budget spent on the welfare state and an ever-changing political, technological and cultural landscape, its purpose, size and utility dominate public discourse.

Can Beveridge’s vision survive or does it need to adapt? In search of an answer James Rattee spoke to Professor John Hills, Professor Lucinda Platt and Dr Malcolm Torry from LSE’s Department of Social Policy.

Each episode of LSE IQ sees a range of LSE academics, and other experts, line up to give their perspective on one timely question. For all episodes of LSE IQ, and to subscribe on iTunes and SoundCloud, please visit or search for 'LSE IQ' in your favourite podcast app, or subscribe on Apple Podcasts .

For further information about the podcast and all the related links visit


The LSE Festival: Beveridge 2.0  offers a series of public engagement activities to shine a light on the "Five Giant” evils identified in the Beveridge report – originally described as Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness –   re-cast for the 21st century and for the global context. The festival runs from Monday 19 February to Saturday 24 February 2018.