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COVID-19, the Great Recession and social policy: is this time different?

Moreira, Amilcar and Hick, Rod ORCID: 2021. COVID-19, the Great Recession and social policy: is this time different? Social Policy and Administration 55 (2) , pp. 261-279. 10.1111/spol.12679

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This paper provides an overview of the initial crisis responses to the coronavirus pandemic and asks whether and how both the nature of the COVID-19 crisis and the national responses to this differ from those witnessed during the Great Recession. We argue that the speed and scale of the crisis are indeed distinctive, but that claims of symmetry — a crisis affecting all equally — are misplaced. We suggest that stimulus packages have, in broad terms, reflected the scale of the threat and that the wage subsidies and employment supports that were introduced or adjusted are novel in scope and scale, with innovative developments. There has been a greater emphasis on housing than was apparent in responses to the Great Recession and, while a focus on taxation in response packages has been a focus in both crises, its form differs, with a greater reliance on deferrals rather than tax reductions in the stimulus plans announced to date. Our account stresses the agility of crisis responses and this agility must be regarded as welcome, mitigating a great deal of social harm during the initial phase of the pandemic. Whether these short-run responses create pressures for wider-ranging change is much debated, but highly uncertain.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0144-5596
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 January 2021
Date of Acceptance: 8 December 2020
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2023 12:34

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