Economist and Labor MP Daniel Mulino explains how the Australian welfare state was created – and what we need to do to protect and extend it
The welfare state is one of the crowning achievements of the twentieth century, giving citizens access to healthcare, pensions, disability and unemployment benefits. This unprecedented expansion of the state was a product of the postwar period of the late 1940s, when governments ramped up investment in this grand safety net. By the 1970s, half of all government spending went towards social-welfare programs, but today the welfare state stands at a crossroads, beset both by political opposition and funding pressures as the population ages.
Australian Labor Party MP Daniel Mulino provides a sweeping account of the history of welfare in Australia and abroad, from Bismarckian Germany to present-day Canberra. In this deeply researched and lucid account, Mulino looks to the challenges facing today’s welfare state and reflects on what steps must be taken to protect and extend it.