chapter  4
20 Pages

Devolution and Social Policy

BySharon Wright

This chapter will outline why devolution matters to everyone in the UK. First, it will defi ne devolution and describe the different arrangements for governing England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland that have developed following public votes in favour of transferring power away from

London in 1997. Crucial questions will be asked about how welfare needs can be met in the different parts of the UK and whether the UK can still be said to have a ‘national’ or UK-wide welfare state. The chapter will then look at what has changed since devolution (including both policies and political processes) and why this matters to all countries of the UK, including England.