The social security and care system is probably the best achievement the European Western democracies have got. It is not easy to maintain because of the increasing costs it have, as population is getting older and people expect a better quality of service. In fact, there is a strong liberal wave that asks for the abolition of the public protection systems and proposes a private security framework. Before the crisis, liberal public policysts have supported and highlighted the development of private models in several emerging democracies in South America and Eastern Europe. It seemed that every country was going to move from the public to the private system in the next decade.
However, the crisis has showed that a public protection model works to assure the basic services to all citizens. The costs of the system grow and grow but it is evident its value in hard times. Solidarity organised through the State helps to facing better the negative consequences of the crisis. I cannot argue that it is the best way to maintain a social protection network, but nobody has invented anything better in the las fifty years.
Therefore, while waiting the arrival of other brilliant proposals from the liberal intelligency, it is a good exercise to revise the public social protection model to change its weaknesses and reinforce the strengths. This task has been recently done by the British think tank Demos. This organisation has published A Constitution for Social Care, a report which focuses on disabled people who needs special attention from the system:
«Social care should be a truly empowering public service for all who need it, one that tackles and removes the barriers that some people face in their everyday lives. Everyone should have the opportunity to take part in their communities and be able to live the lives they want to lead».
They propose the setting up of a constitution which explains «a clear set of legislation for adult social care based on the principles of citizenship, equality and fairness, and sets out in detail what everyone should expect from social care services if they need them». In the long term, the purpose is to consolidate the social care system as a essential right of every citizen. It reinforces the public service philosophy against the privatisation of the social security framework.