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Welfare reforms are changes in the operation of a given welfare system, with the goals of reducing the number of individuals dependent on government assistance, keeping the welfare systems affordable, and assisting recipients to become self-sufficient. Classical liberals and conservatives generally argue that welfare and other tax-funded services reduce incentives to work, exacerbate the free-rider problem, and intensify poverty. On the other hand, socialists generally criticize welfare reform because it usually minimizes the public safety net and strengthens the capitalist economic system. Welfare reform is constantly debated because of the varying opinions on the government's determined balance of providing guaranteed welfare benefits and promoting self-sufficiency.

This welfare reform proposed changes to the Housing Benefit, which reduced the benefit paid to recipients depending on the size of their living space. This act got the nickname of the “Bedroom Tax.” from the media.[20] It was stated that similarly to other welfare reforms, this act would reduce welfare dependency.[21]

France

Beginning in the mid-1970s, a deficit in the social insurance program began to appear. The deficit saw peaks at 27.75% of the social insurance budget in 1992. This led to a major push by the government to cut back spending in t

Beginning in the mid-1970s, a deficit in the social insurance program began to appear. The deficit saw peaks at 27.75% of the social insurance budget in 1992. This led to a major push by the government to cut back spending in the welfare program. By the end of the 1990s the deficit had been almost completely eradicated. The often large deficits that the program has endured has led to a tremendous amount of opposition to the program as it stands.

In February 2020, a pension overhaul was adopted by decree using Article 49 of the French constitution.[

In February 2020, a pension overhaul was adopted by decree using Article 49 of the French constitution.[22]

During the 2015–2018 Brazilian economic crisis, there has been both economic and political turmoil. President Dilma Rousseff, who was later impeached and replaced by President Michel Temer, strived to expand the social welfare program Bolsa Família instated by her predecessor Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. As a social-democrat, Rousseff pledged that "Brazil will continue to grow, with social inclusion and mobility."[23] When Michel Temer took office, to cope with the severe economic recession, he proposed social welfare reforms to change labor rules and the social security pension system. Temer's plan included limiting pension benefits and raising the retirement age in order to save money and fix the economy. Additionally, under his reform, companies have greater power to require longer work days and use part-time workers. In response to this reform, labor unions, rural workers, and government employees held protests all over Brazil.[24] The vote to approve the pension reform was first suspended until February 2018, and now has been further postponed as a campaign issue in this year's election. Temer's critics believe that the reason for the postponed reform is its vast public disapproval.[25]

See also