Neither the budget constraint, nor the globalization process, nor the efficiency issue are to be considered valid reasons why the welfare state should be reduced. The paper argues that a deep restructuring of the welfare system is necessary in order to improve its effectiveness and its response to the changing social needs. However, restructuring efforts should focus on increasing productivity and reducing the unit costs of welfare services. Unfortunately, widespread ideological sets of preferences and perverse resistances against unit costs reduction seem to be supporting the trend towards a reduction in social expenditures through a substantial reduction of the welfare state.
Keywords: Welfare State, Social Expenditure sustainability, Welfare system reform
Jel Code: H53, H55, I38