What Is the Liberal Democratic Stance on Welfare?

The liberal democratic stance on welfare is in favor of it. Proponents of the liberal democratic ideology seek to prevent, or at least partially restrict, socioeconomic inequalities from impinging upon the rights and liberties of the individual.

The Liberal Democrat party in the United Kingdom is in favor of welfare payments for the unemployed, as well as tax breaks for those people on low salaries. However, it also emphasizes the importance of keeping unemployment "benefits" below the threshold of an average household's income from employment. This is intended to serve as an incentive for those people on unemployment welfare payments to seek paid employment instead.

Right-wing conservatives, by contrast, tend to view welfare as having a generally corrosive influence on people's work ethic, as well as on the traditional role of the family, as opposed to the state, in support. They also consider welfare to be damaging to the economy, although opposing views have pointed out that serving the needs of the people is vital for economic growth.

When President Johnson introduced a string of liberal welfare policies between 1965 and 1966, including the provision of health insurance to the poor and disabled known as Medicaid, he was criticized by his conservative opponents for creating too much reliance on the federal government. Successive Republican administrations, including those of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, sought to delegate such welfare concerns to the state, rather than federal, level.