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David Cameron speech on well being

David Cameron speech on well being; David Cameron speech continued SOT Now let me try and answer the second charge, which is that government can’t affect how people feel, or do very much to improve their wellbeing, and so shouldn’t really try. It’s an argument in a way that the business of government is mechanistic and highly practical, and that what happens in Whitehall doesn’t really reach into people’s personal lives or feelings. Now, it’s interesting that the people who most often rail against the negative impact that government can have on people’s wellbeing, who campaigned, for instance, against the closure of Post Offices for the loneliness it could cause for elderly people in rural areas, who criticised top-down targets in the public sector for the damage they did to workers’ morale – it’s often those people who are the ones who don’t accept it can work the other way round, that the actions government takes can make people feel better as well as worse. Now, of course, you can’t legislate for fulfilment or satisfaction, but I do believe that government has the power to help improve wellbeing, and I’m not alone in that belief. What’s interesting about this whole argument is now how many countries, economists, people and experts are joining in. We’ve got a whole host of world-leading economists and social scientists, including Nobel Prize winners Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, who have developed a new school of thought about government’s role in improving people’s lives in the broadest sense. Here with us today we have Lord Layard, Professor Helliwell, Professor Felicia Huppert and academics from all over the world. The contention is that just as we can create the climate for business to thrive – by cutting taxes, slashing red tape and so on – so we can create a climate in this country that is more family-friendly and more conducive to the good life. That’s why I reject the criticism that government policy simply...
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