As European nations cut social spending to tackle the economic downturn, is this the beginning of the end of the welfare state for Europe?


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Governments from the UK to Bulgaria are reducing budgets, trimming social safety nets and slashing public sector wages in an effort to tackle the financial crisis - triggered after European banks lost billions of dollars they invested in the US subprime mortgage market which collapsed in 2008.

Many say the cuts to social programmes undermine the welfare state - the very cornerstone of European society. But critics claim the welfare state is unsustainable and has to be dismantled.

On Tuesday's show, we will discuss the issues with liberal economist Will Hutton, who is heading a UK government inquiry into public sector pay; and Gavin Poole, the director of The Centre For Social Justice, a Conservative British think-tank.

This episode of Riz Khan aired from Tuesday, December 14, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera