Those who exercise public power should be answerable to those on whose behalf they exercise it. In the welfare system power is exercised by institutions and by those who work within them. Taxes are raised to provide resources; resources are allocated between different activities; services are rationed according to the resources available; the form and nature of the services is determined. The cumulative effect of these decisions has critical effects on the life and welfare of the members of the society who depend upon the welfare system. The exercise of those powers can only be justified by public accountability.