Liberal Reforms

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  • Liberal Reforms 1906-1914
    • Trade Disputes Act -1906
      • Previously Trade unions had been responsible for the costs of any strikes, thereby making them impractical. The liberals changed this, giving the right to strike without fear of having to compensate the owners. At the same time workers were given the right to picket peacefully.
    • Meals for School children -1906 & 1914
      • Education authorities were given the right to provide meals for school children.
        • school meals rose from 9million to 14million in 1914
          • However, only half of educational authorities provided food until...
            • made compulsory in 1914
        • Food could be financed by the government and no longer relied on charity
        • made compulsory in 1914
        • However, researchers found that although children were being fed in term time they would later become malnourished again in the holidays.
    • Merchant Shipping Act -1906
      • Strict rules were introduced regarding the standard of food and accommodation on British ships
    • Workers Compensation Act - 1906
      • Every worker now had the right to claim compensation if they were injured at work, or if their health deteriorated as a result of the nature of their work.
      • This was costly for many employers.
    • Medical Care-1907 & 1912
      • Children were to have a compulsory medical examination in school.
      • However, there was no compulsion to provide any medical treatment.
      • By 1912 a few government grants were given to provide medical treatment but even then, many local authorities avoided treatment.
    • Education Act -1907
      • Secondary schools were to keep 25% of places as free places for poor children.
    • Pensions Act -1908
      • One of the biggest successes of the Liberal government
      • Elderly people over 70 years old were to receive 25pence per week of pension.
        • Some argued that 25pence was too little and that 70 was too old
      • by 1914 over 1million had pensions
      • There was no need to contribute anything towards the cost, though any person receiving more than £21 a year from other sources wouldn't receive a pension
      • Needed to have lived in the UK for 20years prior and worked most their lif
      • DLG believed that this would be popular and prevent electoral decline.
    • Mines Act - 1908
      • Miners were to only work 8 hours a day
      • First time British government to legislate working hours
    • Childrens Act-1908
      • Often referred to as the childrens charter
      • Young offenders would be sent to juvenile courts and would go to reform school instead of jail
      • Children would no longer be subject to the death penalty
      • Decided to punish those who sold cigarettes, tobacco or alcohol to children
      • However, it didn't lessen juvenile crime
    • Labour Exchanges - 1909
      • established by Chuchill and Beveridge from the Board of Trade
      • 3000 provided with jobs by 1914
      • 430 were set up by 1913
        • 3000 provided with jobs by 1914
      • as unemployment rose between 1908-09 it was decided to set up exchanges to show workers what jobs were avaliable
    • Trade Boards Act - 1909
      • established boards to ensue a minimum wage
      • However, there was no definition of a minimum wage
    • Payment of Members Parliament
      • After the 1911 budget, each MP received a salary of £400 a year.
      • From now on members of the working class could afford to follow a career as an MP
    • Shops Act -1911
      • All shop workers were to get a half day's holiday a week
    • Trade Union Act - 1913
      • Osborne judgement of 1909 meant that Labour and the Liberals didn't have the right to receive a portion of workers membership fees
        • blow for the Liberals and Labour
      • Liberals changed this, giving Labour the right to have a proportion of the fees, though any individual had the right not to contribute fees if they didn't want to
    • National Insurance Act - 1911
      • Part One - Health Insurance
        • Employees would pay 4pence, and the employer three pence per employee, to the governments fund.
        • When ill, the employee would receive 10/- (50p) a week and have free medical care.
        • This didn't apply to the wives and children of these employees, nor to those earning more than £160 per year
      • Part Two - Unemployment Insurance
        • Foe workers in the construction, shipbuilding, mechanical engineering and car production industries
        • Employees paid 2pence, the employers 2pence per employee in their business and the state a further 2pence per employee.
          • When unemployed the worker would receive money for 15weeks in a year.
          • Maternity benefits were also included.
        • Lost if a person lost work for over 26weeks
        • 2.25 million workers took advantage of this scheme.

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