Thatcher's Lasting Social and Economic Impact

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  • Social / Economic Impact
    • Success
      • Education
        • put more govt. influence into education
        • introduced Ofsted & national Curriculums
        • created elitist society where intelligent kids got onto the Assisted Places Scheme
      • Housing
        • revolutionised B into property owning democracy it is today
        • 1980 Housing Act and Right to Buy scheme
          • 2 million council houses bought by their tennets
        • helped ensure the assimilation into communities & helped create independent, less reliant Britain
        • still a scheme today
      • Trade Unions
        • battle on governance = 'who governs who?'
        • thatcher showed the unions who governed B by closing the mines & tackling the most powerful union - the NUM
          • without thatcher the power of the TUs would ceased to have been curbed
      • Post-Keynesian
        • Thatcher 'rolled back the frontiers of the state'
        • privatisation revolutionised the British economy
        • she was the architect
        • achieved economic harmony
        • moved top rate of tax from 83% to 60% for high income eaners
        • tax reduced at efficient rate
      • EEC
        • signed into EEC Single European Act & ERM to ensure inflation didn't rise
        • Thatcher had commitment to low inflation; 1990 it was 10.9%
        • understood the detiny of Europe lay in Europe
          • took B from 'sick man of Europe' to influential member on world stage
      • Councils
        • curbed the power of LW local councils e.g. Ken Livingstone
        • rolling back the frontiers of the state
        • councils blamed for wasting resources
        • allowed centreal govt. to increase at expense for local govt.
    • Failure
      • Poll Tax
        • Poll Tax introduced in 1988 caused riots in 1990
        • failed to achieve social / economic transformation when she introduced Poll Tax
        • erased her successes & reputation that Right to Buy gave her
        • Poll Tax attacked the poor, damaging any soc/econ triumphs she'd previously ordained
      • Mining
        • closing mines = immense unemployment of 3.2 million miners
        • rehousing was difficult because of Right to Buy
        • coincidence North Sea Oil came on stream so mines could close
        • destroyed families, taking away the job of the breadwinner & failing to retrain them
      • Underclass
        • monetarist policy divided cabinet
          • foreshowing the division of Britain
        • underclass created as those not in tune wih monetarist policy at lowest incomes suffered
        • result of 'property owning, share owning Britain'
        • poverty increased; 20% at bottom of population received 5.6% of national income
      • EEC
        • ceased to be a purely economic community
        • didn't want to sacrifice B's sovereignty to 'unelected bureaucracies in Brussels'
        • under Maastricht Treaty it became a social/political/foreign supranational community
        • failed to achieve soc/econ transformation due to negative relationship with Europe esp Kohl


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