The Liberal Reforms, history

different factors linked in with the liberal reforms.

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  • The Liberal Reforms
    • WHY?
      • The Liberal party wanted to stay more popular than the newly formed Labour party who were also introducing reforms.
      • Rowntree and others at the time were investigating the causes of the spread of poverty at the time. this shows how much of a problem the issue was.
      • Germany was becoming a major industrial centre, and starting to compete with Britain. Germany already had many of the reforms that were introduced, and Britain wanted to keep up.
      • David Lloyd George came from a lower class Welsh background. He hated the British upper classes and wanted to help the lower classes.
      • Britain had just lost the Boer War (South Africa), and about half of the men who volunteered were unfit to fight. If Britain wanted to keep her Empire, then she needed a army that could actually fight, and weren't all too ill.
      • 1906 - School Meals Act. Local authorities start providing free school meals for the poor.
      • 1907 - Free School Medical Inspections introduced. couldnt get required treatment until 1912 though.
      • 1908 - Old Age Pensions Act. People on less than £21 per year, and over 70 could collect 5s a week in their post office. A smaller pension was given to those better off.
      • The scheme was originally thought to only cover 1/2 million people, but nearly 1 million were by 1913. Some areas had 4 out of 5 people recieving the pension.
      • National Insurance- 10% of the population were covered for the loss of their job
      • Health Insurance - This gave workers free medical care from a doctor. it covered anyone earning less than £160 a year.
      • Unemployment Insurance - To receive this benifit the workers had to go to a Labour exchange and be registered there.
      • 1909 - Labour exchanges Act. The unemployed registered with their local exchange.
      • Local employers would notify the exchange when they had vacancies and so the jobs would be filled.


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