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Why were they introduced?
OPPOSISTION Conservatives introduced unemployment benefit in 1905. They feared that this
would gain working class support.
Labour also getting support from working class.
THE BOER WAR In 1899 1902 the boer war was happening in South Africa (England was
defending their territory) and over half the men who signed up to fight were physically unfit. They
were ill or too weak. This was a wake up call for the government. If war happened, they would not
be ready to fight.
MINORITY REPORT In about 1906 the government tried to find out politicians views on if the poor
should be helped. They could not agree, so they issued two reports. The MINORITY report stated that
it was not the poors fault for being poor, and they needed help. The MAJORITY report stated that it
was their fault for being poor and they already had enough help (the workhouses)
BOOTH AND ROWNTREE In 1901 Rowntree studied York. Nearly 30% under poverty line. (Poverty
line = basic living. Under the poverty line = couldn't afford to live)
in 1903 Charles booth studied London, same information found. Also concluded that it wasn't usually
peoples faults they were poor, usually because they were ill, old, born into it, couldn't find a job, pay
too little. Only 15% were poor because they were careless with money
GERMANY AND USA Were catching up with Britain. England had always been the top industrialist,
but now, because germans workers were healthy and fit, they were economically just as good as
Lloyd George Chancellor of Exchequer (liberals). Grew up in poverty because his father died. He
sympathised with poor people, knew how it felt, knew it wasn't their fault.
What were the reforms?
1906 Free school meals. PROBLEMS: Local councils not forced to provide free meals
1907 Free medical inspections. PROBLEMS: Didnt give free treatment (treatment provided in 1912)
1908 Childrens charter. Children now a protective person, cant buy alcohol or go into pubs.
1908 Pensions, single: 5s a week. Married 7s 6d a week. PROBLEMS: Over 30s per year no
1909 Labour exchanges, basically job centres where unemployed could find work.
1911 National insurance act Sick pay. Workers paid 4d per week, if sick get paid 9d a week.
1912 N.I Part II Unemployment benefit. Workers pay 2 ½ d a week for 7s 6d a week.