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The Liberal Reforms
Britain involved in Boer War in South Africa. When men volunteered to join the army to
fight, around 50% of the potential recruits were found to be unfit.
1906 Liberal party won the general election with a huge majority. Sir Henry Campbell
Bannerman became Prime Minister Herbert Asquith became Chancellor of the
Liberals passed the Education (Provision of Meals) Act. This allowed (but did not force)
local authorities to provide free meals for children in their schools
1907 Liberals passed the Education (Administrative Provisions) Act. This allowed local
authorities to carry out school medical inspections. These checks were free, but until
1912, parents had to pay for any treatment required.
1908 In April Asquith became the leader of the Liberals and Prime Minister. David Lloyd
George became Chancellor of the Exchequer and Winston Churchill became Home
Children and Young Persons Act passed. This set up separate children's courts and
protected young persons from going to prison by setting up borstals. It became an
offence for parents to neglect children. Children under 14 were not allowed into pubs.
Shopkeepers could not sell cigarettes to children under 16
Liberals also introduced Old Age Pensions.
1909 Liberals introduced Labour Exchanges. These provided places where unemployed
workers could see what jobs were available in their area.
Liberals brought in the Trade Boards Act. This set out minimum wages that could be
paid to workers in industries like lacemaking or match production. By 1914 ten
separate trades were included. The main people who benefited were women working
from home or in small workshops.
Liberals introduced the Housing and Town Planning Act. This allowed local authorities
to pull down slum housing.
Lloyd George's People's Budget. This included increases in taxation for people on
lower incomes 9d in the pound, those on annual incomes of over £3,000 had to pay 1s.
2d. in the pound. Also a new supertax for those earning £5000 a year,an increase in
death duties and heavy taxes on profits gained from the ownership and sale of property.
The January election produced a hung parliament, with the Conservative Party led by
1910 Arthur Balfour receiving the largest number of votes, and the Liberals led by Herbert
Asquith returning two more MPs than the Conservatives.
Another election in December could not break the deadlock with the Conservatives again
winning the largest number of votes and the Liberals one more seat. The Liberal Party
under Asquith formed a government with the support of the Irish Nationalists.
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Liberals introduced the National Insurance Act. Part 1 provided help for workers who
were taken ill. Part 2 provided help for workers who were unemployed.
Parliament Act reduces ability of House of Lords to block legislation
1912 School clinics.…read more