Sociology - Wealth, Poverty and Work - Timeline of Social Policies.

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Time Line Beliefs and aims Policies Criticisms
Social The shift from Want: was concerned with inadequate income. Beveridge proposed a national The market liberal or New Right
Democratic selective to universal insurance scheme to which all would be entitled: model has been critical of Beveridge
Approach welfare was the basis and Keynes for advocating so much
1945 Family Allowances Act looked after the needs of families by state intervention in welfare and the
of the Beveridge
providing a weekly amount for the second and subsequent children a family had. economy. Marsland argues that this
1940s to Report (1942) which approach discourages individualism
1970s was often regarded as and self reliance.
1946 National Insurance Act s et up a scheme to protect against loss of
a blueprint for the earnings due to unemployment, illhealth, retirement or widowhood.
modern welfare state The New Right are also critical of so
in Britain. Disease: was concerned with the cost of health care ­ only the rich could afford much spending which they argue
to go to the doctor or use hospitals. creates an inefficient welfare system
Beveridge identified and nationalised industries. They
`five giants on the road 1946 National Health Act was concerned to improve the quality of health argue that workers think they will be
amongst the population by providing free healthcare for everyone irrespective of supported by the state even if they
to reconstruction':
income. This included free eye care, dental care, doctors and hospitals, and free are inefficient and unprofitable.
Want vaccinations
Beveridge has also been criticised
Disease for not eradicating poverty, and
Ignorance: was concerned with education. Because of full employment
Ignorance Marxists argue that these policies
children's earnings were no longer so necessary to the household income so
Squalor more attention could be paid to their education. The organisation of education in were used as a tool by the ruling
Idleness between the world wars was confused. Some schools were run by the voluntary class to maintain social order.
sector, others by local government.
By creating a policy of full
1944 Education Act t ried to ensure greater equality of opportunity . For the employment, it kept people happy
first time school was free. The school leaving age was raised to 15, and schools and the status quo could be
were divided between primary, and then secondary at the age of 11. There were maintained.
also free school meals, milk and medical inspections. Many people are caught in the
poverty trap ­ when earnings
increase, benefits are reduced and
Squalor: this was a recognition that a lot of poor people lived in slum dwellings,
the individual finds themselves worse
some of which were bombed in the war. Inner cities needed rebuilding in post
war Britain.
Costs of the welfare state were
growing out of all proportion.
1946 New Towns Act w as designed to plan and build new towns as well
planned, selfcontained and communally owned settlements. These settlements

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Feminists criticise this model of the
stimulate economic growth in relatively depressed areas. Fourteen new towns welfare state for being too
were designated between 1946 and 1951 e.g. Stevenage, Crawley and Hatfield. patriarchal ­ the male bread winner
while women looked after the home.
Social Idleness: the post war Labour government influenced by the views of Keynes However, they did welcome the
Democratic was committed to maintaining high levels of employment.…read more

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According to the New Right there must always be inequality, because not leaves them in poverty.
everyone can be successful. Competition means that the best people get to the
top. Their success generates the employment and taxation to get rid of poverty.
By encouraging some to be successful the majority will not live in poverty.
Bartholomew (2006) wrote The Welfare State We're In. He argues that the
welfare state has made many problems worse:
He believes (like Marsland) that unemployment is linked to benefit levels.…read more

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Services that had previously been provided by the state at subsidised rates were
privatised or underwent more stringent meanstesting :
The 1980 Housing Act allowed rents for council housing to be raised
significantly, and a large scale selloff of council housing to occupiers.
However, critics argue that this has been particularly harmful to those just above
means tested eligibility for housing benefit ­ they can not council
housing, but also cannot rent accommodation at market rates.…read more

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Labour administrations. Supporters of the Third Way argue that there are strengths and weaknesses of
each approach, and that the Third Way tries to incorporate the best elements of Tends to be seen as disciplinary
Although it supports the both. approach.…read more

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Introduced tax credits to help lower paid families pay for childcare, and
equal opportunities legislation so that working becomes more
attractive to women.
Introduced the New Deal. This is a government programme that aims to
give unemployed people the help and support they need to get into work.
Everyone on New Deal gets a personal adviser who is their point of
contact throughout the programme.…read more


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