Liberal Reforms - Children
- In 1906 local authories started providing free school meals.
- In 1908 a Children and Yound person act was introduced, known as the Children's Charter.
- If anyone neglected or treated children poorly they would get severe punishments.
- It was made illegal for children to sell cigarettes to children or send the begging.
- Juvenile courts were set up
- Children who broke the law went to borstals instead of prision.
Liberal Reforms - Old age
- In 1908 old people were given pensions.
- It was only for the over 70's.
- They were given 5s a week.
- A married couple got 7s 6d a week.
Liberal Reforms - Workers
- In 1909 labour exchanges made to help people find work.
- In 1911 National Insurance Act was passed.
- Part 1 gave people the right to free medical treatment (NHS) and sick pay.
- They got 10s a week for 26 weeks in return for a payment of 4d a week.
- Part 2 gave people the right to unemployment pay of 7s d a week for 15 weeks in return for a payment of 2 1/2d a week
Reforms and reasons
- 1906 - the Trades Disputes Act rules that unions were not liable for damages because of strikes.
- 1906 - the Workers Compensation Act granted compensation for injury at work.
- 1907 - school medical inspections.
- 1908 - eight hour day for miners.
- 1910- half day a week off for shop workers
- 1910 - a Merchant Shipping Act improved conditions for sailors.
- 1911 - Mps were paid which gave working men an opportunity to stand for election
Why did the Liberals make the reforms?
- Seebohm Rowntree studies York in 1901 and found that 28% did not have the minimum to live on at some point in their life.
- Two thirds of men that volunteered in the Boer war (1899) were unfit to join up.
- Germany which had a good system of state welfare for workers was passing Britain as an industrial power
- Strikes and the growth of trade unionism meant that politicians were scared workers would turn to Communism or rebellion if living conditions did not improve.
- More working class voters were voting for the Labour Party because of it demands for welfare reform.
- In 1910 the Liberal Party did not get a majority of seats, which led to a coalition with Labour Party MP's
- Many MP's wanted to 'wage war' on poverty, especially Lloyd George.
Results on Liberal Reform
- Free school meals - 1914 150, 000 were getting one good meal a day - not compulsory
- Pensions - Kept old people out of work houses - was refused to people who have never worked
- Labour exchanges - 1914, 1 million people employed through Labour exchanges - most jobs temporary; government didn't increase number of jobs.
- National Insurance - Vital safety net to tide people over - Poor people had to pay contributions out of pay, dole and sickness pay limited time. not enough money most families need a £1 a week
- Free medical treatment - literally a life saver - only for wage earner, not for children or wife
Results on Liberal reforms continued
1909 budget - to pay for reforms Lloyd George raised duties on alcohol and tobacco, raised income tax by 16% and introduced a new 20% tax on profits from selling land.
Parliament Act 1911 - when the House of Lords refused to pass Lloyd George's budget, the House of Commons passed an Act stating that the House of Lords could not reject a bill that had been passed three times in the House of Commons. It also require a general election every five, not seven, years.
Lloyd George - Lloyd George became loved - old people cried when they got their pension and blessed 'Lloyd George' who gave it to them - and hated - workers who objected to paying.