How sucsessfully did the national government solve social problems?

How sucsessfully did the national government solve social problems? Reasons for and against.

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They solved social problems well.


They imposed tarriffs on imports in order to protect domestic industry and jobs. Although this was short sighted policy because it reduced further trade- but the UK had little choice as most countries imposed tarriffs.Goods from the empire were exemplified and food products were also exempt.This policy was succsessful in ending the depression especially since the UK is a trading nation and more dependant on most to trade.

The gold standard

In september 1931 the UK abandoned the gold standard. The UK allowed gold to find its own level at $3.40. This had an impact on new industries in the south- east and midlands as it made exports cheaper. But the depression in the west and the north there was little effect, devaluation made no difference to demand.

Special area act 1934

Law designed areas of high unemployment as special areas which could recieve special government help of £2 million. It tried to set up new industries and create new jobs.

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They didn't solve problems well

Cheap money

Government lowered the interest rate to 2% in order to boost borrowing by companies and therefore stimulate the economy.

This made the distinction between the north and south much worse because if you had no income like lots of people in the north, then the interest rate wouldn't make any difference.


Up in the North there was still serious poverty, the split between the North and the South was even more distinctive. Getting rid of the gold standard didn't effect trading to the North because their products were already so depressed they didn't benefit from devaluation. The interest rate also didn't effect people in the north because if they had no income how could they get an interest rate? Towns like Jarrow in the North- east had unemployment rates of  which had 68% compared to St Albans in the south east which had a rate of 3.9% unemployment. In york 31.3% of working class families were living in serious poverty. Families fell into debt and were evicted for non payment of rent.

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