Liberal Reforms 1906-1912 (Social Issues 1900-1918) (Britain 1900-1951)

  • Created by: oanderton
  • Created on: 26-08-20 10:56

Reasons for them

The basis was...

  • It is not always the fault of the poor that they are poor.
  • It is the role of the government to support the poor when they need it most

Reasons for liberal reforms:

  • All social issues 1900-1918
  • Debates about poverty
    • Reports of Booth (London) & Rowntree (York)
  • New concerns for national efficiency
    • Industrial growth in Europe threatened Britain
      • Germany
    • Army recruitment problems in Boer War
      • 8,000/11,000 army recruits in Manchester unfit for service.
  • A shift within Liberalism to New Liberalism
    • Figuers like Lloyd George & Churchill
  • Concerns for rising popularity of Communism & the threat of the new Labour Party
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Legislation to Help Young People

  • Free school meals, 1906
    • Local councils given power to give free meals to poor children
    • Paid form local taxes on property
    • Made compulsory in 1914
    • 150,000 children involved
    • Less than half authorities in England and Wales provided it
  • School medical inspections 1907
    • Doctors and nurses went to schools providing free compulsory medical checks
    • Could recommend any necessary treatment
    • Treatment payment by parents till 1910
  • Education act 1907
    • Scholarships for children from poor families
    • Secondary schools received money from the local government to reserve 20% of places for poor children
    • Places chosen through an exam
  • Children’s act 1908 (children’s charter)
    • Established a legal framework to protect children
    • Protected by law against cruelty from their parents
    • Children’s homes registered and inspected
    • Juvenile courts set up
    • Children over 14 sent to adult prisons
    • Under 14 not allowed in pubs
    • Under 16 not to be sold cigarettes or alcohol
  • School clinics
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Reforms for the elderly

  • Old Age Pensions Act 1908
    • Very radical
    • Weekly pensions provided by government
      • 5p for each single person, 6p for each married couple
    • Full amounts only paid to those who earned less than £21 a year
    • Sliding scale of payment for those earning between £31-21
    • Available to British citizen for 20+, could not be in prison during the 10 years before claiming pension
    • First paid January 1909
    • Very popular 
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Reforms for Unepmloyed

  • Labour Exchange Act 1909
    • National string of state labour exchanges
    • Unemployed went to exchanges to seek a job
    • Much more efficient for employers and employees
    • 430 exchanges by 1913
  • National Insurance Act 1911
    • Flagship of the period
    • All manual workers and people in low paid jobs had to join
    • Workers paid 4d for insurance stamp on special card
    • Employers gave 3d per worker on the scheme
    • Government gave 2d for each worker
    • Received free medical care
    • Sick pay of 10s per week for 13 weeks and 5s per week for a further 13 weeks
    • Covered 10 million men and 4 million women
  • National Insurance Act 1912
    • Necessary to deal with people periodically out of work
    • Open to industry with seasonal employment – shipbuilding
    • Workers, employers and government paid 2d per week for insurance stamps
    • When unemployed workers got paid 7s 6d for up to 15 weeks a year 
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How Effective were the Liberal Reforms?

  • Cost a fortune, never quite paid for
  • Were not extensive enough
  • Means tested
  • Only ½ million people qualified for pensions
  • National insurance cover 14 million
  • Not all acts were compulsory 
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