liberal reforms

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  • In 1906 local authorities were allowed to provide free school meals
  • In 1908 the government produced a set of rules called the childrens charter. This imposed punishment for treating children cruelly. It made it illegal to send them out begging or to sell cigarettes to them. It also set up juvenille courts, which sent children to borstals instead of adult prisons.
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  • In 1908, pensions were introduced for the over 70's, which gave them 5 shillings a week or 7s 6d to a married couple. For many it was the difference between having enough money and having to go to the workhouse, and they said 'God bless Lloyd George'
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  • In 1909 Labour exchanges were set up to help find work for unemployed people to find work.
  • In 1911 the national insurance act was passed. Part one gave workers the right to free medical treatment, and to sick pay of 10s for 26 weeks in return for 4d a week. Part 2 gave workers the right to unemployment pay of 7s 6d a week for up to 15 weeks in return for 2 1/2d a week.
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  • Seebohm Rowntree's studies of york found that 28% of the population did not have enough to live on at some point in their life.
  • In the Boer war, the army found that half the men who signed up were unfit for service due to malnutrition.
  • The growth of the trade unions led politicians to fear that they may turn to communism.
  • Other countries, such as Germany, were passing britain as industrial superpowers.
  • The labour party was growing stronger and was attracting working class voters due to its demands for welfare reform.
  • In 1910 the Liberals did not get a majority of seats and so had to share parliament with the 42 labour MP's that had been elected.
  • Many politicians, such as Lloyd George, wanted wage war on poverty.
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