Liberal Reforms

The main liberal reforms from 1906-1912, explanations and oppositions

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An Overview

1) Free School Meals(1906)

2) School Medical Inspections (1907)

3) School Clinics(1912)

4) The Children's Act (1908)

5) The Labour Exchange Act(1909)

6) National Insurance Act(1911)

7) National Insurance Act II (1912)

8) The Pension Act(1908)

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1) Free School Meals- Self explanatory!

2) School Medical Inspections- Until 1912, parents had to pay for any treatmeant required

3) School Clinics- Free medical treatment

4) The Children's Act:

  • Parents can be prosecuted for cruelty
  • Children under 14- Juvenile Prisons
  • Juvenile courts
  • Under 14- not allowed into pubs
  • Under 16- not allowed to buy cigarettes

5)The Labour Exchange Act- almost like a job centre

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Explanations (cont.)

6) National Insurance Act

  • Workers could draw money from this scheme if they fell ill and couldn't work.
  • Workers, Employers AND the govt. contributed
  • Free medical treatment and maternity care

7) National Insurance Act II

  • Prevents poverty resulting from unemployment
  • Wokers, employers and the government contributed
  • could be paid money for up to 15 weeks a year

8) The Pensions Act

  • Gave pensions to anyone over 70
  • single- 5s a week
  • married-7s 6d a week
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The reforms DIDN'T help all poor people.

The two major reforms, Pensions and National Insurance were very limited.

Pensions: Only 500,000 elderly people qualified because:

  • only for over 70's
  • had an income of less than £21 a year
  • Were british citizens and had been living in Britain for 20+ years
  • Had not been in prison for 10 years
  • had not failed to work due to abilty, opportunity and need

National Insurance I :Only for people who:

  • Were on low incomes(less than £160 a year) and made contributions

National Insurance II

  • Only for trades in seasonal employment(e.g shipbuilding and engineering)

The Poor Law

The govt. had a chance to reform this and yet did nothing

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Opposition and Actions

Many people still believe everyone shoudl look after themselves and thought it was wrong for the state to step in.

Responsibility fell to local councils to put the reforms into action and they were not forced.

However, most councils did use the reforms and by 1914 most schools had free medical treatment.

Some people believe that the reforms were the beginning of the welfare state as we know it today and some people who oppose the idea believe it was an economic based move to get a better workforce!

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