Liberal Reforms Essay

To what extent did the liberal reforms deal with  problems at the time?

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Liberal Reforms




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Liberal Reforms

National Insurance Part 1 (1911)

- gave workers security and peace of mind,

- workers were now more likely to seek medical assistance than let the problem escalate

- 10 million men and 4 million women covered by the scheme

- no provision for hospitals

- dependants (others in family) were not included

- NI was another tax on already low wages

- flate rate contibutions hit poor harder than rich

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Liberal Reforms


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Liberal Reforms

Labour exchanges act (1909)

- by 1913 there were 430 labour exchanges in britain
- by 1942 2 million workers per year were being helped to find work
- exchanges were initially viewed with suspicion as a way for the government to break strikes etc

National Insurance part 2 (1912)

- softened the worst effects of unemployment in the industries that suffered the most
- merely a "lifebelt"
- benefit cut after 15 weeks if "Not genuinely seeking work" even if there was no work in that area
only 2 million workers covered
- only some trades covered (exclusively skilled men)

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Liberal Reforms


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Liberal Reforms

Schools meals act 1906

- by 1914 the government were providing local authorities with grants to cover half the costs
- 14 million meals were provided per year by 1914
- never made compulsary and regional variations occured because of this
-local authorites were slow to respond - by 1939 less than 50% had taken up the scheme

Medical Inspections act 1907

- increased awareness of common health complaints
- by 1914 most authorities were providing some sort of follow up care
- authorities were not compelled to set up clinics
- did not address the health problems of adults or school leavers

childrens charter 1908 - limited social evils

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Liberal Reforms




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Liberal Reforms

Old age pensions act 1908

- no insurance contributions were required, pensions were given as a right

- 1906 - 1914 - there was a 75% decrease in old people entering the poor house

- by 1914 nearly 1 million people were applying for the pension

- pension level was set 2 shillings below the "poverty line"

- many people did not reach the age of 70 to benefit from the system

- the exemptions were very moralistic (drinking etc)

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