A study of poverty in 1901 by Seebohm Rowntree found that in a society where those who didn't work didn't eat three groups of people were most vulnerable:
- Young children
- Elderly people
- Sick or Unemployed
Lloyd George and the Liberal Government introduced reforms in 1906 to help these people.
1906 - Free School Meals
- Schools allowed to provide free school meals
- Not compulsary
- Many schools did not provide
1908 - Children and Young Persons act.
- Introduced the Children's Charter
- Imposed severe punishments for neglecting or trating children cruelly
- Made it illegal to
- Sell cigarettes to children
- Send children out begging
- Seperate juvenile courts were set up which send children convicted of a crime to borstals (Young Offenders Institues)
- In 1909 Labour Exchanges were set up to help unemployed people find work.
- In 1911 the National Insurance Act was passed.
- Part One - Gave people the right to free medical treatment and sick pay of 10s a week for 26 weeks in return for a payment of 4d a week.
- Part Two - the act gave people the right to unemployment pay (dole) of 7s 6d a week for 15 weeks in return for a payment of 21/2d a week.
- In 1908 pensions were introduced for the over 70s.
- This gave a single person 5s a week or a married couple 7s 6d a week.
1906 - Free School Meals.
1908 - Children and Young Person's act.
1908 - Pensions.
1909 - Labour Exchanges.
1911 - National Insurance Act.
1906 - Trades Disputes Act
Unions were not liable for damages because of strikes.
1906 - Workers Compensation Act
Conpensation for an injury at work.
1907 - School Medical Inspections.
1908 - Eight-Hour day for miners.
1910 - Half-day a week off for shop workers.
A Merchant Shipping Act improved conditions for sailors.
From 1911, MPs were paid. This gave working men the opportunity to stand for election.