Liberal Welfare Reforms

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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.

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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)
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  • 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.
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Old Age

  • 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.
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1906 - Free School Meals.

1908 - Children and Young Person's act.

1908 - Pensions.

1909 - Labour Exchanges.

1911 - National Insurance Act.

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More Reforms

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.

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