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The Arrival of the Welfare State Who was Responsible?

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Presentation on theme: "The Arrival of the Welfare State Who was Responsible?"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Arrival of the Welfare State Who was Responsible?

2 Government Responses Late 1943, Churchill initiated plans that were to be drawn for peacetime Under the direction of Lord Woolton, the Minister for reconstruction, white papers were drawn up Educational Reconstruction (July 1943) A National Health Service (February 1944) Employment Policy (May 1944) Social Insurance (September 1944)

3 Conservative Acts Beveridge report and white papers therefore laid down the principles and detail of the postwar Welfare State Before the end of the war two pieces of legislation were enacted- the Education Act and the Family Allowance Act

4 Education Act 1944 Also known as the Butler Act as it was skillfully pushed through Parliament by the Conservative R.A. Butler Main provisions for England and Wales: School leaving age raised to 16 School system to have 3 stages- nursery(v), primary and secondary© Provision of school meals and milk now compulsory

5 Education Act 1944 School medical service to be developed Not in the Act, but recommended that secondary schools be divided into grammar, secondary modern and secondary technical schools, based on ability (determined by the ‘eleven plus exam’) Similar Act was passed in Scotland in 1946, the Education(Scotland Act) Divided into senior secondary and junior secondary Clear that a 1 st and 2 nd rate structure was being put in place, reflected the persistence of social class divisions

6 Family Allowances Act 1945 Passed during the time of the ‘caretaker’ government It provided 5 shillings (25p) a week for each child after the first. This, however was a very small allowance even by 1945 standards and was likely to have only a marginal impact on family finances (Beveridge had proposed 8s) Family allowances was to be the legal entitlement of the wife and not the husband

7 1945 General Election Although little difference between Labour and Conservative social policy, the public saw Labour as being more committed to the establishment of the Welfare state after the war Labour’s election campaign concentrated on postwar domestic issues. Its manifesto was entitled Let Us Face the Future The Conservative manifesto relied too heavily on the reputation of their wartime leader, Churchill.

8 1945 General Election There was also a negative side to Churchill, especially his handling of the Bevridge Report In election campaign bitter attack on Labour out of tune with consensus politics damaged Conservatives People remembered that the promises of WW1 had not been delivered Labour consistently supported social reform People wanted money spent on domestic needs rather than weapons and ‘winning peace’

9 Labour Governments With an overall majority in Parliament the Labour Party was able to carry out its social and economic policies to the full. Their priorities were: Economic reconstruction and the establishment of the Welfare State It is now important to establish how well the Labour Governments were in tackling Beveridge’s Five Giants-Social security, Health, Education, Housing and Employment


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