A1 Development of “Welfare State” 1. Definition of Poverty 1.1 Absolute Poverty – families without minimum food, clothing and shelter needed for maintenance of merely physical health (concept at beginning of last century) 1.2 Relative Poverty – Despite adequate income for survival, people who do not have what is regarded as minimum necessary for decency and who cannot escape judgement that they are indecent can be labeled as poor.
A 1 Development of “Welfare State” 2. How Much Poverty is there in UK? 2.1 Distribution of real household disposable income. chart (a) p 181 Gap between the rich and the poor is bigger. The rich get richer, the poor poorer Increase in average incomes of the employed is much grater than that for the unemployed
What image does this convey? United Kingdom (pound per week)
Poverty in Britain (b) Proportion of adults lacking selected basic necessities1 through inability to afford them, 1999 (p181) (d) People in poverty in the UK, by personal, economic and family status, 1996-97 (p182 )
Poverty in Britain By the end of 1999 a quarter (26%) of the British population were living in poverty, measured in terms of low income and multiple deprivation of necessities. Roughly 9.5 million people in Britain today cannot afford adequate housing conditions. About 8 million cannot afford one or more essential household goods
Poverty in Britain Almost 7.5 million people are too poor to engage in common social activities considered necessary by the majority of the population. About 6.5 million adults go without essential clothing Around 4 million are not properly fed by today's standards
Poverty in Britain One in six people (17%) considered themselves and their families to be living in 'absolute poverty' as defined by the United Nations. Less than 10% of the population sees a dishwasher, a mobile phone, Internet access or satellite television as necessities. This study was undertaken by researchers at the Universities of Bristol, Loughborough, York and Heriot-Watt with fieldwork undertaken by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
What is a ‘Welfare State’? It can be defined as ‘a state with a government which assumes responsibility for the well-being of its citizens throughout life, through a range of interventions in the market economy’. The welfare state would aim to offer its citizens a life with certain specified standards of living which it considers reasonable and possible for all, and protection against the unexpected hazards of life (for example, losing a job, becoming sick, having an accident). These days resources for welfare are raised through National Insurance contributions (which are paid by all people in work) and general taxation (which is paid by all people in work above a certain level of income). There is also a Value Added Tax (VAT) which is included in the price of many goods and services.
Brief History of Welfare State in Britain Help serviced by parishes,early 17th cent. Poor Law of 1834 discouraged people from applying for relief, the unemployed made stay in “workhouses” “Oliver Twist”, 1837 Major Reform in 1908 -- National insurance schemes founded, enabling some people to cover medical & retirement cost. Foundations of what came to be known as “the Welfare State”
Portsmouth Museum House he bought at his home town Library
Aims of the post-World War II welfare legislation The most radical and widespread reforms occurred after the Second World War in 1945. The measures introduced then were based upon a famous document, the Beveridge Report of 1942. The main aims of the legislation which followed the Report were Lord William Henry Beveridge, 1879-1963
Main Aims of Legislation after the Beveridge Report to create a system where housing, health services and social security (payments for unemployment, old age, sickness, disability, children) would be provided for all, as an egalitarian ‘safety-net’ below which nobody would be able to fall to establish a National Health Service (1947) for all to receive free diagnosis, treatment and hospitalisation when necessary.
A 2 CHANGING ATTITUDES Margaret Thatcher: The main most radical criticisms were that it is too expensive and that too much state support weakens individual initiative and enterprise (p 184) The Reform by Thatcherism “I came to office with one deliberate intent: to change Britain from a dependent to a self-reliant society; from a give-it-to- me to a do-it-yourself nation; a get-up-and-go instead of a sit-back-and- wait Britain.” ( Margaret Thatcher, February1984)
Reforms in Post-war Universal Welfare Provision The National Health Service has consistently been regarded with pride by the majority of British people Any political party which seemed to be threatening this institution would therefore be regarded with great suspicion Any restructuring of the system of old age pensions would prove to be very difficult.
- Reforms in Post-war Universal Welfare Provision- 1979 Individual responsibility: private provision of pension and medical costs encouraged. Collective responsibility: benefit system tightened up. Reorganization of NHS.
Reforms in Post-war Universal Welfare Provision- 1980s What would a radically reformed welfare state – the social investment state in the positive welfare society – look like? 1. Government working together with other agencies 2. No rights without responsibilities 3. Positive welfare
Reforms in Post-war Universal Welfare Provision During the 1980s and 90s there was a general shift in public opinion towards a more positive view of public spending in order to maintain the quality of public services In 1997 Tony Blair promised to combine ‘an open, competitive and successful economy with a just, decent and humane society’. This eventually contributed to the General Election victory of the Labour Party in 1997.
A3 WELFARE IN BRITAIN — THE PRESENT The three main areas of welfare provision in Britain are health, housing and social security The post-war welfare structure has always been a combination of public and private provision From the 1980s those who could afford to have been encouraged to provide for their own health and retirement by paying into private insurance schemes.
Welfare at Present Despite these changes, there are still a wide range of state benefits available to those in need. (a) Social Security For those who become unemployed, sick, or who are working on a low wage with a family to support, they may claim either job seekers allowance, income support or working families tax credit. DSS processes these claims
Welfare, Present Other benefits available include the ‘Social Fund’ which is used to make ‘one-off’ payments in emergencies or for special necessary purchases sickness benefit widow’s pension and widowed mother’s allowance disablement allowance if you are badly disabled
Health (b) Health The National Health Service Although since the 1980s some changes have been made in management, the principle of comprehensive and free medical treatment for all, based upon need rather than the ability to pay, is still the central philosophy of the service.
Housing (c) Housing 82% of households in Britain live in houses rather than flats. This compares with 60% in France and 35% in Italy. Housing in Britain is either privately owned or provided by funds from the government as the public sector. The government controls the proportion of private and public housing provision in a number of ways through its housing policy
Housing Public Sector Housing — Past & Present Part of the philosophy behind the Beveridge Report was that the State should be responsible for the provision of adequate housing nobody need be housed in squalor minimal standards of housing should be set Local government authorities were to be given responsibility in ensuring that an adequate housing stock was available in their authority and in maintaining the standards set by government
Housing 1950s and 1960s — Post War slum clearance The 1980s: Sale of Council Houses Many people disagreed with this policy Local Council Responsibilities The local council still has a number of responsibilities to provide adequate housing and meet special housing needs in its area, usually through the local Social Services Department —
Housing Private Sector Housing Housing Benefits Help with housing costs has always been part of the provision of the Welfare State, either for people on low incomes or for people unexpectedly or temporarily out of work through illness or unemployment. This benefit is administered by local government
Housing The 1961 three- bedroomed semi-detached house depicted above is typical of those now standing on the Clober estate. It has white-painted roughcast walls and a tiled roof.
Housing Crisis in Britain England faces a housing crisis within the next 20 years, with a potential shortage of more than one million homes leading to overcrowding and rising levels of homelessness, a leading social research charity claimed today 60,000 homeless households in temporary accommodation. Housing shortages are set to become one of the most significant social issues of the next 20 years. Simon Parker, March 19, 2002
Monday 29 September, 2003 Speech by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott Under the Tories, half a million homes were repossessed. They drove millions of people into negative equity - with high interest rates and falling house prices. With Labour we have one million new homeowners and the lowest mortgage rates for half a century. The Tory shame was homeless people on the streets. Labour cut rough sleeping by two- thirds and reduced the number of families in bed and breakfast accommodation. And by next April we shall meet our pledge to end B&B for all homeless families with children.