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Describe the key features of the welfare reforms passed by the Liberal Governments of 1906-1911

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Introduction

Describe the key features of the welfare reforms passed by the Liberal Governments of 1906-1911 The liberal government under Bannerman passed limited reforms, by the time of his resignation the liberals were considered to be running out of steam. Trade Union reform such as the Trade Disputes Act had lead to slight dissatisfaction among Liberals as it turned out to be too radical. Other reforms such as the Merchant Shipping Act were not vote winners and failed to make any major impression. It wasn't until 1908 when he resigned and the Liberals lead by Asquith began to push through more important reforming legislation. ...read more.

Middle

The Coal Miners Act was the first time government intervened to place restrictions upon male working hours and in 1912 they introduced a minimum wage. To ease unemployment Labour Exchanges were set up which notified people of available jobs. Women and children benefited from the Trade Board Act which helped those in the dirty industries. The biggest most radical reform was the setting up of the National Insurance Act in 1911. It provided health insurance and unemployment insurance. It was introduced to help national efficiency and labour pressure forced the unemployment aspect to be dealt with. However workers had to pay into the scheme and the unemployment insurance only applied to certain industries where labour demand fluctuated eg. ...read more.

Conclusion

It was entirely state funded unlike the National Insurance Act. In 1911 the Peoples budget was introduced by Lloyd George after much struggle with the House of Lords and the constitutional crises that developed from this reform. The budget introduced taxes on spirits, tobacco and motors. Progressive taxation was used and the rich taxed heavily on unproductive wealth; a super tax was introduced to anyone earning �5000 or more. Taxation of landowners also hit the rich hard. This socialist budget helped to finance the reforms mentioned above. From 1906-1911 there were reforms which influenced the whole of society; the poor and old benefited, as did children and the working people. Taxation reform hit the rich but benefited the lower classes. Ultimately the liberal reforms in this period set up the basis for the welfare state. ...read more.

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