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Assess the impact of the Welfare Reforms of the Labour Government 1945-57 on the lives of the British people.

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Introduction

Assess the impact of the Welfare Reforms of the Labour Government 1945-57 on the lives of the British people. In December 1942, William Beveridge published his report on Social Insurance and Allied Services. It created a great deal of public interest at the time and was expected that the recommendations would be carried out, if not immediately, then directly after the war. The main principles behind his report was, "Want." Beveridge argued that the social security system should be comprehensive, universal, insurance-based, compulsory, integrated, flat-rate, able to provide subsistence and non means tested. However, Beveridge's report only dealt with "want". The other problems still had to be dealt with; Disease by the establishment of a new Health Service, Idleness by the state aiming for full employment, Ignorance by reform of the educational system and Squalor by a new house-building and slum-clearance programme. The Labour Welfare reforms went on to tackle all five giants to try and improve the lives of the British people. The Welfare reforms firstly tackled the problem of "want" through Social Security. The legislation of Social Security introduced the Industrial Injuries Act in July 1946. ...read more.

Middle

Doctors eventually agreed to Bevan's idea as all their patients would have left them. The National Health Service Act of November 1946 made health care universal, available for all. Comprehensive; the NHS would treat all medical problems, free at the point of use, no patient would be asked to pay for any treatment. The service was, and still is, paid for the National Insurance payments of workers. The creation of the NHS; treated a huge backlog of ailments, medical was provided from "the cradle to the grave", and according to RC Birch, the NHS was "the greatest single achievement in the story of the welfare state." However, the government inherited many out of date hospitals, costs were much higher than expected, general taxation had to be used to fund the NHS as the National Insurance contributions were not enough, the NHS operated beside private medicine and the idea of free treatment ended in 1950, as charges were introduced for dental treatment and spectacles. Furthermore, the legislation of education tackled the giant of ignorance. During the was around 20% of school buildings had been destroyed or damaged by war. ...read more.

Conclusion

Poor housing and homelessness were still serious problems in 1951. In 1951 census showed that there were 750,000 fewer households than there were houses. Finally, the welfare reforms dealt with the giant of idleness through the legislation of employment. Beveridge felt that unemployment could not be brought below 3% but by 1946 it was 2.5%. Hugh Dalton (Chancellor) claimed full employment was the "greatest revolution brought about by the Labour government". However it is not certain that it was the governments policies of the post war boom coupled with Marshall Aid from America. In conclusion, the Welfare Reforms of the Labour Government 1945 - 1957 had a quite an impact on the lives of the British people. Many of the legislations enforced by the government made the lives of the British public better as they gained compensation for an injury sustained at work, no longer needed to pay to see the doctor and unemployment was at an all time low. However some of the legislations did little to improve the lives of the British people as the education legislation discriminated against working class children and little was done for the housing legislation. ?? ?? ?? ?? Mair´┐Żad Sweeney ...read more.

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