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Changing standards of living during the 1950’s.

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Changing Standards of Living During the 1950's At the start of the 1950's the effects of World War Two were still plaguing Britain. IN 1951 over half a million British people had their names down on waiting lists to emigrate to other countries. Changes were needed for the people of Britain. A change came when the new Conservative Government took over from labour following the General Election in 1951. Although restrictions such as the continuation of rationing, and tax increases occurred the Governments focus on exports proved successful and the British public faced happier times. The end of the War in Korea meant prices fell and taxes decreased as money was not needed to support the army. The led to people being able to buy more of things that had been export only. More problems came when prices rose and it became less easy for Britain to sell goods abroad. The taxes increased and the Government made it harder for people to borrow money. ...read more.


The number of private cars increased from 2.5 million to 7.5 million. So the, in general, the nation lived more comfortably. Housing, however, was a issue that needed to be addressed during the 1950's. In the early 50's housing was a serious problem. The Conservative Government freed the building industry of restrictions the Labour government had imposed since the end of the war and builders were once again were able to do 'private work' instead of strictly working for Local Council. Under the new Government privately built houses, factories and offices were commissioned or built 'on spec' and sold. Land speculators and 'developers' saw an opportunity and made a fortune quickly. However, this was not good for many of the British public as building by local council was unable to meet the demand for rented accommodation and anyone who could not afford to by their own property had a time of hardship. ...read more.


The increase in hire purchase led to a boom in business and finance and changed the attitude towards hire purchase with had traditionally been frowned upon. Dramatic changes occurred in the shops in the 1950's as self-service stores appeared in Britain. These supermarkets made shopping a lot easier for people although it usually meant people spent more than intended. Income increased and with it so did the disposable income (the amount left after all bills are paid). Young people began to have disposable income and sales of records, record players, radios, cosmetics and clothes boomed. Also people wanted nicer homes and carpet began to replace linoleum in many rooms. People began to holiday abroad (4 million people travelled abroad between 1952 and 1962.) Despite this it was still popular to holiday at seaside resorts in Britain. People started to live much more luxuriously. People went to evening education classes and in general the standard of living of most people improved greatly. ...read more.

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