The proposals made during the Second World War for the provision of a Welfare State

Describe the proposals made during the Second World War for the provision of a Welfare State The proposals made during the Second World War for the provision of a Welfare State were made in order to eliminate poverty from the country. Various proposals were made that aimed to achieve this. One proposal, which was the main aim of the "Beveridge Report" was to abolish Want by providing social insurance for all: this meant providing various benefits and making people pay contributions, both depending on the class of the individual. Retirement pensions (over 60 for women, over 65 for men) and children's allowances would be provided.

Employees would get benefits for unemployment and disability, and employers, traders, independent workers and people of working age without a job would get training benefit. Housewives would be given maternity grant, provision for widowhood and separation. It was also proposed that everyone should be covered for comprehensive medical treatment and has his or her funeral expenses paid for. In order for this to be financed, everyone of working age, except for housewives, would pay a single contribution once a week. The contribution each individual should pay would depend on what benefits they themselves would receive.

White papers and other acts were also written in order to deal with the post-war reconstruction. Ideas about how to tackle the lack of housing were mentioned in a post-war housing policy, which estimated that 750,000 new houses would be needed. A "Town and Country Planning Act" was also devised to control the construction of offices, factories and houses. In 1944 a white paper was made, proposing "A free National Health Service", which meant free and comprehensive health care. In 1943, a white paper concerning "Educational Reconstruction" was written.

Its aim was to provide free secondary education for everybody and in addition the "Butler Act" was passed in 1944. There was also an "Employment Policy", made in 1944, which planned the nationalisation of various industries, particularly the coal industry. The proposals made were mainly based on the "Beveridge Report", although other suggestions were made. They were intended to provide a better standard of living and future for the country. Words: 341 Why did the Labour Party win the 1945 election with such a large majority? In 1945 the Labour Party won the general election with 393 seats out of a possible 640 (61 percent of the seats).

This was not only because of their excellent strategy and the Conservatives lack of organisation but also because of the electoral system. The Labour Party had a competent leader; Clement Attlee who was not only a major, which meant he was knowledgeable about military matters, but was also seen as a capable leader of home affairs. Before the election, Attlee was Deputy Prime Minister in the Coalition, so people were obviously familiar with him and since the Labour Party had taken care of the Home Front during the War, they were thought to be reliable.

The Labour Party had supported the "Beveridge Report" while it was being written, and since 86% of the population agreed with it, then the Labour Party gained more support. Labour offered a policy that incorporated plans for nationalisation and putting the "Beveridge Report" into action. The Labour Party offered the people the things they wanted: welfare reform in the "Beveridge Report" and the fact they ran an effective and well-organised plan also helped them win. The conservatives, on the other had were not well prepared for the general election as they were confident of their victory.

This caused them to neglect their campaign by only spending i?? 3000, compared to the i?? 30000 spent in 1935. This was a particularly bad move, considering that many of their party agents were in the army, so unable to campaign. The people did not favour Churchill as he was thought of as a wartime leader, and not a peacetime leader. His speeches were not appreciated, especially one where he said the "Beveridge Report" could only be implement by the Gestapo, which many people thought was very insensitive at the time.

The Conservatives were unenthusiastic about the "Beveridge Report" which did not make them popular since offered was minimal, making them less popular with the people. The Party already the large majority of the population approved of it. Within the party they were divided about whether or not welfare reform was a good idea and the welfare reform that they had a bad name because of the 1930s depression and their association with Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of the Nazis. The reason it appeared as if the Labour Party won by more was because of the electoral system.

Labour tended to win a great number of small constituency sizes, whereas Conservatives won a smaller amount of large constituency sizes. Therefore labour won two-thirds of the seats when they only actually got 49% of the votes. Although the Labour Party did win the general election because of careful planning and skilled policies, and the Conservatives lack of preparation, they only won by such a large amount because of the unequal electoral system. Words: 456 How far did the policies of the Labour governments, 1945-51, overcome the "five giants", which were identified in the Beveridge Report of 1942?

In 1942, the "Beveridge Report" found that too many people were living in poverty and that a Welfare State would be necessary in order to help them. The "Beveridge Report" was supported greatly by the Labour Party, and when they were elected in 1945 their aim was to overcome the "five giants" it identified: Want, Squalor, Idleness, Disease and Ignorance. In 1946 the "National Insurance Act" passed, with the purpose of providing for those with low income or those not able to work. This meant people got maternity pay, unemployment benefit and widow's pension. The act increased pensions to i??

25 a week for a single person and i?? 42 a week for couples. The sickness benefit also went up from i?? 18 to i?? 26 a week, and if women paid a contribution they could add this benefit to their maternity benefit. Contributions by employees and employers were made compulsory, so as to keep assisting those in need. In 1948 two additional acts were passed: The "National Assistance Act" which made it possible for someone to not contribute if they proved to be in serious need, and the "Industrial Injuries Act" that provided employees with compensation if they were injured at work due to the carelessness of an employer.

The "National Insurance Act" also, very importantly, set a standard for poverty, which made it possible to determine who was actually poor. This made it easier to decide who should not have to contribute, and also find out the number of people who were living in poverty. Some people at the time felt that if those who worked were supporting those who did not, it would discourage people to work. Also since, the insurance scheme was so comprehensive it was thought that people who did not need benefits were claiming them anyway.

This was however only speculation and there was no proof they actually happened. The Labour Party dealt with Want very well, and although they did not wipe out poverty completely, it was proved that there was a huge drop in the number of poor people. The "Housing Acts", which were passed in 1948, aided many of the people left homeless after the war in finding new homes. One million new homes were built, of which, four out of five were state built. Not only were new homes built, but they were also built with better facilities and more space.

Aneurin Bevan, who was in charge of rebuilding houses, insisted that the houses were well built because he did not just want to provide a quick, short term solution to the problem, but wanted houses that would still acceptable in the years to come. All houses required running water and the space allocated for each family increased form 750 to 900 square feet, with downstairs and upstairs toilets. Poorer areas had the necessary investment, as local authorities were able to use central money. This made the houses that were built far more equal, and did not discriminate against poorer regions.

Those who had extremely low incomes and were in desperate need of housing had housing costs paid through rent assistance. Although the houses being built were supposed to provide a long-term solution, short-term solutions were also essential. About 120,000 pre-fabricated houses were made available and homeless people squatted at many empty properties. This caused many problems as squatting was illegal, but in general in was tolerated in order to avoid dealing with yet another problem. Unfortunately the pre-fabricated houses were still used, as there were not enough houses.

The provision of rent assistance did not prove effective as landlords abused the system by over-charging because there was no set amount in benefits. Even though the Labour Party did well to supply Post-war housing that was in great demand and attempted to conquer Squalor, they did not however, build the five million houses needed. This was due to the economic disaster, which meant raw materials for construction could not be provided. When the National Health Service (NHS) was established at the beginning of 1948 a budget of i??

148 million was appointed. Labour provided a free health service and replaced local and charity hospitals. The problem of Disease was dealt with by making sure all hospitals, whether in a rich or poor areas had access to all money by nationalisation. The fees for doctors were set and those who had invested in private practises were offered compensation. Private practice did however persist, so Labour was not successful in achieving its goal. The original budget more than doubled and ended up costing i?? 384 million.

This caused the promise of a completely free service to be broken, and charges for prescriptions, glasses and dentures were introduced. Even though most of the NHS was free, Labour could not totally deliver what they had guaranteed. The Labour Party planned to nationalise industries, in order to have better control over them. In 1947 "Nationalisation" was approved and helped to deal with the two million unemployed people. In areas like the NHS and schools, which were financed by the state, many new jobs became available.

The Labour Party did however require far more people for state funded jobs and immigration was vital in order to fill these new jobs. Labour succeeded in nationalising 20% of industries. This included electricity, coal, water, railways, gas and many more. The nationalisation helped to improve working conditions and the management of the industries. Labour felt it was essential to nationalise certain industries such as railways, for them to continue running effectively. There was however opposition in the iron and steel industries, which became private again when Labour lost power.

Though nationalisation did seem quite effective in helping to overcome Idleness, it did nothing to further the modernisation of industries and long-term plans were not devised, so later there proved to be setbacks. The Coalition had begun to overcome Ignorance before Labour won the general election. The "Butler Act" in 1944 made primary and secondary education free for everyone and the leaving age was raised to 15. Numbers of teachers increased, providing better education and one out of seven people went on to higher education. The Tripartite System was taken on in most places.

This divided children into Grammar, Technical and Secondary Modern Schools depending on their results in the newly introduced 11+ examinations. This system was not implemented, so some areas could not provide Technical Schools, meaning all those who did not get into Grammar Schools had to attend Secondary Modern Schools. As private schools still remained, those who could afford them did not need to pass the 11+ to get a good education. This left the working class in Secondary Moderns, with hardly any more chance than before of going on to higher education.

The Labour Party succeeded in beginning to overcome the "Five Giants". They however, did not completely abolish them as they had hoped. They were far to optimistic, and could not possibly have expected to achieve this. The difficulty they encountered was that they had spent much time planning to eliminate these problems, but not enough effort was put into implementing their plans. Had they more money and more time, Labour could have dealt with these setbacks, and achieved most of what they had hoped.