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The Sick. ‘ The aged we have dealt with…we are still confronted with the more gigantic task of dealing with the rest- the sick, the infirm, the unemployed, the widows and orphans’ Lloyd George TB was claiming 75,000 lives a year.

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the sick
The Sick
  • ‘The aged we have dealt with…we are still confronted with the more gigantic task of dealing with the rest- the sick, the infirm, the unemployed, the widows and orphans’

Lloyd George

TB was claiming 75,000 lives a year

the sick1
Liberals determined to construct their own policy on sickness and invalidity

Looked at German model again

Problems: friendly societies, doctors and cost implications

Cost: proposed 1909 Peoples budget

Tax on the rich to finance national insurance scheme

Redistributive: the more you earned the higher the tax rate

The Sick
friendly societies and industrial insurance company
Viewed as encroaching on their business as a result, gov. decided to administer the system through societies

Industrial insurance companies on the other hand were in business for profit

Government forced to back down and exclude the two ‘funeral benefits’

Designated ‘approved societies’ by National Insurance Act

Enhanced their status with the public

Friendly societies and Industrial Insurance company
  • Felt that they were being paid a pittance for treating the ‘societies’ working class clients
  • Wanted medical side of insurance scheme to be run by the profession free from friendly society domination
  • Governmenthad to offer doctors a higher contract fee of 4 shillings per patient and 2 shillings to cover drug costs
  • Led to rush by poorer doctors to join the new ‘panel’ system as it doubled income
  • 1911 Act favourable to doctors, ‘The General Practioners Act’
1911 insurance provisions
1911 Insurance provisions
  • Final Act entitled insured workers to 10s, a week for a period off work for health reasons of up to 26 weeks-poor law after this time
  • Free medical inspection/not entitled to hospital or dental treatment
  • Intended to maintain an income for the breadwinner, not to provide a national health service
  • Seen as a moral problem caused by individual idleness- idea of self help
  • ‘New Liberalism’: ‘The state had a moral duty to intervene positively to help the weakest members of society’
unemployed workmen s act 1905
Unemployed Workmen’s Act, 1905
  • Inherited unemployed women’s Act from Conservative
  • Designed to provide help by setting up distress committees in boroughs with a population of more than 50,000
  • Able to assist ‘proper cases’: thrifty, good character, had not received poor law, by given financial help or assisting families to emigrate
  • Funded by voluntary donations, soon ran out but first step in state taken responsibility
labour exchanges
To enable workers and employers to register their requirements in one central location

1909 bill passed through Parliament and by the following Feb, 83 labour exchanges were set up

By 1914, 3000 people were fixed up with work everyday

More beneficial for unskilled workers than skilled

Labour exchanges
unemployment insurance
Unemployment Insurance
  • Got under way in July 1912 but benefits were not payable until January 1913
  • Within 2 years, 2.3 million workers were insured but only in certain trades (7)
  • Workers who did not join scheme or had used their entitlement still had to turn to the poor law
  • Small proportion of working population but beginning of more comprehensive system for dealing with the problems of unemployment
national insurance act 1911
Contributions: workers 2 ½ per week, employers 2 ½, state 3d

Compulsory for trades that suffered cyclical/seasonal employment

Entitlement: 7 shillings (35p) a week up to 15 weeks

Payment: register at labour exchange to receive payment

Liberals took 5 years to finalise Part II

National Insurance Act, 1911
4 futher acts
4 futher Acts
  • Compensation for injuries sustained at work, 1906 built on previous acts and extended acts to cover nearly all employers now liable to pay compensation for industrial diseases- source of poverty
  • Shorter hours to compensate for dangerous and difficult jobs, 1909, e.g. coalminers campaigned for 40 years
  • Minimum wage for female labour in sweated trades, 1909 Trades Board Act, 1913 170,000 workers protected mainly women
  • however no attempt made to define minimum wage
half day off for shop assistants 1911
Half day off for shop assistants, 1911
  • Extended acts to cover nearly all employees, employers now liable to pay compensation
how successful were liberal reforms
Offered low levels of support to the poor as a supplement

Still people living below ‘poverty line’

However move away from dreaded poor law

Limited welfare programme but brought in a system that won popular approval

Liberals had to take on opposition and problems at home

How successful were Liberal reforms?
essay questions
  • To what extent were the social reforms of the Liberal Government (1906-19140 prompted by feelings of genuine concern for the masses
  • Why did the liberal Government introduce so many reform measures in the period 1906-14?
  • Comment on the view that the Liberal governments before ww1 faced social problems with considerable success but failed to cope with industrial and political problems
essay questions1
  • How did the Liberal government seek to cope with the problems of unemployment after 1906?
  • How far reaching were the welfare reforms enacted by the Liberal Governments of 1906-1914
  • How successful were the social reforms of the Liberal government in solving the real problems of the day
your essay question
Intro- state what the causes of poverty were eg old age, low wages, illness, industrial injury, tackled with some degree of success, give overview of acts that helped tackle these problems- limited success

Problems for young/ acts that helped + why/drawbacks

Problems for elderly/acts that helped + why/drawbacks

Your essay question!!!
your essay question1
Problems for workers/acts eg compensation act/Trades board act/limited success

Problems for unemployed/acts eg insurance/


Problems for sick/act/




Your essay question!!!