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Outline the founding principles of the Welfare State which were laid down in the Beveridge Report and compare this with a later approach to welfare, considering the change in ideology. Make use of specific examples in your discussion.

You will draw on legislation and other initiatives introduced by successive governments.

Founding Principles of Welfare State

A welfare state is a government idea whereby states engage in various roles so as to protect and promote the social and economic well-being of its people. It is founded on the basis of equal opportunity, equal distribution of wealth and public responsibility for all. This paper will address factors that led to the creation of the welfare state and its founding principles. The Beveridge report and the Five Giants and how they were handled. It also compares the changes made by the government of Britain in relation to the giants as well as ideologies used by the government of Britain.

Due to unemployment and lack of basic needs in Britain in the 1930s there was a great need for state intervention. The economy was deteriorating   with increased number of unemployed people and inflation of 27%. Public expenditure had risen to fifty seven per cent of the gross domestic product, making it difficult for individual freedom by creating a powerful nation.  The consumers, for example, the students and providers of the welfare expressed their dissatisfaction throughdemonstrations.In 1979, the public sector workers demonstrated. In addition, the Britain major illness was excess welfare expenditure, this was characterized by her inability to govern, poor economic performance and a culture of dependency among its citizens. The war increased the number of sick, less educated, unskilled and segregated people.

Consequently, the welfare founded its principles, which include.  The administration needed to standardize services which during the war had been exposed as very uneven. Establishment of a minimum standard of living for everyone, this was as a result of humanitarian desire. The technocrats desired to attain a well-organized way of using resources. The demand for equality; equal opportunity and equal treatment by the state, this is reflected in the education act of 1994. This principle was somewhat unquestionable. It required positive discrimination favouring people who were not well off and redistribution of wealth and income. Beveridge opposed vertical distribution and favoured horizontal distribution in his report.

The BeveridgereportSir William Beveridge presented this report to the British parliament in 1942.It contained ways that were necessary to eradicate poverty and want from Britain. His Motto in the report was "Abolition of want". His paper suggested a blueprint that would be used by the state and be applied when the war ended.The report was radical.Beveridge maintained that war offered an opportunity to do well, from the onset of his report (Diamond, 2017). He argued that social progression required an articulate government policy.

He based his arguments on social surveys carried out amid the warfare. The topics covered during the survey included poverty, old age, and low birth rates. He addressed the issue of shrinking population by giving it first place in social expenditure; caring of childhood and safeguarding maternity. In the same way, he covered topics of disability, retirement, and unemployment. The report also vastly described the situation of the economy in Britain and his plans for provision rates of benefit, contribution, and its management. He addressed on how to slay the five the five giants, which included want, giant, poverty, disease and squalor.

Poverty was a social issue that affected many people.The National Insurance Act was passed in 1946 it extended the liberal act of 1911, this act included all adults. The act offered a complete insurance against most eventualities. It enhanced the provision of unemployment and sickness assistance, maternity, retirement pension and widow benefit. The needs of people under this act were cared for from their time of birth to the time they died. The Industrial Injuries Act was passed the same year. This act made it compulsory for all workers to be insured against industrial injury. The terms of the act stated that those who got injured while at work should be paid more benefits than those suffering from common diseases. Furthermore, the National Assistance Act was passed in 1948.It provided assistance to those that were not insured by National Insurance Act. It set up boards to help individuals who were incapable to cater for their own needs. People still remained in the subsistence level because the benefits given were too low.

Squalor: Most parts of Britain had slums and were overcrowded. The government focused on building decent houses for working people after the war. The government aim was construct two hundred thousand houses per year. The houses were prefabricated; their assembly was quickly done onsite. In 1946, the New Towns Act was passed and it articulated plans to make new fourteen towns in Britain, the towns included East Kilbride in Scotland and Glenrothes.

Ignorance: Education Act was passed in 1944, it was propose by the Conservative but the labor government implemented its measures after the general election in 1945.Through this act secondary education was made compulsory until students reached the age of fifteen. Medical services, milk and meals were provided in school. At age eleven, children did an examination, called 11+; it placed children at specific school regarding their abilities. The best students went to senior secondary school after completion of secondary school they went to university (Deeming, 2015). Whereas the weak students were not allowed to stay in school after fifteen years instead they were given unskilled employment.

Changes Made by the Government

Idleness; Britain rebuilt itself after the war. The labor party succeeded in its commitment of maintaining employments level at a high level after the war. The unemployment rates reduced by two percent despite the adverse problems that arose after the war, for example lack of raw materials for industries and huge debts of war (Fried, 2016).Thegovernment managed to put full employment through nationalization. The government followed the principles of John Maynard Keynes, and took control of industries such as steel and iron. Through this government used tax many to keep the industries even during adversities.

Disease: To curb the issue of diseases, the National Health Service Act was passed in 1946 and every British citizen got a chance to receive dental, optical and dental services for free. Receiving treatment through GPs and in hospitals was also made free.

The ideology used by the government at that time was liberalism classical. Liberalism arose in the nineteenth century and it is normally associated with identification of a mass of ideas which include individualism, laissez-faire, freedom, natural rights and the minimal state. Classical liberalism is characterized by the development of social science; an indication of modern economics. It derives its ideas about economics organization from free-market dominance over the planning of the state or regulation. Liberalism is defined as an ideology of freedom because freedom is the most important value of liberals. Individualism is another important liberal idea. The benefit of a free-market economic structure originates from its nature of individualism; the subconscious interesting self - behaviour of unnumbered people relating as sellers and buyers in different markets because of capital, goods, and labour, brings out valuable unplanned results for everyone. The actions of an individual are said to be superior to collective action (government action form).Individualism is decently expressed via the usual liberal belief in individual human or natural rights. Freedom is the ethical unlike economic sense which interpreted as possessing and enjoying many rights, for example, freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom from indiscriminate arrest and imprisonment, freedom of conscience and worship, freedom of expression, right to life and fair trial (Miletzki et al.,2017) .

On the other hand, Thatcherism originated from the teachings and principles of Margaret Thatcher, It is a branch of conservative ideology. She was the prime minister of Britain from 1979 to 1990. Mrs. Thatcher came up with new economic strategies which brought great changes to European’s economy. She reduced the power of trade unions, encouraged privatization of national resources, free markets and curbed inflation. Her policies included:

Changes in Ideology

Monetarism-She increased interest rates and taxes. The policy managed to reduce inflation but there was also a deep fall in outcomes. Unemployment increased and manufacturing output decreased. Privatization of National resources: The biggest companies in Britain were privatized and the shares from these companies were old to the general public. She allowed competition among companies. The powers of the trade unions in 1984 the coal miners went on strike but Thatcher stood firm and refused to give in to their demands. Mrs. Thatcher encouraged individuals to own homes. The council houses in Britain during Thatcher time were sold below the market price. In 1983, Mortgage interest relief was introduced; it provided a tax break to people who took the mortgage. In 1980, house prices rose.

She introduced a culture of dependency. People were encouraged to provide themselves health and insurance cover, as well as, Personal pensions and private medicine through private cover or a company. Child benefit was reduced, family credit was lengthened, Housing benefits were also and benefits for poor families were reduced.

Classical liberals alleged that the function of the state should be minimized and reduced, this will enable it to intervene and regulate narrowly and concentrate on the least part of social life. The state entices and coerces. Its coercion is immoral. In the same way, the state is very important. The state provides an overall outline of laws administers impartially without corruption and defends property and life so as to safeguard the overall welfare (Wohl, 2017).The state does not necessarily provide welfare, but, further, than a basic minimum, individual and overall welfare is highly upheld by allowing people to relate, bond and interchange freely with other people via markets or other types of intentional action. Many social and welfare goods are provided more effectively by inspiring self-reliance and self-help for commercial reasons through markets and via different forms of deliberate action and relations because of charity and communal aid functions (DiNitto et al,. 2017). The best state is considered to be one which does little directly for overall welfare.

Idleness was combated effectively.When the war ended there was the need for Britain to reconstruct itself. The Labour Government ensured that job opportunities were available for its citizens and the rates of unemployment were reduced. There was a huge shortage of raw materials and debts incurred because of war (Hamnett, 2014). But through nationalization, the government maintained full employment. Through the guidance of John Maynard Keynes, the government successfully controlled the manufacturing of iron and steel. Whereas Ignorance led to the passing of the education act in 1944.it was proposed by conservatives (Heidenheimer et al.,2017). Secondary education until the age of fifteen years was obligatory. Milk, medical services, and meals were given to children in all schools. When a student reached eleven years old, he did an exam that positioned students in specific kind of schools, regarding their capabilities. The best students went to senior secondary school (Rhode, 2016). Whereas, the ones that failed were not required to stay in school instead get unskilled employment.

Classic Liberalism

The government provided social security. The Family Allowances Act ( 1945) suggested that a child should receive 5 shillings a week. National Insurance Act ( 1945) introduced the unemployment pay of six months and sick pay when an employee is sick. Similarly, National Insurance Act (1946) facilitated the increase in benefits for people who were injured while at work. The National Assistance Act benefited people who were in need. The government applied the Marshall Aid to keep the industries functional. The government localized coal, railway and road haulage in 1947 and 1951 it localized steel industry (Deeming, 2015). Through JM Keynes principles, the government increased public spending to keep the economy lively. The government also offered free education to its citizens.

Conclusion

In conclusion, for a government to succeed governance, it should eradicate the Five Giants: Want, Disease, Squalor, Ignorance, and Idleness. The Government of Britain attempted to slay all the giants by implementing legislative acts. Thus, eradicating poverty and improving the standards of living. It provided free medical services and proper housing for its citizen.The Five Giants were the major issues affecting Britain’s economy. The Beveridge report outlined proper guidelines for achieving economic independence.

Cairney, P., 2017. Economics: Messy genesis of the welfare state. Nature, 548(7669), p.522.

Deeming, C., 2015. Foundations of the workfare state–Reflections on the political transformation of the welfare state in Britain. Social Policy & Administration, 49(7), pp.862-886.

Diamond, P., 2017.Fulfilling basic human needs: the welfare state after Beveridge. Austerity, Community Action, and the Future of Citizenship, p.25.

DiNitto, D.M. and Johnson, D.H., 2015. Social welfare: Politics and public policy. Pearson.

Flora, P., 2017. Development of welfare states in Europe and America.Routledge.

Fried, C., 2016. Medical Experimentation: Personal Integrity and Social Policy: New Edition. Oxford University Press.

Heidenheimer, A.J. and Flora, P., 2017. The Historical Core and Changing Boundaries of the Welfare State.In Development of Welfare States in Europe and America (pp. 17-34).Routledge.

Kamerman, S.B. and Kahn, A.J. eds., 2014. Privatization and the welfare state.Princeton University Press.

Miletzki, J. and Broten, N., 2017. Development as freedom.Macat Library.

Rhodes, M., 2016. The future of European welfare: a new social contract?.Springer.

Rod, M.H., Jöhncke, S., Steffen, V. and Raahauge, K.M., 2015. The social life of evidence: Rationalizing professional practice in the welfare state. Between Magic and Rationality: On the Limits of Reason in the Modern World, 4, p.43.

Thane, P., 2016. The foundations of the welfare state.Routledge.

Wohl, A., 2017. The eternal slum: housing and social policy in Victorian London. Routledge.

Hamnett, C., 2014. Shrinking the welfare state: the structure, geography and impact of British government benefit cuts. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 39(4), pp.490-503

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